Year 5 day 200

seal, MorguefileAt least it is not raining any more. More accurately, I’ve gotten out of the equatorial rainy zone.

For a while it was so wet I almost dreaded my coastline mapping, even though after the delta the coast turned more or less southward. Things have become gradually drier over the last fiveday, and I’ve increased the length of coast I’ve mapped each day. Today I think I’m back in desert, although a considerably rockier desert than the sand dunes far to the north. In fact, I rather think this may be the same desert I found when I was first exploring.

I knew there were predators such as crocodiles in the inland waters as well as on the land. But today I realized for the first time that ocean predators can be a real threat to mammals that live partly on land. I came on a group of mammals unlike any I have seen before, obviously adapted to the water. Fish are abundant along this coast, no doubt because of the cold current offshore, so there is a rich marine food supply and these mammals are adapted to take advantage of it. They are streamlined, with very dense, oily fur, their limbs are reduced to flippers and they are as awkward on land as they are graceful in the water. They are not small; even the females mass more than I do.

I watched as a mother left her pup and headed out to sea to feed. She never made it much past the first line of breakers. A great fish, with rows of sharp teeth in a gaping mouth, leapt from the water to seize her. It was so hot I had thought of dipping myself into the water, but not until I have tested that the warnoff will work with this creature!

Jarn’s Journal is the fictional journal of an equally fictional human-like alien, Jarn, stranded in Africa roughly 125,000 years ago. He is in the process of mapping the coastline of Africa. His Journal to date can be found on my author site.