Unwanted Visitor

It was a typical morning aboard Rode Trip. I awoke to the alarm sounding, at 6:30am, just in time for Chris Parker’s weather forecast. We had guests aboard and although captain Brian was soundly sleeping our friend Brian was wide awake. Just as Chris Parker was wrapping up the weather, Brian headed topside to take in the sights of a new day. In the meantime, I readied the coffee perkalator and called up to the cockpit, “Bri, could you please turn on the propane?” He hadn’t heard my request because he had moved to the foredeck. So, I bopped up the ladder to turn on the propane. With a few swift maneuvers I had stepped across the cockpit, opened the lid of the propane box, and twisted the propane tank valve. As I closed the top of the propane box I glanced at the tiller and spotted something atop the tiller…it sent an instant shiver down my entire body.

“There’s a SNAKE!?! EEEEWWWWWW! There’s something in the tiller! …something in the tiller!” I screeched and retreated quickly through the hatch and down the ladder. Friend Brian, who was still on deck, made his way to the cockpit as captain Brian hopped out of his bunk and passed me to go up the ladder. Whimpering and sputtering, I somehow managed a few words to direct the guys’ attention toward the back of the tiller. “…there, all the way back, inside, eeeeewwww…inside that square, on the top, ugggghhhh, gross, I can’t look!” I managed to direct their attention to this section of the tiller, where the tiller rests atop the rudder.

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A snake was curled snugly on the tiller. “Spears!” Brian and Brian commanded in unison. Jennifer assisted. I had moved myself onto the couch for a seat to rest my shaky legs. The guys poked, prodded, shoved, flipped, and flung the snake overboard. Both agreed the snake was not accustomed to water, or at the very least did not want to be swimming first thing in the morning. After they threw it overboard, they had to push it away from the boat several times to redirect it toward land. It swam awkwardly with it’s head very high above the water.

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I returned to the cockpit when the guys assured me it was out of sight. I was a bit jumpy for the next several hours. Brian and Brian spooked me a few times with hissing sounds.

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How in the heck!?! I’d mentally prepared myself for critters aboard. I knew rats or rodents were a possibility, they come from docks or get caught swimming and scurry up an anchor chain for rescue. Friends of ours had a bat attempt to snuggle beneath their canvas, but their “watch-cat” was about to put an end to that bat’s plans. Captain Brian shared that he had heard stories of sea snakes getting into boats via the head plumbing. Ugh! Thank goodness we don’t have plumbing! Rode Trip has had a gecko, who unfortunately met an untimely death at sea. We’ve also narrowly avoided a cockroach infestation (lucky!) having found the roaches quickly and squashing them immediately. It pays to be obsessed with cleaning! But a snake? We were anchored near shore but we didn’t think the snake would have swum out on it’s own free will. Had it fallen into the water? Had an irritated passerby thrown it onto our deck during the night? We were anchored very near a channel and at least two boats had hollered and raised their fists in the air while passing us. Had a hungry bird dropped it’s next meal? We were baffled! I reiterated how important it is that we get to Hawaii as soon as possible, where there are no snakes, and stay there!

Winter Getaway Aboard Rode Trip – Week #2

It’s hard to believe that two weeks have already ended and our friends, Brian and Jennifer, are making their way back to Honesdale, PA. Brian and Jennifer adapted to Rode Trip with ease! They could practically sail and maintain this ship by themselves, not to mention that they totally kicked back and enjoyed the cruising lifestyle. I think it is safe to say that they had a spectacular vacation; and we were sad to see them go.

During our first week with Brian and Jennifer, we had explored Staniel Cay and nearby Big and Little Major. We had celebrated a festive Christmas on Great Guana Cay with the fabulous residents at Black Point. During week two, we island hopped southward along the Exumas.

At Great Guana Cay we followed the trail which led us to a cave just north of Oven Rock.

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Snorkeling opportunities were plentiful…even frolicking with mermaids!

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Fishing comprised a large part of each day. Fish tacos were on the menu the evening the guys harvested roughly 20 lion fish.

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Deep sea fishing was less successful. We didn’t land any mahi-mahi’s, although we did manage to select the best lure for barracudas…and each catch was larger! Finally we opted to take the line out of the water, we’d had enough barracudas.

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The guys tried their best…but sometimes even without fish a night of burgers and BIG beers really hits the spot! MMmmmmm!

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Glamorous sunsets were the perfect ending to each fun-filled day.

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Kayak excursions provided a nice change of pace. Brian and Jennifer took a turn and explored the salt pond at Normand’s Pond Cay.

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Fishing was a hit at Normand’s Pond Cay and the small blue hole provided a great backdrop for photo shoots. Brian landed this new find for us, a stone crab, which was delicious.

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On the trails a Stocking Island, we hiked to the top of Monument Beach for beautiful views.

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Termite mound.

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“It’s a starfish!”

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We chilled at Chat’n’Chill where we enjoyed rum punches, goombay smashes, and Kalik.

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It was a spectacular vacation and we are looking forward to Brian and Jennifer’s next visit…wherever Rode Trip may be!

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