I met my room mates during the first days of the trip: Héctor, the second official (he sails the vessel in the night) and Juan, the first mechanic, one of the persons in charge of the engine room. The crew was composed by six officials, three cooks, four technical personnel, one nurse, 24 sailors and me. The work of the sailors was divided among those who are on the deck and handle the net and those that work in the factory, cutting and cleaning the fishes to obtain the final product as frozen fish. The activities of the vessel were usually carried out for some 21 hours a day but we only fished during daylight.The third week provided a surprise. One morning I found an adult black-browed albatross alive, walking along the deck of the vessel. Sometimes the seabirds collide against some part of the ship and remain injured or only stunned. Then they can't manage to take off since they are prevented by the high walls on the deck. In these cases it is necessary to proceed to cover the head with a rag, take it by the body carefully and throw it back to the water. This is what I did on this occasion and the albatross, with sure flight, rapidly and majestically soared far from the ship.Some species in small numbers besides the more common species can be seen in the flocks. During the hauls I saw some broad-billed prions (small birds that fly agilely and rapidly), grey-headed albatross (similar to black-browed albatross, but with a beautiful black bill with a yellow and orange line on top) and southern fulmar (a medium petrel with a grey, white and black plumage). But probably the most beautiful sight is 10 or 20 northern and southern royal albatrosses around the vessel.
One day in the evening, the captain commented to us that there would be a tempest at night. At 2.30 am the ship began to ascend and drop down enormous waves of more than 8 metres, trembling on every fall.
Among the crew there were faces of worry because is not common to have many storms of such intensity, with winds of more than 100 km per hour. During 12 hours the tempest shook the vessel and our nerves until the moment arrived in which we could relax and continue with the daily tasks. Then we had several days of calm almost as a reward for the long night.