The life of a sailor can be one that is very lonely. Imagine being out in the middle of the Gulf of Maine pulling lobster traps day after day. Although it would be difficult for many people to live that way, Captain John Makowsky appreciates the lifestyle. After all, he doesn’t spend his time at sea alone, he has a faithful companion with him.
As it turns out, he has made friends with a seagull in a way that many other sailors have never had the opportunity to do so. “She comes right up to the window and looking at me this far away,” said Makowsky, adding: “Just staring at me.”
After these two bonded, he named the bird “Red Eye.” They struck up a friendship in 2005 when the bird showed up and decided to never leave again. When Makowsky saw the bird one day with an injured leg, he knew that he wouldn’t be living for long.
Debbie, the Captain’s wife, told CBS News how difficult it was for him. She said: “Oh, very, very difficult. To watch John and see how sad he was. I could tear up right now.”
John felt as if there was a piece of his life missing. He was starting to wonder how long he could continue out at sea.
One of the reasons why he tried to save the seagull is because he wanted to revive his passion for the ocean. After bringing her to the Center for Wildlife in Cape Neddick, Maine, they cared for the bird. Makowsky continued to spoil the bird with her favorite fish, Brown Hake.
Within a few weeks, Red Eye was back up and flying again. John released the bird into the wild, but it seems as if Red Eye didn’t want to live that life any longer. Even today, when John is out in the ocean, the bird will find him.
Boat captains have believed for centuries that the souls of lost sailors are carried with seagulls. Perhaps that gives the lobsterman a little comfort, but it’s more than something mystical. It’s about finding a purpose, and a special bird that helped him to do so.
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