Sunday, August 25, 2019

Is There a Doctor in the House?

In our years of cruising on Dragonfly, we've rescued several boats that needed a tow, most memorably a cruiser adrift on the heaving waves of Lake Michigan.

Cap has also put his EMT skills to work. Last summer on Lake Champlain, he patched up a sailboat captain who had mangled his hand in a winch.

On Monday night, in Lockport, he got called out on yet another rescue.

It's a Gull

Two women in kayaks paddled up to the marina dock where we were tied, to say, a gull was tangled up in fishing line at one of the nearby finger docks. Could someone help?
Nurse, pass me the Leatherman, please!

Cap and the marina attended dashed over. A herring gull hung from the edge of the dock, trussed like a Thanksgiving turkey, with its wings tight to its body.

One of the kayakers approached and deftly wrapped the bird's upper body in a towel--calming it down, and also controlling its snapping beak.

Cap opened his all-purpose Leatherman tool and got to work, patiently tracing the path of the line and snipping.

Where the Leatherman was too clumsy to reach tiny underwing crevices, a blunt-tipped medical scissor did the job.

Free At Last

After what seemed like about 20 minutes, a judicious snip finally severed what must have been the master knot, and the fishing line unspooled as if from a reel. The bird was free.

The kayaker gently pulled back her towel, and the gull hopped to the end of the dock, tentatively stretching its wings.

We watched it for a while, then went on to other things. By nightfall it was gone.

So hey, fisherpeople! You know those signs that tell you to dispose of fishing line in a safe place? Please be responsible and don't drop your snarls of discarded line on the dock or in the water. Thank you!
The spiffy marina in Lockport boats of offering "the only sand beach on the Erie Canal." Just call it the Rivi-Erie!

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