The following is an except of a memoir written by Charles Howard Duffy while sailing on the “LADY JO” in the Honolulu Classic, a yacht race between San Pedro and Honolulu, Jan 11,1939.
I am on watch, and the rest of the brew are just starting breakfast. Mealtimes invariably come on my watch. We are travelling between S and W at a speed of about five knots. The breeze is light but steady, and the miles add up. There is an albatross circling around the boat. There is nearly always one or two of them around. Is is a dark kind of ugly looking bird with a wing spread of about six feet. It is exceedingly graceful and soars around all day long, apparently never resting on the water nor diving for fish. Its motion appears effortless. It must take advantage of air currents, since it doesn’t flap its wings. Most of the time it skims low over the water, sometimes with its wing tips no more than an inch from the surface. At other times it soars thirty or forty feet into the air against the wind and then makes a long glide with the wind. It is very fascinating to watch these birds. At times on this trip I have wished I were an albatross.