As the sun begins to lower over the horizon, the color of the surrounding rock mountains change from golden yellow, to red, to purple, and finally to a hazy brown before slipping in to the black color speckled with twinkling lights that covers the sky for the remainder of the night.
Sitting on the foredeck we settle in for the night’s show.
Conor reserves his seat for the nightly wildlife show in our front… and back… and side yard
Flying fish run along the surface of the water in schools and for so long you question whether they truly are fish or small birds.
Manta rays glide through the water near the surface, with their fins raised as if they are waving hello. They seem to be watching us out of the corner of their eyes. When ready to feed they fling their bodies several feet out of the water and flap their fins while airborne in the cool evening air before their bodies hit the water again with a loud SLAP.
Pelicans jockey for the best position with varying levels of grace. To take off they flap their wings and jump on the water until they get enough momentum to lift in to the air. They circle overhead until they see their prey. Larger fish, tuna, chase bait fish down below. The bait fish jump out of the water to escape the larger fish. Pelicans see and hear the movement in the water and make their move, diving in to the water to catch a meal.
We are surrounded by pelicans, cormorants, boobies and gulls and they do not let us forget it at dusk. The gulls are the loudest. It appears as though the critics Statler and Waldorf from Jim Henson’s Muppets are dressed up as gulls and squabbling all around us.
A turtle pops his head above the water to take a breath. He eyes the boat warily and checks on us from time to time throughout the night. We know he is near because we can hear him take a gasping breath when he surfaces.
A pod of dolphins finds us in our anchorage. But they are not looking for us. They are feeding on the sting rays in the bay, of which there are plenty. They come in at dusk and again once night has fallen. You can hear them circling along the outskirts of the bay in search of food.
When we are lucky we hear whales passing by the anchorage. Sometimes their breathing sounds like the muffled call of a running train. Toot Toot.
Dusk at anchor is our favorite time of day.