Sailing Nakamal

At One with Nature

This morning we brought Nakamal back into the marina for a week’s respite from the rolly swell and multiple daily dinghy trips. The marina is just over $30/day so we are alternating between the anchorage and the marina to keep some breathing room (i.e. beer money) in the budget. We also like both lifestyles – the anchorage is quieter, the water is blue not brown so we can jump in for swimming and paddling (and bathing – read more here). In the marina we can walk to town, if John wants to go in for lunch I’m not stuck on the boat until he comes back, and now there are lots of people we know on the dock so life is more social.

But for sure, in the anchorage it’s easier to become one with nature. In the last two weeks that we were out there, we adopted several pets.

First, this school of fish decided to move in:

Then the birds decided to start to hang out because those fish looked mighty tasty:

By the way, the bird in the video is a blue-footed booby – the very same we paid several hundred pesos to see last week in their natural habitat.

Before you think “Wow how cool – fish and birds as co-habitants!” let me remind you of one salient fact: birds poop. A lot. What we have learned, to our chagrin, is that the poop of fish-eating birds smells like fish. Old fish. Mixed with urine.


Blue-footed boobies at the Islas Marietas. Yeah, this should have been a warning.

The guy below decided that hanging out on the pulpit (the cage around the very front part of the boat, where the anchor hangs) was ideal for fish hunting. And pooping.


He’s waiting for me to turn around so he can fly back onto the pulpit.

In addition to the smell, pelican poop also dries into a concrete-like substance that is a challenge to wash off. As I learned when I leaned out over the pulpit to clean off our navigation light.


All that white stuff is NOT dried salt.


It’s like he hangs his butt right over the middle where the lights are.

So yesterday we cleaned the pelican poop off and John affixed some wavy silver paper strips to the pulpit in the hopes that either the shine or the noise would keep the pelican away.

Here is the result:


One hour later. Yep, right over the middle. Can’t you at least turn around?

Ok, Uncle.

Then this morning we pulled the flopper-stopper out of the water before we raised the anchor. The flopper-stopper is a device that hangs off Nakamal’s side and acts as a shock absorber. There are six panels that open when the boat sways one way and close when it sways the other way. The purpose is to reduce the amount of roll that we have to put up with and make for more comfortable walking, standing and sleeping.

Back to this morning – remember Cousin It from the Adams Family show? He’s on the left. The flopper-stopper is on the right. Just in case you couldn’t tell them apart.

As we pulled into our assigned slip, we discovered that our slip partner is a “pelican boat”. This is what we cruisers call a boat that has been left at anchor, but is unoccupied and becomes a pelican  roost. For whatever reason, our new neighbor left his boat at anchor for two months while checking on it “every couple of weeks” and chasing the birds away.


And I thought WE had a problem.

It stinks. And it’s about eight feet from my bed.


I’m sitting over the window that I sleep next to. Wish me luck tonight.

So once we had Nakamal tucked into her slip we got to clean pelican poop and give the flopper-stopper a haircut. But hey, what else do we have to do with our time? After all, we can’t spend ALL day drinking margaritas!

Can we?


Well poop. I forgot to ask for “en las rocas”. The definition of a bad day in paradise is when your margarita shows up blended. 🙂


This entry was published on January 23, 2016 at 11:17 pm and is filed under Mexico. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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