Beware all innocent Exumas cruisers! When we arrived at Warderick Wells, the headquarters for The Exumas Land & Sea Park, we immediately went into the park office to register as required. After taking a few photos and wandering down to the beach to look at the whale skeleton, I got the wild idea to walk to BooBoo Hill, an Exumas landmark – the trail sign said it was 15 minutes each way and it was mid-afternoon. So we admired the wild bluffs, crashing waves and watercolors and wandered back to the beach only to find two boats we knew having drinks at the tiki hut on the beach. We stopped to chat and two hours later wandered back to the boat which was less than 100 yards offshore of the beach, in plain sight. While chatting with our friends, they happened to mention the mockingbirds that had invaded their boat and eaten fruit while the little brightly colored bananaquits ate cracker crumbs out of their hands right there at the tiki hut. Clearly these birds were spoiled by the presence of people.
Returning to the boat, which we left open anticipating we’d only be gone 15 minutes or so registering … we found our friends weren’t the only ones that had been invaded by the mockingbirds! Our fresh provisions are running a bit low since it’s $3.50 for a green pepper and I haven’t bought a lot recently. But I did have three really nice big gala apples and a somewhat smaller and shriveled gala apple in the basket on the salon table.
Notice I say, DID have….. the mockingbirds had a feast on my apples, at least the three really good ones – the shriveled apple they gave a couple of pecks and then discarded it as not good enough to eat! Unbelievable!
And if that wasn’t bad enough, the dang birds CRAPPED all over the salon and the cockpit! I can tell you with confidence that Joy dish soap not only removes oil from upholstery, it’s also highly effective removing bird crap from cockpit upholstery.
We learned a valuable lesson – never never never – even if you’re on board, leave the boat open! The mockingbirds will come in and help themselves to anything resembling food and then they’ll …. well, you know….. Luckily we have companionway door screens and now they’re in place all the time. Several times we’ve looked out from below to see the mockingbirds sitting on the lifelines surrounding the cockpit just waiting for us to make a mistake and leave the screen open.
So the moral to the story is … if you’re lucky enough to cruise to The Exumas Land & Sea Park and especially Warderick Wells, make certain you never every leave your boat open unless you enjoy the company of mockingbirds! Aaarrrggg!!!!