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Date: 1 December 2014. Dallas and the Pelican.

[Posted late because I ran out of bandwidth.]

It started out a less than spectacular day aboard Seaweed. As readers know, water is an ongoing issue. And last night I ran out. Fortunately I had some in a jug for just such emergencies. For the record, my nightly spot of tea was not a victim of the situation. But Sunday morning, well, things went from not much fun to just awful.

First of all, I am at a dock so access to water is far easier than when at anchor. So you'd think I'd keep the tanks topped off -- and I'm going to work on that. Running out is stupidity when it's so convenient, relatively speaking.

Note to Self: Keep water tank filled from now on.

Honestly, this is my own fault and I definitely know better. When at anchor I'm always prepared to leave immediately -- it's a safety factor and here, of all places... well, suffice it to say, I'll be topping the tank regularly. I'll use the water jugs I normally used when going to shore because the hose is just too heavy.

And incidentally, just taking water from a spigot is the mark of a boat bum. I always ask permission and in all the years I've been out here, only one individual was surly enough to say NO. Undoubtedly at some point she felt taken advantage of by a sneaky so-and-so.

Anyway, the first hoses I got out and ready were about 3' short of the mark needed. I have a 50'er (one of those flat cloth hoses that leak after a time but do store in a small area) and a six foot piece for use with a spare bilge pump. The two combined didn't do the trick.

Because I'd turned on the hose it got wet, requiring it hang to dry out. Sigh. I know -- it's a little enough thing, but some days the minutia just gets to me.

Next, I dragged the hose from Just Right Marine over. It's long and very heavy. It, along with my 6' extension made it to the tank. Filled same. Put it all away and glad too. Physically, this is arduous work.

I suspect it's age, but sometimes I just am tired. Tired of it all... It's the same with dirt dwellers when the washing machine breaks the same day a leak is discovered in the roof. Everyone's ready to sell out. It's getting past those moments that means the world.

And later in the afternoon I met the friendliest character you can imagine. No, not Dallas. He's married, with a wife and a pair of wonderful daughters. Just ask him! Dallas is okay mind you. He was waiting to visit the owner of Rollin' Stone -- a shrimp boat that is normally tied up to the main dock. I'm on a nearby secondary, smaller pier.

This is Rollin' Stone, a working steel shrimp boat owned by Jerry and Louise -- nice folks!

So Dallas came down and sat on the dock and we chatted. While talking a friendly young pelican came up for a look-see. Here he is on arrival.
 

The water is clear enough you can see through, and imagine how a pelican moves through the water. See how his feet are positioned? One aft and the other forward. Pelicans do move quite efficiently through the water.


While Dallas and I continued to chat, the little guy swam closer. Here he is just beneath the dock where Dallas is sitting.

The pelican appears to be checking us out.  What's amazing to me is Skipper is sitting on the propane locker with me, watching the pelican. Skip wasn't barking -- papillon's are known not to be yappy little rats so that's not surprising. But still there was but four feet between the two critters.

Next, our new friend flew up and landed on the dock.

How cool is that?!? Meanwhile life just kept getting better as the pelican came still closer.

You can see the flat fabric hose hanging from my dinghy davit on the left side of the photo. I dry it thoroughly before putting the hose away after each use. The davit allows me to dry inside the boat.

Too often folks ooze. That's a term I use for spreading out beyond boundaries. Yes, I have permission to be on this dock while the engine swap continues. That does not give me the right to spread out my stuff all over said pier. So I keep it tidy.
 

Meanwhile our pelican continues to get closer!

 
 

You can well imagine our enjoyment of this afternoon visitor. In the first picture Dallas is texting his daughter and wife to share the excitement. The pelican did not shy away even when Dallas extended his hand.

And both of us wished Jerry the shrimp boat guy had arrived. We'd have tried to talk him out of a pound of shrimp for the pelican. I suspect I'd have made a pelican friend for life.

Shrimp does that, at least for me. The article Time Stopped
offers proof-positive of my shrimp proclivities. I'm still claiming innocence.


Dallas and I noticed the pelican had a lump on the side of his neck. He appears plump and shows no obvious signs of sickness. The feathers are glossy and he floats fine too. Still that lump is a bit of a worry. Does anyone have anything to share regarding possible reasons for same? Here's a picture:

What I liked best though is the pelican is just like me. Yes, even pelicans can have a bad hair day:

Actually what you're seeing is an older teenager. He's giving up his fluff and his grown-up feathers are appearing. I think all children go through a similar stage.

Eventually the pelican kid sat down on the dock and relaxed.

On a distant shore it would be quite easy to mistake a sitting pelican for a stone on the beach. There's not a lot of profile for such a large bird. When using your binoculars, don't go too fast past that lump on a rock. It just might be a pelican sunning itself.

You might wonder just how close the pelican came to Dallas. Well, here's your answer:

Life afloat is full of miracles. And sometimes just because a day starts with water hauling that doesn't mean the entire day will be icky. A new acquaintance promises to introduce me to his Better Half and their daughters is upcoming.

And I get to watch for "my" pelican. I'm hoping pelican will visit again soon. Wouldn't that be something?!?

Does anyone have an clues to the lump on the pelican?
And, what's your favorite water bird?

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