The wind had decreased slightly by morning but it was still gusting over 40 knots. The waves had pulled the dirt away from Swell’s supports in the night, but she remained upright. No boats in the yard had fallen or broken lines in the marina but others whispered of boats that had been beached or sunken overnight. I cringed. Swell and I were both undamaged. There was no power or water, but we had mangos enough to survive for weeks!
The brunt of the storm was over, but without much that could be done in the still strong winds, I went for a walk to survey the area. Along the tattered shoreline, fallen trees, trash, and a giant rusted barge float had washed ashore. I meandered slowly, perusing the debris, then stopped to look out at the churning sea beyond the lagoon. Enormous mountains of water exploded on the reef.
“Cheee. Cheeeee. Cheee. Cheee.” I barely heard over the wind. “Cheee. Chee. Cheeeeeeeeeeee.”
It was coming from the pile of sticks at my feet. Looking closer I noticed something moving. There, a tiny baby bird was huddled amongst the debris. It was sopping wet and trembling. I looked around for any signs of a mother or siblings. Nothing. Just heaps upon heaps of leaves and branches and rubble and trash.
I scooped it up and looked it over–webbed feet and a big black beak—a seabird for sure.
“Well I can’t just leave you here?!” I told the bedraggled little creature and carried it back to the house cupped in my hands.