Frigatebirds are wonderful gliders. They hover high above the surface using the winds to carry them great distances.
This one had a white head and white spur extending to the base of its wing. Had to be a Lesser Frigatebird.
Should I continue?
February 27, 2012 - Day 141 7.0336N,55.6972W
I am again receiving strong NE/ENE winds coupled with N and NE swells. These are depressing my course, I can barely maintain a westerly heading.
The next few days are critical. The forecast says more of the same for winds, the swell forecast is turning to ENE which is favorable. Continuing blindly in the hopes that the Guyana Current will be strong in my favor, is playing chicken with the long rise toward Trinidad downwind from me. I don't like it.
While I ponder whether to take my boat to Georgetown in Guyana, you can enjoy my frigatebird shots from near Ascension Island. It was only yesterday that I saw the first frigatebird since, which was entirely black with a black chest. According to our expert on pelagic species, Pepper Trail, the male Great Frigatebird is entirely black. Great Frigatebird females and immatures have some white on their chests. The Lesser Frigatebird usually has some white on the underparts, ranging from just a small "spur" of white at the base of the wings in the adult males, to extensive white on the breast and into the base of the wings in the females and immatures.
NOTE: I talked about Force-4 and Force-5 seas in my last dispatch. I am observing up to Force-6 and gusting! Below are the sea state descriptions with sustained winds at said knots:
Force-4: 11-16 knots, Moderate Breeze, Small waves 1-4 feet becoming longer, numerous whitecaps
Force-5: 17-21 knots, Fresh Breeze, Moderate waves 4-8 ft taking longer form, many whitecaps, some spray
Force-6: 22-27 knots, Strong Breeze, Larger waves 8-13 ft, whitecaps common, more spray
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