Brown Boobies!!

Jessica Morgan of Baltimore had an awesome paddling experience this past weekend. Here is what she had to say and some awesome pictures from her paddle. If you have a cool paddling experience like this send it our way

From Jessica

“For the last two weeks, a couple of rare birds have been hanging out in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Two Brown Boobies have taken up temporary residence on the ropes that tether two Navy cargo ships – Antares and Denebola – docked at Locust Point. The birds are exceptionally rare for this area, which their range being mostly in the Caribbean and Central America areas. Bird watchers have spent the last week riding the Water Taxi to get a sighting of these rare birds.

Last Friday, Scott and I decided the best way to see them would be to skip the Water Taxi and launch the paddleboards from Canton and paddle over to Locust Point to get a “bird’s eye view” (pun totally intended!) It seemed like a good idea on Thursday night when we packed up, but by the time we got to the boat launch, winds were steady at 15-20 mph with gust between 25-30 mph. I figured that was just normal Fager’s Island race conditions, so we went for it. The paddle to the ships was easy with the wind behind us. Soon we reached the ships and the Boobies were perched, their yellow webbed feet draped over the ropes. The wind had picked up and some small waves were rolling though but it was time to take pictures. I had my waterproof point-and-shoot which would manage some documentation shots, but Scott had the Nikon which until now was safely stored in the dry bag. We bounced around, drifted away, and got a little too wet for Inner Harbor water conditions than we wanted, but we got great views of the birds and some good photos. As we were leaving, one of the birds provided us with an airshow as it flew over our heads — swooping low and then catching an air current and soaring above the ships. It was an amazing experience to get so close and see the birds from this vantage point — all thanks to the paddleboards.

Now it was time to get back to Canton — directly into the wind. The Water Taxis and other boats in the harbor added some wake to the already-choppy conditions and we both feared falling in — dirty water and camera equipment on board made for a challenging return. But, we made it back to the boat launch safely with no issues other than some wet shorts. Standup paddling is such a versatile sport. I love flat water paddling, racing, SUP surfing and yoga on my board; bird watching and wildlife viewing is also a great way to put them to use! Happy paddling!

See comments for a link to the Baltimore Sun article that has more information about the Brown Boobies and some photos from our outing.”

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