Like most of the other yachties bouncing around the world, we are peaceful people. We believe in things like tolerance for different cultures, avoiding aggression and violence, protecting the environment, kindness to animals, and lots of other stuff like that. But we have our limits, and right now we’re literally trying to crack a skull… a rat skull to be specific. Ever since we left Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua we’ve been noticing evidence there’s a stowaway on board. First it was the little nibbles in the chocolate bar, then a mysterious partially finished Chips Ahoy cookie on the forward deck, then the rice like droppings in the engine room. Still we were tolerant, even somewhat amused by our little chocolate loving night-crawling friend who we named “Cheeky Little Bugger”.
But we reached our limits with Cheeky Little Bugger yesterday morning as we were about to pull out from the Nanny Cay marina on the south side of Tortola. We were getting the mainsail ready to be hoisted when we noticed big swiss cheese like holes in the sail canvas and little piles of shredded sail material nearby. Cheeky Little Bugger, no longer satisfied with our chocolate and cookies, has been eating our mainsail and spitting it out like chewing gum. Our response to this heinous act is probably obvious by now. We now have six new rat traps (the skull crushing type) set out in Cheeky’s favorite spots around the boat (the places he poops the most), baited with three of his favorite snacks: peanut butter, cookies, and Pringles. We haven’t killed him yet, but we’re confident we will tonight. Condolences to Cheeky’s family back in Antigua.
So with that problem coming to an end, we were free to go sailing today around our favorite part of the BVI, the Jost Van Dyke area. Too lazy to put up the mainsail this morning (which still needs patchwork thanks to Cheeky), we rolled out the jib, put on some Jimmy Buffett and just took it slow – the distances are short so there’s no good reason to go fast in the BVI. We rounded the west end of Tortola and headed up towards Sandy Cay, which is a picture perfect tiny tropical island that ended up being one of our highlights so far on this journey. Incredibly, we had the place almost totally to ourselves.
We’re now on the anchor in Jost Van Dyke sitting just a stone’s throw away from the very famous Foxy’s beach bar, known for being the inventor of the “Painkiller” drink, a BVI favorite (think of it as a pina colada, only a lot more powerful). We’ll enjoy at least two or three Painkillers tonight as we reflect on the good times we had with Cheeky over the past couple weeks, and look forward to the even better times we’ll have tomorrow morning when we wake up and find Cheeky dead in one of our traps.