January 24th, 2012
It was a short 4hr trip over to White City from Wetappo Creek putting us there right at lunch time. We weren’t quite sure what to expect at White City except for a free dock to tie up to for the night.
As we tied up we were greeted by another cruiser and his young son. They also were heading south and had been in White City for a couple of nights now. He said “Good news is there is free power and water here if you need it.” “Bad news is the only local convenient store closed 2 days ago.” Logan took the bad news hard. She had hoped for a store to purchase a Snickers bar to satisfy her sweat tooth.
The pier just behind our boat was lined with Pelicans who were not the least bit scared of us. They just went about their business of sunbathing, napping and grooming themselves.
We were tied up right next to a public boat launch with fish cleaning stations just behind where the pelicans were perched. As the fisherman came in for the evening and cleaned their catch it became clear why the pelicans had refused to budge before. They had been lazily waiting for their dinner to be tossed to them.
From the fish cleaning stations the fisherman discarded their fish remnants by tossing each piece over to the pelicans. They all lined up waiting for their turn.
Logan wanted in on the action so she got her fishing pole out in hopes of catching a fish, not for us, but for the pelicans.
After the commotion of the feeding frenzy died down we walked around the grounds to scope out the area. There is a small playground next to the city docks. I said “Look Logan, a playground!” She said “Yeah, too bad I’m not still four.”
I didn’t realize that there was an age limit on playgrounds. That didn’t stop me from taking a spin on the merry-go-round.
We moved on over to the fishing pier where many locals were out fishing and enjoying the spring like weather. The same lazy pelicans that were just fed at the fish cleaning stations were now floating in the water next to the fishing pier. We watched in fascination as a fish was hooked, the pelicans moved in quickly and stole the fish right off the fisherman’s line.
The fish that weren’t stolen off the hook were tossed into a bucket. There were pelicans counting on this as they would stand off in the background and keep watch. As soon as they think you’re not paying attention they would run up to the bucket and snatch one out for themselves. It was quite entertaining.
We walked back to the boat and Logan sat out on the pier taking pictures of the pelicans. She looked to her left just in time to see an otter sitting on a floating log right next to her.
It turned out to be a pair of otters that had come in for their dinner also. The difference is that they actually fished and caught their own dinner. Of course the lazy pelicans were very aware of what the otters were up to. The first fish caught by the otter was snatched up by a looming pelican. He outsmarted them with the second fish and gobbled it down before the pelicans could get to it.
We were entertained by the pelicans and otters most of the day. There’s something special about observing a creature in its natural habitat. White City turned out to be a pleasant surprise for all of us. We are off to Apalachicola in the morning in search for the world’s best oysters.