Bird rescue on the high sea

11/19/2010 12:00 by Thorsten Böhnke

On our way towards the Caribbean, we freed a Cory’s Shearwater from a fishing line.

Our position is 14°42’N, 27°34’W, with 14 knot winds from the northeast. Our course is 270° with a speed of 6.5 knots. The Ulysses is being shaken through by a short, steep, afterly swell. Initially the winds were quite weak and thus we set our course towards the south. The mood on board is cheerful - everyone is happy that we’ve set off and are underway.

Last night we were alarmed by a siren-like sound. After my visit on the Ilhas Selvagens, I had no difficulty identifying the sound as the cry of a Cory’s Shearwater. The bird had one wing tangled in a fishing line and was complaining bitterly.


Two hands are not enough - our little patient doesn't keep still.

We fished it out of the water and I held it in a headlock while Marek carefully disentangled it from the line. Shortly after we set it free, the bird took flight and disappeared into the darkness.


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A Cory’s Shearwater flying over the waves. Photo: Michael Todd.

In the meantime we've changed our course to the west and are now sailing towards the Caribbean.

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