Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sexy boobies, the ocean's faithful birdies, fly high, feast, fool around

This booby has his eye on the seas below, looking for a meal.  He also eyes the female booby, vying for her graces.
This booby is at least as interesting as the female breast to many.  
Boobies often fly in pairs, or quartets, forming little groups as they hunt.
We watched these two for hours off the coast of Costa Rica.



WE WATCHED them for hours. No, not female-breast boobies, as a joke-cracking neighbors surmised at my e-mail proclamation: "You won't believe the boobies." His retort:  "When you mentioned boobies, I got all excited.  Then I realized you were talking about birds."
But what birds.  Maybe my friend wasn't so far afield with his suggestive wisecrack because, Chuck,  boobies are sexy!
They dance, they prance, they snuggle and nuzzle.  They do it all without snapping their garters, donning sleazy corsets or fancy lingerie.  They don't send roses or ply their girlfriend with expensive liquor.
THEY HAVE elaborate courtships, mate for life and some believe they enjoy sex.
My kind of birds.
They also soar over the seas, darting, diving, riding the drafts of cruise ships such as ours, the Legend of the Seas, a dowager of the fleet of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.
The blue footed booby is light
on his feet, and those famous
feet move to attract a mate.
Boobies were our faithful escorts through much of our journey down the western coast of Mexico and into Central and South America.
This daring seabird is comfortable and abundant in many of the world's tropical waters.
The perfect symmetry and grace of the booby may have inspired
early day flyers, including the Wright Brothers.
The brown booby, our friends in this story, is cousin to the more famous blue-footed booby known in the Galapagos and "Down Under." Our brown friend ranges as far north as the Gulf of California, and even on both coasts of the United States.
Like other boobies, it feeds with spectacular plunges into the sea.
"Come look at this," Keller cried one morning. He'd been watching them for nearly an hour, he said, both bird and man looking for flying fish. The first booby appeared out of nowhere, he said,  descended expertly, then boom --  plunged deep into the waters after his catch. Sometimes he devoured it -- sometimes not.

Some believe the booby's soaring and diving is part of the attraction of a mate.

DESPITE ITS unfortunate name, the booby is one smart birdie. Some believe the Wright Brothers studied him! This master of the sky is patient and strong. Red-footed boobies get the booby endurance award, traveling up to 93 miles, but the brown boobies we saw followed our ship for more than 65 miles one day. The silly sounding name derives from a Spanish slang term bobo, meaning "stupid." Hungry sailors noticed these tame birds landing on board ships. Hmmmmmm.  Could they be eaten?  Indeed they were, as they're easily captured. In fact, ship-wrecked sailors, including William Bligh of the famous Bounty, caught and ate boobies to stay alive after being set adrift.
DURING MATING season, boobies are are among the thousands of species of critters who gather to pair up, engage in their own special breed of flying, dancing and romancing.
For my money, they're one of the most fascinating -- and sexy -- birds.  I loved being
Clever writing, strong
acting and interesting
characters await in
"Mud Blue Sky" by Moxie.
in their presence for a few days. I may borrow from the booby romance ritual.  I'm practicing my footwork!

DON'T MISS:  Moxie Theatre's "Mud Blue Sky" is a lively new comedy in a lively theater town.  The story is about aging flight attendants, friendship and a pot dealer who misses his prom. Witty dialogue, fine acting and sharp direction unfold with humor, pathos and insight into the human condition. All for an enriching  time at the theater. The production runs through June 8 in Cygnet's old space near UCSD in San Diego. Call 858 598-7620, www.moxietheatre.com

Greece's Suda Bay War Cemetery attracts tourists worldwide. 
Crete's excellent harbors played a key role in World War II.  

COMING SOON:  Before we dip over to sunny Fort Lauderdale with its romantic water taxis, hip eateries and exciting nightlife, we pay homage to a Greek war cemetery, which houses the remains of thousands of Americans, Aussies, Brits and Kiwis. Our annual homage to Memorial Day, next. We're about travel advice and adventure tips, always with a sense of fun! Remember to explore, learn and live and check us out Wednesdays, weekends and as the muse dictates, at: www.whereiscookie.com

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