June 2nd, 2009
The ocean is a very big place. There are many fish and sharks out here hundreds of miles from land.
It is strange to think that, while some people will never see the ocean, many of these fish will never encounter hard land in lives.
The fish in the middle of the ocean come in all sizes, from so small you can’t see them, to many feet long. A whale shark can be over 50 feet long! That is almost as big as two school buses, and it eats only the tiniest plants and animals in the ocean! It is not fun being a small fish in the big ocean, because everything wants to eat the small fish. When they see a ship in the ocean, they think of it as shelter, a place they can hide from big fish. Unfortunately for the small fish, big fish know that small fish like to gather around ships. When we first got to our site, the only fish we saw were flying fish. I have attached a photo of a flying fish above. They are small fish (no bigger than your daddy’s feet), but they can jump out of the water and “fly” in the air over long distances.
Not long after we got to our first drilling site the big fish showed up. They are called Mahi Mahi, or dolphinfish. They are very hard to get good pictures of because they are under water. They can be very big. They are bigger than you are, and some can be as big as mommy or daddy. They eat the flying fish. At night, they just look white, but during the day they are a beautiful rainbow of colors. Reds and blues, greens and oranges. They swim around the ship during the day, hundreds of them, and they eat at night. Sometimes, they like to swim on their sides, showing their beautiful colors in the sunlight. There are no flying fish left around the ship, but there are still many many mahi mahi.
The day after the mahi mahi showed up, some people saw two sharks. Big sharks called oceanic whitetip sharks. They can get as long as a car, and eat the mahi mahi. I have never seen them, but with all the mahi mahi around, I am sure they are nearby. Now the mahi mahi are the small fish.
We are leaving for the next site soon. When we get there, we will have new fish, and I look forward to describing them all to you. It is not easy being a small fish in a big ocean.