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Old 08-08-2016, 07:06   #1
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Rats!!!!!

Ok it was only one rat. We anchored outside of Coco Village, Florida listening to the music from the band shell and gathered here to see the amazing bio-illumination that happens here every year. The grandkids were climbing in and out to the dingy against the boat to splash and play in the really cool blue streaks left by random passing fish.

One trip down the dingy ladder the nine year old granddaughter screams and jumps back on the big boat saying something furry touched her leg. Of course all the adults looking at her said no, it was likely one of a variety of lines and floating toys piled in the dingy for their entertainment. But the little girl insisted, "no it was a rat!" As any good grandpa would do, I said of course I will check it out to make sure all is safe. I put on my trusty head band LED lamp and started to the dingy. No more that stepping to the rail and I was faced a monster setting on the top steps of the wooden ladder. I looked at him and he looked back about as unhappy to see me as I was to see him. His eyes glowed red against the dark water behind him. I jumped, then grabbed the boat hook and quickly knocked him off into the water. Sensing my overwhelming status in the primordial food chain I stood proud knowing I had saved the world as the rest of the gathering immediately started questioning the sailing lifestyle and pondering where his friends might be.

I assured all that this was a rare occasion and he had likely drowned being tossed off the ladder. I kept a watch on the dingy knowing likely all I had actually done was to piss it off. Of course that is what i did.

The youngest grandchild then took it upon himself to become the big game hunter and head off to tour the rest of the deck looking for accomplices to the intruder. It wasn't 15 min later when he screamed from the bow that he had found another climbing the anchor rode. (used the nylon line anchor for the quick stop at the anchorage). I rush with my handy head mounted flash light and came once again face to face with the little devil. His eyes glowed once again and we stared down each other. Luckily he was a couple feet down the anchor line such that i was able to snap the line to fling him once again into the air and splashing few yards from the bow.

This time we directed multiple flashlights on the beast and all on the boat were now engaged in the big game hunt. I was amazed at how well they swim.
In the glow of the bio-illuminence we could track his course. The little wild animal decided he didn't like all our attention and went off to find a quieter place to hide. So of course after shuttling all the guests back to shore on the dingy the Admirial makes it clear we are moving the boat farther from shore before bedding down for the night. Of course at midnight thats what we did.

Friends please share any similar stories. I am hoping this is a rare occassion and can assure the admiral we don't need to lay awake at night working about late night boarders of a four legged variety. Any tactics to keep this from happening again?
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Old 08-08-2016, 07:26   #2
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Re: Rats!!!!!

place a cone on your rode. get a cat. be on board more often. and where are you able to keep a boat anchored without attending it??? seems folks have fewer issues with invading species when there is a resident on board.
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Old 08-08-2016, 07:47   #3
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Re: Rats!!!!!

Whilst on a sailing holiday around the Galapagos we were regaled by one of our companions with his story that he rolled over when sleeping on the sun lounger out back to find a sealion lying next to him.

"Oh yeah pull the other one it has a bell on it" says us.
"No seriously!" he replies

Then thud, thud, thud a bloody sealion hops up the steps on the stern of the cat and promptly lies down on the sun lounger!!

As for Rats I can recommend hanging cones or disks over your lines to stop the furry invaders. Sealions just get photographed before they slide back down the steps of their own accord
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Old 08-08-2016, 07:52   #4
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Re: Rats!!!!!

Yes. Seen rats in places and seen rats coming aboard. Basically they do not move and live onboard small craft where people are present. In small numbers (wherever there is a strong shoreside control) they are not dangerous.

All you have to do is to chase them away. They are not returning. They find a quiet, docked boat where nobody lives aboard and settle there (note that they have so many options ashore that they hardly ever liveaboard, except in places like India, Brazil, and other such).

Maybe there is something you can do for your granddaughter too: take her out more, expose her to nature, to the animals out there, etc. There is no need to be scared of a single rat. I spent much time at Cocos Keeling watching them play in the tops of the palms. Inquisitive and smart animals. Many people keep rats at home as pets too.

You can talk to someone ashore in the local community ask if rats are a problem there. If they are, protect your boat from unathorised entry while you are away!

Cheers,
b.
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Old 08-08-2016, 08:01   #5
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Re: Rats!!!!!

Little beggars can swim amazingly well.
Way off subject, but if an Elephant can swim miles and apparently they can, I guess a rat can swim long distances too.
I never knew an Elephant could swim well.
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Old 08-08-2016, 08:04   #6
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Re: Rats!!!!!

Scarey.
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Old 08-08-2016, 08:11   #7
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Re: Rats!!!!!

Unfortunately rats have journeyed across the world on ships and have evolved certain migration instincts. Have definitely seen dock rats, I was told by an old-timer that in his lifetime, Norwegian rats made it to the Pacific and killed native birds and wildlife everywhere v

Good news is they're smart enough to leave if confronted - and unlike cockroaches, they actually need water and food to live.
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Old 08-08-2016, 09:26   #8
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Re: Rats!!!!!

and lets not forget the fleas and disease they carry. As a child I was badly bitten by what we called wharf rats on the hand. Wild rats are dangerous filthy disease spreading animals that have caused the death of untold numbers of people. Black Plague to mention just one, 25 million dead in just 5 years, rats spread the fleas that carried the bubonic plague. Wild rats and domestic rats have as much in common as poodles and wolfs.
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Old 08-08-2016, 10:56   #9
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Re: Rats!!!!!

You would absolutely freak out if you knew how many rats are in the top of palm trees in Florida...
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Old 08-08-2016, 11:09   #10
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Re: Rats!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by meatservo View Post
You would absolutely freak out if you knew how many rats are in the top of palm trees in Florida...
As a kid I had a Water Moccasin fall out of a tree into my canoe, rats falling onto me out of trees would be just as bad I think.
I have a strong dislike for Rats, my Wife on the other hand has a deep seated hatred of anything that scurries like mice and rats, Bats are on her list as well.
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Old 08-08-2016, 11:23   #11
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Re: Rats!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by meatservo View Post
You would absolutely freak out if you knew how many rats are in the top of palm trees in Florida...
One of my favorite sitting in the yard drinking a beer past times when I lived in Tallahassee was shooting rats out of palm trees with a pellet gun. Great fun and honed the shooting skills too.
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Old 08-08-2016, 15:13   #12
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Re: Rats!!!!!

Not saying it has never happened, but I'd think having either a cat or a rat terrier (like a Jack Russel, but even a mutt) aboard would diminish the likelihood of being invaded.

As to the bubonic plague, dog and cat fleas also carried the plague, rats were not the only culprits.
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Old 08-08-2016, 15:28   #13
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Re: Rats!!!!!

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Not saying it has never happened, but I'd think having either a cat or a rat terrier (like a Jack Russel, but even a mutt) aboard would diminish the likelihood of being invaded.

As to the bubonic plague, dog and cat fleas also carried the plague, rats were not the only culprits.
True about the dogs and cats, however it was the nasty rat that spread it throughout Europe. Ironic that major rat travel has always been by ship, spreading from port to port.
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Old 08-08-2016, 17:27   #14
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Re: Rats!!!!!

Yep. A Russel or a Scott may do.

I think only wild cats hunt down rats. Domesticated cats ...

Cheers,
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Old 08-08-2016, 19:52   #15
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Re: Rats!!!!!

I have 2 rat stories, the first involves my boat and the second a truck.


During a visit to Exmouth in Western Australia a rat took up residence whilst I was moored in a marina. I spent 3 months trying to trap it and finally gave up on traps, cunning buggers rats, and set rat bates. I then diligently watched for carrion flies, the large shiny blue buggers, and finally observed a couple taking an interest in a particular place in the boat, lifted the floor boards and found one dead rat, very lucky it did not find a hidden spot to die in.


I borrowed a truck once to cart some tanks to a workshop. I did notice a bit of a smell but since the cab was messy decided it was something left amongst the rubbish. Travelling down a six lane highway at a fair rate of knots I sensed movement, glanced to the passenger side and saw a monstrous great rat baring it's teeth at me. I grabbed my news paper off the dash, fended and slammed on the breaks and exited the vehicle. Whilst three lanes of traffic were backing up behind me and whilst I explored for the rat from about three yards away a police car drove up. "What's the problem driver", my reply "A homicidal rat". Officer goes to passenger side and peers in, second officer peers in driver side, both have hands on guns. It flashed through my mind that a nimble rat might actually survive the crossfire but I was going to have a hell of a time explaining two gunshot police officers so I said sorry, he must have followed me out and fled and nervously climbed aboard and drove off. Being savaged by a rat was the lesser of my potential problems.
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