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
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?