Sunday, March 18, 2012
It seems to me that there is a prevailing perception among casual observers from afar that any perils associated with cruising can only occur while one is under sail. But that my dear friend just ain't entirely true for mishaps can indeed also happen while one is just dinghying to and from one's boat.
And if ya don't believe me, then just ask the fellow who had to be air-lifted to a Miami hospital after haphazardly operating a dingy in the middle of a dark, moonless night only to then strike a channel marker head-on and while at full speed.
Ooopps... I did say head-on... a bad pun for sure and a mishap even worse than having the boom unexpectedly crashing onto the side of one's head while under sail.
But never mind whether or not that fellow had over indulged on a few cold ones earlier that evening or whether or not his brains were fried after having ingested a foreign substance of sorts as was later speculated in the local boating community.
The fact of the matter is that a mishap had indeed occurred and it wasn't while under sail either.
All of which brings me back to the title of this particular blog posting for it was while casually dinghying ashore the other morning that a flock of angry birds suddenly and unexpectedly descended upon me from out of nowhere and started to viciously attack me.
In but an instant I could tell that those angry birds had bad intentions and were now most intent on trying to make a meal out of me. It was all I could do to fend them off while opening up the throttle in an attempt to elude those menacing birds.
That concerted bird attack had me immediately recalling a scene from straight out of an old Alfred Hitchcock movie entitled "The Birds"... a movie that I can still vividly remember from my early childhood and one that still haunts me to this very day.
And I can also distinctly remember peering outside of my bedroom window as a young boy to see whether or not it was safe to venture outside and go play marbles out in the neighborhood playground.
So yeah, I knew in but an instant that if I were to survive that angry bird attack that I'd then have to ferociously fight back to avoid an untimely demise.
And yep, that was me out there early one morning in the Garrison Bight Cut valiantly swinging an oar at those hostile birds before finally striking one and knocking the crap out of it.
In but an instant that bird was plummeting out of thin air and splashing onto the surface of the water while a good many of its feathers remained fluttering about in the wind.
Yet it was also at that very moment when an opportunistic shark, that had been lurking in a nearby channel, suddenly appeared out of nowhere while displaying a mouthful of jagged, ugly teeth.
And its teeth to add a little perspective, were akin to those of your typical British sailor now that I come to think of it.
Well that shark then proceeded to nonchalantly snatch that senseless bird off the surface of the water before casually swimming off and disappearing back down from where it had come from.
I suppose that it was a good thing that I happened to have my phone-camera along with me that morning for it was while those angry birds were distracted and still hovering above the spot where one of its brethren had vanished that I had the where-with-all to snap a picture of those birds.
And it also goes without saying that those angry birds must have learned a lesson the hard way for they have yet to bother me since. They apparently now know that they ain't the boss of me and that I won't allow myself to be intimidated by them in any way and that they better not mess with me.
I also do knows that you dear reader may find my first hand account of that angry bird attack to be somewhat implausible but trust me, I can assure you that it did indeed happen exactly the way I described it and that I ain't been drinking.
So casual observer from afar, there are indeed many perils that can befall a live aboard cruiser and it ain't all while one is under sail either.