We are now at anchor in Boca Siega Bay by Gulfport, Fl, after enduring around 51 hours of passage across the Gulf of Mexico. The weather prediction held for us this time and the bad weather did not come early. We had to motor most of the way, but that is better than stormy weather as far as I’m concerned. I’ll take boredom over being really uncomfortable any day. Once we are over 25 miles from land, we see more turtles than boats (maybe 4 boats the entire two days). There were a few dolphins and lots of birds. This post is about one in particular.
We had a guest at our B&B. She arrived on my 4-6pm watch second day out. She was a cute little thing with an orange breast, bright black eyes and a swallow tail. This gave me a little concern since past arrivals of birds on our boat signaled a storm coming. As mentioned above, she brought no foul weather.
Other than being cute, she had some rather annoying habits. She was flighty and had no regard for personal space. I tried to be a gracious host, but found myself turning away and even ducking when she invaded my comfort zone. She introduced herself as Cathy Sparrow. I called her Chatty Cathy. Did I mention that she was rather persnickety? She would try out one room after another. “Too windy,” was a common complaint. She seemed to want a small cozy room. “This might work, but what else do you have?” The bimini support definitely was too slippery. At one point she sat down on the GPS at the helm and told me many little stories. It was pleasant to have her sitting quietly and not flitting about my head, but her stories seemed to have no plot or even any point. She was lovely to behold so close, but never disclosed her reasons for dropping in. Then she spoiled it by trying to give me a kiss. I’m just not that sort of person. She then resumed her search for the perfect place to spend the night. We have had some experience with her sort, so I casually placed some barriers on the door to our personal cabin. She did not take the hint. Reggie had to show her the door back out. At that point, she flew off in a huff. Is she royalty or something? However, she didn’t go far and returned. We closed the door to our inner sanctuary. Why? You may ask, are we unwilling to admit a guest into our personal living quarters? Please don’t think too harshly of us. Her personal hygiene habits leave much to be desired and far be it from her to clean up after herself.
Here she is in her chosen room. After a “This will work. See you in the morning. I’m really very tired. Good night,” she went to sleep. At some point in the night she soiled her bed and moved across the hall. That was NOT to her liking and she didn’t stay long. She then settled into a more spacious room on a cockpit seat and spent the rest of the night. When I came back on watch at 6 AM, I placed some water next to her bed, assuming she would be up and singing at sun rise as others of her kind are want to do. She had not been doing well and we hoped fresh water might have been lacking in her travels. She, however, stayed snuggly tucked into her wing. She would occasionally peek around and then snuggle back down. No worm for this bird. Chatty Cathy continued to sleep and we are now even more concerned. As we enter the harbor, she breaths her last breathe. We respectfully burry her at sea. I am sorry for my intolerance. RIP on this Good Friday. B
R. We did a little sailing early and late in the trip and it was nice. The best sailing was the day before we headed out. We were crossing Chocktawhatchee Bay and West Bay.
For my sailing friends, we were on a beam reach under genoa only and saw 7.5 knots several times before finding a sheltered spot to anchor.
For my non-sailing friends, it was rollicking fast fun!