We've had a few guests aboard for fun visits, but some of our guests have been uninvited. Here is a collection of our stowaways (to enlarge, click on photo):
Larry the Lizard. While in the Riverbend Shipyard in Ft. Lauderdale, we noticed a lizard, which we were glad to have aboard as they eat insects. We lost track of him until seen later here in the engine room.
Spiro the Sparrow. We came back from a walk in New York's Central Park to find him bathing in our stateroom's sink. We like birds, but they can't stay.
While in Rockland Maine, Manny the Praying Mantis was discovered trying really hard to look like a leaf in a tree, praying we wouldn't notice. Manny was gently shown topside.
At first, we thought this was Larry the Lizard, but on closer inspection we discovered this was Gus the Gecko, from Edgartown, near Martha's Vinyard. Like Larry, we were happy to have Gus aboard.
In Saint Lucia, Freddy the Freeloader was caught standing on our pulpit. Freddy was so standoffish he flew the coop before we could find out what type of bird he was.
We calculated that Harry the rat had been a stowaway aboard Moonshadow since we tied to the fuel dock in St. Croix two days prior. Fortunately, we were able to trap Harry that night and tossed him over the side. We did not know rats could swim until we caught Harry again, this time in Bonaire. After chucking him over the side for the second time we watched in horror as he swam forward trying to get to the anchor chain. The Captain courageously ran for the boathook and clubbed Harry repeatedly until he finally got the message. After sneaking aboard in St. Croix and again at Buck Island, then sailing with us 420 miles South to Bonaire, Harry had worn out his welcome aboard Moonshadow.
We returned to Moonshadow from a day ashore in Curacao to find more un-invited guests. First we noticed some bees, then more and more and finally realized there was a hive being built on the canvas dodger directly over the main hatch going below! They had all followed Quincy the Queen Bee (our first female freeloader) from shore to Moonshadow.
This is Norm the No-see-um. By himself, we would have been fine as a guest. It was the dozens of friends from the San Blas Islands Norm invited aboard for a feast on Deb's tasty legs and arms that we objected to.
In the Rio Chagres, Panama, Cheeky Swenson the Swallow wasn't fooled at all by our inflatable snake.
While sailing from Balboa Yacht Club to Las Perlas Islands in Panama's Pacific gulf, we discovered Pete the Pelican. You would think this guy would be hard to miss, but we figured he was aboard for quite some time before we heard a noise and investigated. We politely asked him to leave. He was having none of that and we realized that, like the rat and the bees, Pete was going to have to be evicted. He finally agreed to leave but couldn't figure out a safe passage through the lifelines. After a long time of coaxing and lots of forlorn looks Pete was back in the air making long gliding passes just feet away from Moonshadow.
Also while in Las Perlas, we noticed what we thought was Gus the Gecko. We decided no, this was Geeves the Green Gecko, a much more refined specimen who kept his eye on us.
Frank the Frigate was never really a stowaway because he never could figure out how to land on Moonshadow's swaying mast while flying at 9 knots to keep up as we motored through Panama's Pacific island group, Isla Secas.
Bubba the Butterfly was really pretty, but just too creepy to keep aboard. After joining Moonshadow in Golfito, Costa Rica, he'd hide in a dark crevice then fly across the cabin like a bat. He had to go.
Bobby the Brown (but not blue-footed) Booby Bird was insistent on catching a ride aboard Moonshadow. He flew around at very close range trying to find a way through the lifelines and finally found a perch on the anchor chain.
Once aboard and rested though, he'd had enough and was on his way. We think boobies must like hitching rides on boats because the Captain remembers a booby aboard Moea for a few days during the 1971 passage to the Marquesas.
Brad the Bat-Moth was discovered aboard in Turtle Bay, on the 2014 Baja Ha-Ha. You may never have heard of Bat-Moths, but we sure have. It was all the boats in the Ha-Ha fleet could talk about one night as many of the boats were visited by these huge black (at night anyway) things that everybody first thought were bats. Ours spent the night, then posed for pictures before being shown the hatch.
Isla Passavera and Isla Cocinas, near Chamela, Mexico provided a secluded place to anchor among beautiful and rugged surroundings. Evidently Bubba, the Boobie Bird thought our new solar panels were a perfect place to hang out for the afternoon.
Deb tried to explain how his shadow was causing havoc with our solar charging, but this guy wasn't about to budge and looked at us like we were crazy to suggest he fly away.
On our 2015 Baja Bash between Cabo San Lucas and San Diego, Sully the Seagull hitched a ride on the lifeline right next to us...
...then gave us this "what are YOU lookin at?" face:
Then on the same bash, we noticed Dolce, the Dove paying it forward by standing watch, steering Moonshadow and keeping a beady eye on things.
Check back for more Stowaways caught in the act. Somehow, the word is out that Moonshadow is the ride to be on.
Cheers from Moonshadow!