July 5-6: Alice and I took the train from Charlottesville, Virginia to New York to board the Queen Mary 2 for Southampton, England. This was our third Atlantic Crossing on the QM2, but our first eastbound voyage on this ship. The QM2 headed more southerly than I had expected, presumably to avoid remnants of Hurricane Arthur, but we later learned that this route was also followed to avoid icebergs in the North Atlantic. Perhaps because of this route, I saw far fewer birds and marine wildlife than on previous crossings.
July 7: The first full day at sea was fairly quiet, I saw a pair of Audubon's (Manx?) Shearwaters, a Laughing Gull, and some flying fish.
July 8: Still quiet at sea. I saw a few Cory's Shearwaters, more flying fish, and a large jumping fish.
July 9: It was still quiet this day. I saw a few Cory's Shearwaters, my first Great Shearwater of this trip, and some dolphins.
July 10: There was a bit more activity this day. A few Cory's Shearwaters made close passes by the ship. I saw more dolphins, and a whale.
Cory's Shearwater and dolphin
July 11: It was mostly cloudy today. I saw my first Northern Fulmars of this voyage, and more Cory's Shearwaters, dolphins, and a couple of whales.
July 12: The first Northern Gannets of this voyage appeared in the morning. There were immature Gannets with various levels of adult plumage along with a few adults.
July 13: In the early morning hours at Southampton, there were Black-headed, Herring, and Great Black-backed Gulls near the ship.
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