There’s an Extra Pair of Boobies Aboard!
No we haven’t been boarded by a mermaid! We seem to have become an ocean taxi for one of my favourite seabirds, THE BOOBIE! If you haven’t come across these goofy birds before, yes, they are actually called boobies. It also gives me great amusement to shout ‘Boobie’ when they appear, and then sit back and enjoy the ensuing confusion caused onboard, particularly amongst the guys. These birds seem to have sensed that we are on our way to Palmyra, the atoll with probably the largest colony of Red Footed Boobies in the Pacific, and are hitching a ride.
At sunset they squabble over the best perch on the pulpit and then with great skill balance with their webbed feet wrapped tighly around the rail. It’s a good thing they’re sea birds, for the whole time they’re being sprayed by our bow wave, and occasionally hammered by a bigger wave breaking over the bow as we are sailing at 8-9knots on a close reach. They settle in for the night, then at dawn they slowly wake up, fight some more and then take to the skies, but not before (unfortunately) emptying last night dinners all over the mainsail. Better on the sail than on our heads!
They spend the day cruising around the boat, picking off any flying fish that are scared out of the water by Sea Dragon, then take a few more poos, squabble a bit, and then they settle back in for the next night.
It is a sign of things to come as I have no doubt of the welcome we will receive in a few days from the massive bird population on Palmyra. The sun is out, forecast is excellent and we are all starting to get into the routine onboard. The seasickness buckets are starting to get less use and appetites are increasing! 600nm to go!