2010-01-15 / Sports

Rockaway Outdoors/Tales From The Wheelhouse

By Captain Vinnie Calabro

Around early September he arrived from where I couldn’t tell you, but there he stood all of a couple of pounds. As seagulls go a pretty burly one with an attitude to match.

You would figure with a broken wing he would be a little humble but no not this bird. He actually made my boat his home, and the dock was his, which he patrolled allowing no others to reside there. For these services he was paid rather handsomely with all the carcasses from fish we cleaned daily and occasionally some leftovers from the crew.

He had a voracious appetite and for his security watch he would repay me with random deposits on my deck and wheelhouse.

Anyway he ingratiated himself into the life so to speak and was our mascot for lack of a better word. Each morning we would arrive and lo and behold “Cosmo” would also report to work. We dubbed him Cosmo, why Cosmo well a while back we had a resident raccoon aboard one of the skiffs; he has since departed and I thought it fitting to name this bird, his heir apparent, the same.

The bird remain ed steadfast and vigilant throughout the fall.

Now with the bitter cold snap we haven’t been on the boats daily. How - ever, Friday we decided to bring one boat to the shipyard. The crew and I met up around, oh sixish, and began the usual ritual of fueling up, checking engine oil and most importantly getting a breakfast order.

As I came down the gangplank entering the wheelhouse I felt as if someone was staring at me; well there on the stern he was. He looked a little perplexed; no let me correct that I would say genuinely pissed.

The bag containing breakfast had, I must confess, nothing for him. With that guilt trip hanging over me I walk - ed across the street to Dunkin’ Donuts and ordered an everything bagel toasted with extra butter.

The man behind the counter blurted out “oh for the bird.” The peace offering was broken into pieces and placed atop my dock box.

Where in quick order Cosmo en - gulfed it. Today as I went down the dock to check the boats I didn’t short the order and wouldn’t you know it I wasn’t alone …

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