This beautiful Booby, we think a variety of the Red-footed Booby family, came and joined us for the middle week of our crossing from the Galapagos to the Marquesas. Maybe he was tired or unwell at first. he didn't make a foray from the boat until the second day, and that was a short one. He gradually made longer and longer outings until one day, he left at dawn and never returned.
He used to like playing with bits of cord that we'd offer him. He'd take it in his beak and squark and turn around and around. We couldn't figure out what fascinated him so much. Whether it was just play, or it was instinct to build a nest? He was a magnificent creature to observe so closely ( he let us get very close to him) and also while flying. They are graceful and precision flyers, sweeping so close to the water in tight banking turns, wingtips kissing the water. He endlessly preened his feathers while gripping on to our rail, running along each and every one with his beak, keeping them clean and straight. We offered him flying fish but he invariably tossed them away. It was rather sad when he was gone - just his piece of cord left, tied to the rail where he used to play..
'Twenty years from now you will be more dissapointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.' -Mark Twain
' I felt my pulse beating with suppressed excitement as I threw the mooring bouy overboard. It seemed as if that simple action had severed my connection with the life on the shore; that I had thereby cut adrift the ties of convention.
The unrealities and illusions of cities and crowds, that I was free now, free to go where I chose, to do and to live and to conquer as I liked, to play the game wherin a man's qualities count for more than his appearance. 'Maurice Griffiths, The Magic of the Swatchways.