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  • Writer's pictureCari Mackey

The Magnificent Frigate Bird. Months at sea but never touching the water, how can that be?

Updated: Apr 24, 2023

As with most exciting outdoor sports, the adrenaline is what you celebrate at the end of the day, the session, or the ride, but the best part and perhaps the most important part is the time spent outside in nature, seeing and experiencing new things, right?

With point to point adventures like rivers, trails, ski runs, etc. the landscape is constantly changing providing intensely stimulating experiences - something new to see, smell, and touch at any moment and each time you go. So what about surfing? You're sitting in one spot and the surrounding landscape doesn't move.

At least that's what I used to think, and why I found myself dreaming of and missing the rivers so much. After a few years of surfing and taking the time to be out on the water more this past year, the mystery of what's below and the vastness of the landscape have realized a new beauty to me. The surprise of a turtle head popping up, a breaching whale, playful dolphins, and of course the gracefulness of the birds above.

If you have spent time at sea in the tropics, you have seen this bird - the Magnificent Frigatebird. Man, that's an awesome name! I bet the Black Hawk is jealous. They are quite large with up to a 7ft wingspan that allows them to spend days and even months at a time soaring for food over the open ocean but what's bizarre is they don't go down to the water surface to rest. It turns out, they aren't waterproof so how do they sleep?

This is where it gets interesting. It turns out they love the front surf like we do so, they surf an updraft, turn off half of their brain at a time and snooze for a hot ten seconds for a total of about 12 hours per day. I think I have some friends like that.

So then, get this. They hunt over the ocean much like you would suspect grabbing fish and other sea delicacies close to the surface but what they do a lot is steal from others or shall we say menacingly coerce food from their frenemies of the ocean. Speaking of long flights and surfing, check out these deals to Panama City: New York $400 Chicago $350 Toronto $450 Frankfurt $560 Denver $425 We would love to hear from you and Happy Independence Day to the USA!

Your Friends in Morrillo, Cari and Ryan Mackey Owners and Hosts Morrillo Beach Eco Resort

PS: Thank you to Carrie Kizuka for the awesome photos!

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