We often see flying fish during the day and one night at the helm I had to duck as one whizzed right past my head like a little quidditch from Harry Potter.
In the morning we regularly find dead flying fish on the deck. They have huge eyes on either side of their heads and long translucent wings. Twin tail blades at the back assist them in flying up to 100 yards at a time. Such strange creatures to see just flitting above the water. Not being used to seeing fish fly, at first, each time I see one I think it is a small silver bird and then I realize it’s a fish.
The flight does not look especially graceful or planned, it looks more random and more like an act of absolute will. They seem to fly haphazardly and bounce off waves, fly a bit more before one final crash into the ocean and then they disappear into their aquatic world, which I can’t help but think they are better suited to. It makes me smile every time I see one. You little nutters, I think.
One morning as it grows light during our watch we find a small flying fish on deck. It’s body already stiff and I’m struck by how huge the eyes are relative to the svelt flying form. My watch partner poses with the fish on deck then we return it to the ocean.
Later in the morning we find a large solitary eye, like a flat marble, at the foot of the mast. No fish, it has likely carried on in the world with a view only of things to starboard or port depending on which eye is left.