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Sunrise At The Bay of Pelicans

Perhaps the pelicans can teach you something about living for the moment?

By the HelmsMistress

A creature of habit, I’ve never been.  I can blame years of rotating shift work or just accept that it’s a part of my persona.  I’m up late or early depending on the day and what’s on my mind, I’m loud and gregarious or quiet and pensive – keep them guessing.  One thing I hadn’t done since isolation became the new norm was watch the sunrise and all the animal activity just before the great fireball in the sky starts to emerge.  It is the most unspoiled, beautiful time of day.

As I anticipate the sunrise, I’m giving the anchorage we’re sitting in yet a 3rd name: Ensenada Blanca, Bahía Candeleros, and now “Bahía de los Pelicanos” (Bay of Pelicans).  They convene every morning, rolling in sometimes by onesies and twosies, but mostly in larger groups, all in a straight line following the movement of the one in front of them with intense precision.  Lead pelican flaps wings, we all flap wings in succession; lead pelican increases altitude, we all increase altitude and so on.  A group of 20 some odd just skimmed over the water, as close as you can get without making a ripple, and flew in perfect V-formation to join their friends against the purple-orange glow of sunrise that’s dancing across the quiet bay.  Of course, I didn’t have the camera ready.  You’ll have to envision it yourself.  I’m learning that sometimes you put the camera down and just take it all in.  Onboard we joke about “the camera effect”: The quickest way to make the animals disappear from sight is for mom to grab the camera.  Perhaps there’s a lesson there for me about living in the moment….

The pelicans continue to arrive until their numbers reach the high hundreds, then they proceed to bring the bay to life.  These divebombing hunters create huge splashes that thunder throughout this fairly still bay, making it sound as if surf is crashing into the shore.  They feast on breakfast as I sip my coffee and “supervise” a very weary night security watch, Quincy, AKA: the great gray seat snatcher.  She’ll let you think she’s fast asleep and wait for you to get up or grab something down below, allowing you to return to find your seat has been taken up, sufficiently, by a great gray Great Dane.  It’s pretty clear who owns the cockpit.

For once, we’re not on the move with a timeline and destination other than: head north to higher latitude before hurricane season starts.  We’re well on our way to achieving that goal and have found ourselves in a well protected anchorage, with cell service, among cruising friends with no real need to move on, as we previously have felt.  At other anchorages we enjoyed ourselves and then felt this need to push on – it didn’t seem right to get too comfortable.  We’re learning.  Although we don’t physically interact, the radio and phones keep the boats socially connected.  The kids participated in a battleship tournament over VHF radio with templates designed on grid paper-too easy!  This kept not only the kids, but also the parents entertained with the creative sinking sounds of the vessels and competitive banter over the radio.  We also had a virtual happy hour…not with Facetime or Zoom, but with the VHF radio, some photos exchanged and an air cheers at sunset- why not?!  It’s great to have cruising friends nearby and fellow moms to share humor with to break up the isolation!  As the US prepares to bring the population out of isolation, we are likely at the peak of quarantine here in Mexico so we’ll continue on this path and strive to expand our menu with new creative meals while exercising the kids’ brains and creativity with new school and art projects.  Speaking of exercise, it has been challenging for someone whose preferred cardio was going for a run.  However, with exercise bands and cleats onboard, we have some good opportunities for circuit training when the motivation strikes.  If we’re going to continue baking in the solar oven, we better get motivated, that’s for sure.

The sun has now risen over the lone cactus on buffalo rock (yes, we’ve been here long enough to name the rocks….) and the pelican convention is very much underway.  Divebombing has slowed down and they’ve moved on to digestion and discussion about…whatever it is pelicans have to discuss.  The great gray seat snatcher is subtly reminding me it’s time for her morning chow with her head resting on my computer keyboard, panting her horrendous breath in my direction.  Ok girl, I got you…time to go.

Great Grey Seat Snatcher has left her post…

We missed the HelmsMistress’s usual post on Wednesday so we’re putting it out today instead.  Wanna see more great stories and posts like this one?  FOLLOW our website-

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