I had sailed up the ICW
at night following a tug, trying to make Beaufort
but it got too late so I tied up to an available dock
I woke up and made an omelet and then a local biddy came around and made a fuss. The coast guard came around to investigate her call, but their comment was, "Crazy Squirrel", relating to the woman.
I sailed on and moored, went away to take care of business, returned, and what I found was distressing. Obviously there was a mouse on board and chewing everything into oblivion. My air mattresses were like swiss cheese. Paper, plastic, and then mouse feces, all effects of the onboard mouse.
I cleaned up and got the boat ready to sail up north. I sail 36 hours morning to following evening. Not that hard to do. In the middle of the night I noticed something moving on deck
. It was the mouse. It darted around, and ran up to the bow. I grabbed a dinghy
oar and followed it like I would smack it with a slap shot hockey stroke. But, it ran up the jib
boom, which was impossible, and then I realized, the mouse was setting me up for an ill timed swipe at it, and then I would lose my balance and fall in and watch him sail away on my boat. I backed off. I then closed off any entry into the hull
. The next day there was no evidence of the mouse, but I was carefully looking at any movement. I saw a glimpse of him off to the side from time to time. I had to work some strong broad reaching winds and ended up falling asleep at the helm
and running aground on Assateague Island at 7 1/2 knots. That woke me up.
I had a bad time there, but eventually got off in the rising tide. I never found any new evidence of the mouse again, but of course his legacy continues with new discoveries in the bowels of the boat.
Perhaps he scampered off on Assateague Island, or maybe he fell into the sea. I'd like to think he awoke as I did when I hit the island, and he jumped overboard
, as I did, and took a different tack.