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post #1 of 15 Old 05-10-2019 Thread Starter
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Seagulls Musseling In

The seagulls in my marina are experts at plucking mussels out from under the dock floats and dropping them on the dock to crack open the shells. While this creativity is interesting, it leaves sections of the dock heavily covered in mussel shells and seagull poop. I am wondering if this is a common problem since I have limited experience keeping boats in a marina. My boat in Maine lives on a mooring and I have never observed this problem at other marinas I have visited in New England or in the SF Bay area.

Last night I decided to conduct an experiment. My rather simple hypothesis is that after scraping the mussels off of the finger docks around my boat with a garden edging tool (took about 20 minutes) I should see fewer shells and poop on my dock. We will see if this works.

My experiment got me thinking about whether the cause of the problem is just poor maintenance on the part of my marina.

My questions for the hive mind are:
• Is this a significant problem at your marina?
• Does your marina remove mussels from its floats as part of regular maintenance?
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post #2 of 15 Old 05-10-2019
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Re: Seagulls Musseling In

Our slip is absolutely covered in seagull crap and broken shells, but only in the off season. Once we all come back, they relocate. Maybe there is the occasional shell.


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Re: Seagulls Musseling In

I wish we had mussels around here to have that problem!
Most marinas I've been in take keeping the docks clean, and therefore less slippery and safer, pretty seriously! The problem lies in asking a poorly run marina to clean up their act can cause retaliation (like getting kicked out) and that sucks. You are certainly in a pickle. I'd question all the maintenance (especially electrical) standards in a marina without the integrity to keep their docks clean for their patrons and their guests.
Of course, if the slip is dirt cheap, then you are getting what you are paying for, and in this day and age, that may be worth it. Mostly, I've found, slips aren't cheap anywhere.

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post #4 of 15 Old 05-10-2019
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Re: Seagulls Musseling In

Shells from seagulls has always been a problem in our marina . The slips that don't get rented are covered with shells and poop . When I'm gone for just a couple of days I always have a few shells and some poop . Another problem is the Blue Herons , we call them crap-a-dacktiles . Our marina was just re built and now we have cement docks , it's nice but when the birds crap or get a fish the blood and crap dries and pretty much won't come off .
Funny story if you have the time , 5 yrs. ago right before the re build a Osprey took up residence on my neighbors mast head and every night shot his business on my boat big time and if I didn't get it off the next morning it dried like cement . The rebuild started and I got moved to a different part of the marina , I didn't like my new location but at least I was rid of the bird . I saw him around but he was leaving me alone . So the re build was completed and we were moved again but I didn't like the spot so I put in for a transfer got the transfer and guess who was waiting for me . He got me good just like the old days , he was doing his old deal where he roosted on the boat next to me and then got me big . I was getting pretty nervous there was no other place to go . I came up with a solution I got a 3 ft. long dowel put a eye screw in the middle of it and one at the bottom I tied a halyard to the middle for the hoist and a down haul at the bottom so when I hoisted and kept the down haul tight I had about a foot and a half above the mast head and to this I tied some Mylar streamers . So I was done for the day , I went up to the parking lot and was looking down at my beautiful streamers fluttering in the wind . And sure enough here came my Osprey with a big fish , he got close , took a look at my work and banked off and has not been back . Life is back .

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post #5 of 15 Old 05-10-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Seagulls Musseling In

The Marina does clean the docks periodically and comes around with a leaf blower to blow the shells off too, it just gets a bit crusty on the main walkway before they get to that point. My hope is that spending a small amount of time every couple of months scraping the mussels off will save me the trouble of cleaning off my finger docks quite so often. After one day, no new shells or poop, so we shall see.

Definitely don't want to piss of the harbormaster, live aboards are hard to come by in the bay area. If my experiment works long term, I am hoping he will look at cleaning mussels off at least the main walkways as a way to save money.

@Markwesti , love the Osprey Story thanks for sharing.

@capta not sure I want to eat Mussels out of SF Bay but I take your point. WRT the electrical system, I had a rude awakening a few months back as my battery charger was making an awful racket. Turned out the ground on the shore power connection was bad and scorched. I have a new power module now, but it was kind of scary at the time, so I do take your point about the electrical systems. At least the Harbor Master had the decency to replace my toasted shore power cord.
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Last edited by chicory83; 05-10-2019 at 08:55 PM.
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post #6 of 15 Old 05-11-2019
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Re: Seagulls Musseling In

I am currently in France.

Dunkurque marina was terrible for it!
Very few in Calais.
None in Cherbourg.

Interesting to note that Dunkurque us the mussle, 'moules' capital of France. Theyre a delicacy.
I think they have tame gulls collecting and cracking them.

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Re: Seagulls Musseling In

Seagull poop seems almost quaint compared to our current "little" problem, Sea Lions, I don't think they have sphincters because they crap all over the dock and roll in it. The smell would gag a vulture off a gut wagon, somehow they even get it on the sides of any boat they come near.
The blow up Orca seen in the background is an attempt to keep them off the swimstep, I've seen them crawl right over such obstacles.
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Last edited by capttb; 05-11-2019 at 10:28 AM.
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Re: Seagulls Musseling In

Quote:
Originally Posted by capttb View Post
our current "little" problem, Sea Lions, .
Sea Lions are so cute!

All you have to is cuddle them every day and I'm sure they'll love you!
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Re: Seagulls Musseling In

Seagulls are a problem everywhere - not just on Earth...

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Re: Seagulls Musseling In

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
Sea Lions are so cute!

All you have to is cuddle them every day and I'm sure they'll love you!
The tourists love them, I'm waiting for one to get mauled while trying to take a selfie with "Pennywise" the sea lion.
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Last edited by capttb; 05-11-2019 at 12:18 PM.
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