Going batty on the rocks

Sometimes at anchor it can get a bit ‘rolly' – for those of you who don't know what this is – it's like being in a cradle being rocked from side to side – but not the gentle rocking of a caring parent but that of a mischievous big brother! So it can be quite uncomfortable. We had spent a few days in such conditions so when we arrived in a quiet bay with no swell it was with some relief. It was late afternoon when we arrived and the place was quite full with boats and not much room to anchor so when we spotted the last mooring buoy we went straight for it. Depth OK so picked it up and on went the kettle for a nice cup of tea. A few minutes later (well seconds actually) we had a boat boy come to collect his fees for the mooring buoy. “How much is it?” we asked and nearly fainted (well we are livaboards on a tight budget) when he said 80 EC dollars a night (about £20) –that's dearer than Beaulieu river back home. Much negotiations followed and we got him down to 50EC (still extortionate). Anyway we paid up for 1 night and settled down for a quiet evening. “Well I'm going to have a nice lie in tomorrow in these calm conditions” says Matt.

About an hour later I felt a juddering underneath me – “did the earth move for you too?” I asked Matt – “well I did feel something but not really sure.” (Stock answer these days). A few minutes later and there it is again. Investigations revealed that we had swung round in the current on to a rock. It was now too dark to try to anchor anywhere – besides the place was full – so on went the engine and we manoeuvred back off the rock. And so progressed our night – on the rock, motor off the rock, on the rock......no rest for the wicked. We pulled the mooring rope up as far as we could to try to stop us swinging about and it did work a bit so we did manage a few hours sleep. So much for the peaceful long nights sleep!

In the morning, getting up to make a much needed cup of tea (Feel free to join in with the chorus :

I like a nice cup of tea in the morning, For to start the day you see. And at half-past eleven Well my idea of Heaven Is a nice cup of tea. I like a nice cup of tea with my dinner And a nice cup of tea with my tea And when it's time for bed, There's a lot to be said For a nice cup of tea. 

Thank you. Anyway to continue, when I got up to make a cuppa, on the rug in the saloon I noticed there was a little wormy thing and when I looked around I could see several wormy things on the companionway steps. My first thought was that we had picked up something on our feet in the dark from the mooring rope and walked it back on to the boat – checked the soles of my feet - nothing - went and lifted the covers off Matt's feet (he was still in bed waiting for his cuppa) - clean - well almost - but no signs of any worms. Anyway I cleared up the mess and went to put the kettle on. Out of the corner of my eye I saw something on the counter top which shouldn't be there – I turned around and there was the biggest pile of poo you have ever seen (honest!) just underneath the hammock where we keep the bananas. And then when I saw the bananas – they looked as if they had gone overly ripe in the night and started dripping – looking closer I could see they had been dug into and eaten away from the inside. “You'd better come and look at this Matt, I think we have an animal on board – and judging by the size of it's poo it's a big one! Matt took one look and declared “it's a bat or several bats………” so we went on a bat hunt – fortunately we didn't find any but we did find lots more evidence – on the floors, seats and even down the walls! It (or they) had had a real good hunt around the boat. Once it was all cleaned and disinfected Matt did admit to having noticed something out of the corner of his eye the previous evening (twice) about the size of a crow he said. And sure enough we later learnt that the place is quite famous for it's fruit bats! A quick check of our ankles and necks for puncture holes thankfully revealed nothing. That's the last time we pick up an expensive buoy – the 80 dollars must've included BAT!


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