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Monday, May 20, 2013

Laughing (Gulls) –Durham Creek, NC




Every once in a while, a whitecap breaks past Willadine with a whoosh, in between, the wind is a slight roar in my ears, competing with the grumble of the phosphate plant and occasional thunder.  We anchored here for a nap.  I wanted to keep going, but Eric was worn out from jet lag so I agreed to stop.  The thunderstorms were a little scary anyway.

Three birds perch on an old piling structure:  Two laughing gulls and a cormorant.  (If you click the link for the gulls, be sure to listen to the clip of their sound.  Guaranteed to make you laugh too!) The gulls are extremely elegant in their new breeding plumage and obviously feel rather superior as a result.  An argument breaks out, probably the cormorant acting curmudgeonly and trying to put the gulls in their place.  Back and forth, they complain:  Aw!  Ah!  Aw!  Ah!



Another gull comes and the cormorant gives him an indignant look, as if to say, “Heck with you, I was here first!”  The gulls commence laughing at him and he harrumphs and flies off.  The sun is peeking through the clouds.  I can feel its warmth on my arm.  A perfect breeze compliments it so that I feel completely comfortable and relaxed.

If Eric wasn’t sleeping, we’d have one of those moments when we look at each other and laugh like celebrities (or gulls), “Mwah, hah, hah!”  The main halyard taps on the mast in agreement.  We named the boat for Eric’s maternal grandmother (Monzelle Willadine) and we like to think her spirit rides with us.  If she were here, she would definitely be laughing at us because we cannot catch even one fish.  They fling themselves out of the water all around us, but never take the bait.  Monzelle would have filled the cooler by now.

Sunrise - Durham Creek


The next morning we sail off the anchor and back out to the river.  Dozens of crab pot floats dot the entrance.  Some of them have been co-opted for real estate by least terns, charming little gull-like birds, who watch us pass very close without flying off.  We get close enough to see the white triangles on their foreheads.  They are like miniature gulls, very cute, each riding its own float.  They’ll soon be gone north with the other migrants.  We’re thinking of going north too, to the Albemarle, new territory, new surprises, new wildlife.  Mwah, hah, hah!