Date: 1 December 2014. Dallas and the Pelican.
late because I ran out of bandwidth.]
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
new friend flew up and landed on the dock.
How cool is
that?!? Meanwhile life just kept getting better as the pelican came
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.
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.
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
offers proof-positive of my shrimp proclivities. I'm
still claiming innocence.
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.
And I get to watch for "my"
pelican. I'm hoping
pelican will visit again soon. Wouldn't that be something?!?
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Does anyone have an clues to the lump on the pelican?
And, what's your favorite water bird?
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