If solo sailors are so in tune with the sea, how come they don't seem to recognise any of their fellow travellers?


Many of the reports coming back from the Southern Ocean courtesy of the Vendée Globe mention the wealth of bird life. This week, Loïck Peyron, Bernard Stamm and Steve White all noted delightedly how many they counted flying round their boats.

So it is disappointing that no one seems to be able to identify any of these birds, with the exception of the unmistakable albatross (although there are 21 different types of those besides the wandering albatross, pictured). It was the same in the Tropics: many sightings but no names mentioned.

It’s a pity. Sailors are thought to have a great and almost romantic affinity with the sea and it’s a shame for sailing fans to see that it doesn’t extend to any great knowledge – or even curiosity apparently – about the creatures they are sharing it with. It would look much better if they all knew a bit more.