Date: 11 August 2018. Birds and my
friend Dale the Welder.
Since the discovery of a feeding
source, yours truly, the herons have made it a practice to visit
Seaweed regularly. When I go off for a few days at anchor they
return shortly after engine shut-down. One of us is well-trained.
There is however a down side when birds and boats mix.
It all started with my davit.
The davit holds Algae. The pole also supports my wind
I'm securing Algae, utilizing two lines. I always use two lines for
You see, I have a special dinghy davit.
made by my friend Dale Jenkins over on the east coast. He was one of
my favorite people over there. He was a welder, just like Daddy.
They even had the same burnt tips of their forefingers...
This is my hand. An old welder
would have his forefinger TIP AT THE CORNER
MISSING after years of work.
Side Note: You can spot a retired welder by their hands. Inevitably
the older guys would burn the upper inside corner of their
forefingers. It would be missing after so many decades of the
craftsmanship. Now I have not seen this trait in younger guys (under
fifty) but the over-70 fellows all seem to have the missing tips.
Dale the Welder
made the support for my wind generator and fashioned the davit so it
rotates. He even welded on a cleat so I can tie off the dinghy.
That's real handy.
He was one of the older generation who could do almost anything.
I admire that, along with the fact that he spoke highly of his wife. Dale was a great guy, a hard worker, and a fan of Three Musketeers
candy bars. I kept a supply of that candy on hand for the two of us.
Short story about the power
of a roll of Teflon tape: Years ago I was working on a project
aboard Seaweed and had run out of Teflon tape. I asked Dale if
I could borrow some. He handed me a roll and told me to keep
it. Well, the next time I went to Walmart I bought a
three-pack, handing Dale over two brand new rolls.
To me it was a simple thing.
To Dale, well he later told me that Nobody ever returned anything they
"borrowed" and that's why he said I could keep the spool.
For less than $2 I made a life-time friend.
Eventually the birds discovered that by sitting on the davit Dale
made they could look for me.
This is ↑ Nevermore, the crow.
Or perhaps he's a raven. I'm not sure.
Details about crows and ravens from
my Golden Guide book titled
Birds of North America:
Frequently I urge folks to buy
Birds of North America. It
really is a great book. New or used, you'll want one aboard your
boat. Part of the fun about being out here is trying to identify
what I see. This book helps with that.
But it's not all fun and
games. You see, I had this brilliant idea. Because the davit had
become a sitting place for the birds, I decided to rotate it inside
the cockpit. That way the birds could not poop on my swim platform.
Those of you who have bird experience will know this was a Very Bad
Bruce is standing on the gunnel waiting for
food. The gunnel is the top edge of the hull.
The deposits formerly landed on
the swim platform which is easy to clean. Then things got UGLY.
Let's just say the hotdog wafers were returned after digestion.
Instead of the remnants falling where I could rinse them off that
dang bird managed to hit:
#1) the lines from the davit --
all four of them.
#2) the teak gunnel, and the rub rail below it
#3) the trolling motor mounting bracket
#4) the inner liner of the cockpit
#5) the deck in the cockpit
It was a Mess.
Seaweed is not the only boat to
suffer the indignity of a deposit.
My friend Irene on S/V Katja
was looking up one evening and spotted a bird roosting on her
The beak is visible in her flash.
(click on the pictures for
full sized images)
on the deck, the winch, and even the cushions close by,
everything was a mess...
Irene identified her
culprit as an anhinga. You can tell the difference between them
and cormorants easily. Anhingas have a pointed beak (think about
the tip of the capital letter "A") while cormorants beaks are
They eat fish. For more
information on these water birds, please read the
Aboard Seaweed I was fortunate. There is a dock hose
a couple boats over from me. I dragged it over to my cockpit. That
in and of itself is a chore. The hose is heavy. Still I knew I'd
want the water pressure to blast away the mess.
And that is the beginning of the
story. Like some ten minute chores, this one morphed. Tomorrow I'll
catch up and tell you the rest of the tale. Suffice it to say, my
small hose project grew. The aftermath is why I have not posted.
Recovery took longer than anticipated.
I'd love to hear that I'm not the only one to suffer
have bird issues.
And, have you tried any methods to keep them off your boat?
Manatee Newborn ~
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