Mr. Feathers

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A couple of hours before sunset, 200 knots north of Columbia, which is about as far away from land as you can get in this stretch of the Caribbean, something special happened. An extremely exhausted, about to give up on life, pigeon landed on our boat. He was so tired that once he landed he didn’t have the energy to move away from us as we approached, even though he was surely afraid. We gave him some space for a while, then tried to feed him. He didn’t eat, but when we raised the lid of a water bottle next to his beak he drank it with vigor, and then six more.

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For 15 hours that little pigeon stood on the console right next to the big steering wheel, blinking, and watching us take our shifts. We fed him bread and water as many times as he would take them. Then, finally, he started to get his energy back. A day later he was following us around everywhere, jumping on our arms and shoulders and staring into our faces when he wanted more food or water, walking on the keyboard whenever Gwen pulled up our navigation charts, and pooping. We thought he would fly away as soon as he had the strength to, but it was clear there was a bond there. Scott and I didn’t mind repeatedly throwing the bucket overboard and then pulling it back up to wash and scrub Mr. Feathers’ mess off the deck. We needed Mr. Feathers – probably a little more than he needed us.

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When we got to the Cayman Islands we tried to encourage Mr. Feathers to go to land because the French man was talking a little too much about cooking him. We shooed him, but he came right back. We all stood on different sides of the boat and waved our arms as he flew about, but he just kept circling, looking for a spot to land. Then finally he turned away, but instead of going to shore he landed on the nearest boat and watched us. Two days later, just before we pulled up anchor, we saw Mr. Feathers fly to shore. We didn’t see any other pigeons in the Cayman Islands, so we assume that he will eventually be moving on. We were both happy to see Mr. Feathers safely on land, and sad to say goodbye to a friend that did so much for our smiles. In all the time we knew him he never made a sound. He just blinked at us and made us guess what he was thinking. We were happy to talk for him. Thanks for everything Mr. Feathers!

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4 Responses to Mr. Feathers

  1. Awesome story. Well written, what an adventure to follow here, thanks for the updates!
    -Ethan Tudor W.

  2. Psy-Ko says:

    Way cool story bro! Glad the french man didn’t get him!

  3. elaine emmi says:

    love mr. feathers story. yes creatures keep us sane! so glad you are all safe and sound tho I know the stormy seas were not fun… the stuff of nightmares for me. love from your worried mom

  4. Phil Emmi says:

    I miss you guys, but its nice to read your stories and renew my sense of your enthusiasm for life.