On-board Diary: In the Bermuda triangle. Monday, May 2th, 2005

Author: Paloma Larena
Date: May 2, 2005



5:30 p.m. Just after we left Bermudas, the captain ordered to hoist sails and we are traveling that way ever since. The cold front that kept us from sailing away is behind us now. Fortunately, weather forecast is in our favor now.  “Weahter conditions are optimal, let us hope it lasts” –everyone comments.

Bermuda triangle

After sailing for 24 hours after the Ranger left Green Turtle Cay, we are inside the boundaries of the famous Bermuda Triangle, following a somewhat uncommon course for commercial vessels. Up until now, we have not seen any. Except for a few flying fish jumping around the prow, this immense extension of water seems empty. “It is not surprising, most part of the ocean is not densely populated” –comments Ricardo. Marine fauna prefers to gather in specific zones that are rich in biodiversity, with abundance of nutrients and where the trophic chain works perfectly. Well, the Bermuda Triangle is rather boring so far.

6:15 p.m. The Ranger’s course is set for the Sargasso Sea, but until now, we have only seen a few scattered samples of it. According to our calculations, we will start to see them tomorrow morning and the concentration will be greater when we reach our work destination. The Oceana ship is bound for a place called “Latitude of the Horses” (Latitud de los Caballos) where we expect to arrive in the next two days. Early European travelers baptized the place with that name. When they reached that area, sometimes they were in absolute calm. Weeks could go by and not advance the journey, waiting for the wind to blow in their favor. It was then when, in order to preserve the water supply and survive, they were forced to throw the horses overboard, as these animals need to drink plenty of liquids. Ironically, it would be great if the Ranger was in absolute calm now, to accomplish our tasks under better conditions.

-" Have you seen nocturnal bioluminiscence?", asks Ricardo

- No, what do you mean?

- I am referring to the dinoflagellates. They are microscopic organisms that emit light as a defense mechanism, when another animal is near or if you touch them. This is their way to sound the alarm in the presence of danger and if for some reason an animal eats them, the larger predators will have an easy target, because they will continue to emit luminescence even inside the body of the animal that has swallowed them.

-Mmmmm… how interesting, we will be on the lookout tonight during guard duty.

Bermuda triangle

6:48 p.m. As the Ranger gradually moves forward, life onboard is changing. Now, when crew members are not on guard duty (three hours at night and three during the day), we spend our time sleeping. I am writing this in the “messroom´”, alone. It is the first time I am in front of the computer while we navigate. I have to get used to it, because we will remain for many days in the high seas. The captain is having a rest, reading.  Indi, who spends great part of the day cooking, takes off his apron and gets his binoculars. Carlos comes in and starts to play guitar. A little later Houssine comes in smiling, after he made a good selection of underwater photographs while “letting himself be at the rhythm of the Ranger”. Ricardo has been working with him, identifying species captured by his camera. In one of the larboard cabins, Mar has been editing video footing for hours and claims for his presence as well.

In the background, we can hear the music of Spanish songwriter Joaquin Sabina.