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At breakfast, we talk about wildlife photography, and the captain and I continue the conversation later on the bridge. He is an enthusiastic photographer and also owns a Nikon D7100 and a 500 mm telephoto lens. When we get into warmer waters, especially from Dakar onwards, we can expect many animals in the sea: Dolphins, whales, sharks, flying fish and, if we are very lucky, turtles. His crew got the order to report all unusual sightings, and I ask to be informed as well.
The problem with wildlife photography on a ship is that the vessel does not stop. With our maximum speed of 15 knots, we are not extremely fast, but fast reactions are required. He advises me to engage in back-button focusing. Back in the cabin, I screw a telephoto lens onto my Nikon, and from now on I will use the Lumix for wide-angle shots. I watch some videos about back-button focus on Nikon and wildlife photography. Now I feel at least technically better prepared.
The captain and his management team (the Chief Officer and the Chief Engineer) discuss over lunch in Polish and make the most crucial decision of the day: The heating in the living quarters will be switched off. Everyone applauds. It’s really about time.
I put the thick winter coat and fleece into the closet and take out my red transition jacket. But I think I won’t need it much longer.
Pierre asked Robert to put two chairs on the outside deck of the D-deck. This way, we passengers can enjoy our time in the fresh air. Pierre spent the afternoon there in the sun.
During the morning I am busy loading the photos from Antwerp onto my computer and sorting them out. Since I always take pictures in RAW format, I still have to “develop” them with software.
In the evening there is a typical Polish dish that I, at first sight, would not have classified as Polish. Pierre speaks of ravioli, I think first of Maultaschen. They are filled dumplings that are cooked. The cook has prepared two variations: one with sauerkraut (of course!) and one with minced meat. Besides, there is a satisfying hot drink that I could best describe as a borscht broth. It’s a broth made of beetroot, but it’s very spicy. This drink is traditionally served at Christmas in Poland. The team is delighted, and Pierre and I also enjoy it.
After dinner, I thank the cook. He introduces me to a cuisine that I didn’t know yet. So far almost everything has tasted good, except for the very fatty pieces of meat on the very day I suffered from seasickness.
Shortly before midnight, I look at my navigation apps. Our position is N30° 11.720′ W15° 12.950′. We are 250 km from Gran Canaria. Lanzarote is the closest. Only 180 km to go.
Yesterday the wall to the bathroom in my cabin started to clatter. That annoys me very much now. I touch the wall in the door opening. It is loose and rattles with the vibrations of the ship at the door frame. “It’s made in China”, I think. I now understand why a predecessor of mine has wedged cardboard from a toilet roll between the door frame and the wall. The cardboard must have moved slowly downwards. I also dig an empty toilet roll out of the garbage, tear it into three pieces and wedge them into the gap. It works immediately. I have my peace again.
Would you like to see an overview of all articles about my journey on the cargo ship Bright Sky? Click here for a table of contents.