Thursday, April 04, 2013

Water Rescue


Sunshine Key Rv Resort, Florida  (high 82, low 71)

The winds weren’t supposed to be too high yesterday, so we decided to take the boat out again.  We got in gear earlier and were able to launch at Bahia Honda marina before they filled up.

Once we got out into open water, we realized it was fairly windy and the seas were a bit choppy.  Our little boat handles the waves so well, and as good or even better than our last boat, which was a 25 footer.  We’re real happy there.  We just don’t enjoy the cool winds, so we looked for a spot to anchor out of the wind.

The water is still too cool, especially with the winds and we’re not snorkeling until it warms up a bit.  We just stay near shore and are finding nice little places to anchor.   Yesterday, we went south and found this interesting place nearby the main highway.  It was used for fill and you could clearly see where they dug into the limestone and excavated the land.  It’s shaped like a horseshoe with rock outcropping along the edge of the horseshoe.   We had to travel over very shallow water of about 3 feet to get there, but the depth dropped quickly to 30 feet in the middle.  It was a pretty cool place.




Shortly after we anchored, I noticed a sea gull standing on some rocks.  When he moved he kind of hopped and it looked like he was dragging something.  I thought maybe he got into some discarded fishing line and was dragging it and some seaweed with him.

I zoomed in with my camera and this is what I found.

Seagull with broken wing

It was clear he had a broken wing.  My fist thought was “oh crap.”  Why us?   I can’t tell you how many seabirds we’ve rescued over the years. 

I got on my smart phone (don’t you just love having them?) and looked up a seabird rescue place in the Keys.  Al called and reported it to a woman who sounded disinterested.  She quickly got us off the phone after saying she’d send someone.  We just knew that wasn’t going to happen, so I started looking for other seabird rescue places in the Keys.

Not 5 minutes after hanging up with the first lady, we got a call from another woman.  We described where we were the best we could, but we got there by water and she was getting there by land, so it was hard to explain.  She immediately asked if the place was like a horseshoe, and knew exactly where we were at.

She restored our faith in man/womankind!

Al decided he wanted to get out of the boat (without getting wet) and walk along the rocky edges of the little lagoon.  He extended the anchor as far as he could, but we were still in 6-7 feet of water.   I know Al well enough to know if he’s determined to do this, he would keep at it, and keep at it.   I ignored him as best I could, and he eventually decided to throw another anchor towards the rocks and pull the stern of the boat closer to shore.  

Success!   He only had to get his legs wet!



We decided this would be a great place to snorkel and dive.  There is bound to be fish on these ledges.  As soon as the water warms up, we’ll be back to snorkel!

A few minutes after getting the call from the bird rescue lady, she shows up, net in hand.

We pointed the bird out and off she went.

bird rescue

She missed him the first time, but had success the second time.

bird rescue

As soon as she netted him, she immediately took him out of the net and wrapped him in a blanket.


Doesn’t it look like he’s looking up to her to say thanks?  I think they bonded.

bird rescue

We gave her a big cheer and off she went.  Now, we’re going to try  to find which place we called so that we can drop them off a donation. 

After the successful bird rescue, we had our lunch and then read our books for a while.  This is actually nothing we couldn’t have done from shore (without spending so much money on a boat), but somehow it’s more fun in a boat.

There were others along the shore, including this guy with a free ocean front campsite.  He was probably homeless.

waterfront campsite

It’s sad I guess that we worry about an injured bird and not a homeless human being.   I guess it’s because I assume the man has some options, the bird does not.   I also guess I like animals better than most people.

If I’m ever homeless, I’m going to live here in the Florida Keys!

We spent a few hours in our little horseshoe shaped lagoon.  It’s a real pretty place.

We had a few neighbors.



Pretty mangroves.




After a couple hours, we headed back up towards the pretty little area we found the first day.  We anchored and hung out there for a while.


The sun was beginning to set, so we decided it was time to head back.

Under the bridges and then back to the marina.


Once we got home, Al cleaned up the boat and rinsed the motor, while I fixed us a scramble/stir fry for dinner.  It had diced potatoes, onions, garlic, sugar snap peas, green beans, asparagus and red peppers.  Yummy!  Who says you need meat to have stir fry?

I hit the bed pretty early last night.  I was still not feeling 100%, but this morning I awoke after a good nights sleep with no coughing and I thought I was completely over my cold.  Once I got up, I noticed I still have a bit of drainage, so I guess I’m not 100% yet….maybe 85%.  I think I’ll live…..however, I noticed Al is coughing a bit.   :(


  1. It restores my faith in humanity that there are still people that are willing to help even the smallest of Nature's creatures.

    I guess by now you're very happy with your boat, you certainly are getting lots of use out of it. :c)

  2. Love the fact that you can be away from the hubub of people, and can be amongst the hubub of creatures. Glad you are feeling better!

  3. So glad the bird was caught. When I read the post title I thought something had gone wrong on your new boat.

  4. Good for you on taking the time to see that bird was rescued. It's also gratifying to know that there are folks who will come out to rescue even a seagull. I'd say you had a good day!!

  5. I'm always happy to see an animal rescued. Thanks for taking the time to get involved. You're right, the animals have no options unless we help.

  6. What a wonderful thing that you could help that poor seagull. I love your own private little lagoon too.

  7. Awesome header photo.

    Wonderful gesture to call for help. I am sure that little one thanks you!

    Looks like another lovely day of making memories.

  8. Praises on you two for going out of your way to help the gull. And on the woman who took the effort to come and get him. His wing looked terrible. I had to laugh at your saying that you like animals better than most people since I feel the same way. All in all it looks like you had a great day. I wonder if I would make time for exercise if I could take my boat out to the middle of some beautiful water and be all alone with water all around. I would probably do that every single day I could. Sounds heavenly!!

  9. Oh, that was so nice of you to make the call! Wonder how many people say too bad and move on. So cool you have a boat to explore. Eldy is getting boat fever since he's been down here, but it better be house fever before boat fever, is all I can say! :-)

  10. Nice job on saving the injured bird, many people would have just continued off to enjoy their day!

  11. I love this. You're a hero! Thanks for not looking past an otherwise invisible problem -- I've got a huge soft spot for animals.

    Started following your site, hope you follow back my Coachella travel blog soon! :)

  12. Like others, I was relieved to hear it wasn't you two who needed rescuing. I also have tried to call places to rescue birds, but never had the success you two had. My injured bird was a pelican on the northern California coast and I still feel bad about leaving him there with an injured wing. Seems like your discovery of that beautiful lagoon was meant to be.

  13. Thank you (saying this because the bird can't) for rescuing me! And I love your honesty, you love animals more. At least animals are always loyal and loving.

  14. My faith in humankind has been restored - some. Thanks.

  15. Nice that you were able to get that bird rescued so quickly and went on to enjoy your day.

  16. Thank you for helping to save the bird. I've only saved one, it had fishing line and a hook in it's mouth, and was caught at the other end with more hooks into some junk, and I was able to cut the line near it's mouth. The Ranger said it would be okay, they can dissolve the hooks? Anyway, I don't think I've ever felt better.

    I'm with you, the animals/birds have no options, but people do. I hope they are able to splint it's wing and send him flying away soon.

    You get points in heaven for that good deed. :)

  17. Great job with the sea gull! Here in Blair Valley, CA, we have a ton of extra thirsty bees. Actually put water out for birds, but the bees took over.


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