Sailing Into Paris

16-May – 17-May-2017

We sailed into Paris in the early evening on May 16th.  Our guide book had George prepared for the worst with descriptions of where boats must pass under a myriad number of bridges, traffic lights that regulate the right of way, and a waterway full of cruisers, sight-seeing tour boats and working barges.  All this, and being sure not to miss the sights of Paris from your own boat, seemed a bit intimidating.  In actuality, we arrived at the marina we would stay at, unscathed and pleasantly surprised that the trip  went so smoothly.

The Seine passes right through the heart of Paris.  Right past the Eiffel Tour.   

Right past France’s Statue of Liberty.  You may recall that France gave the U.S. our Statue of Liberty in 1883.  The U.S. gave France a smaller version of the statue in 1886.

We did pass under a myriad number of bridges (38 in fact).     

And right past Notre Dame Cathedral.  Did you know there are many Notre Dame Cathedrals?  Notre Dame translates to “Our Lady” and I am not exaggerating when I say, to date, we have visited more towns, villages, and cities in France that have a Notre Dame Cathedral.

We stayed in Paris at the Port D’Arsenal de Paris marina for the incredible low price of 40 Euro per day including water, electricity, and showers.  We met the 2nd and 3rd couple who indicated they had set out on a 2 year cruise, 10+ years ago, and hadn’t yet finished.  These and other veteran sailors we have met, have been all over the world, some in the same boat, others in multiple boats they keep in different areas of the world.   Commonly, they have favorite spots they visit regularly and the Port D’Arsenal appears to be one such place.  This enables  these “nomads” to reconnect with friends they have met on the water and share years of past experiences with.

Ice Floe in Port D’Arsenal

Speaking of old friends with shared experience, we met up with Nancy and Bruce the day after we entered Paris (May 17th).  Nancy and Bruce were visiting Switzerland and took a train to Paris to spend a week with us.

We visited Versailles on our first day together.  George and I spent the day within the Versailles gardens.  They were as spectacular  as when we visited them in January, but our imaginings of the gardens all abloom with flowers was a fantasy,  as the gardens remained flowerless.  The gardens year-round are an amazing display of shrubs and trees laid out in a strict geometric pattern with extensive topiary sculptures.  

Nancy and Bruce spent some time in the gardens and also toured the pallace.  When I asked Nancy to describe the interior of the palace I believe what she said was “disgusting”, referring to its opulence and inexcusable use of the country’s wealth in the midst of the squalor of the majority of citizens.   

The first structure of what encompasses the Palace of Versailles was initially built by King Louis VIII in the 1620s as a hunting lodge.  The grand expansion was undertaken by King Louis XIV later in the 17th century.  He subsequently moved the royal court from Paris to Versailles which remained there for the duration of his reign and that of Louis XV until shortly after the beginning of the French Revolution (1789) that resulted in the fall of the Monarchy.  Some of the castle’s splendor has been lost to history including a silver balustrade that contained a ton of silver.  This, along with all the silver in the castle was melted down to fund a war between France and a coalition of  European allies during Louis XIV’s reign.

The picture on the left is a room within the Palace named the Hall of Mirrors. The mirrors were made by Venice artisans whose execution was ordered in consequence by the Venice authorities, as Venice, at the time, held the secrets to making mirrors.

The picture on the left is a room within the Palace named the Hall of Mirrors. The mirrors were made by Venice artisans whose execution was ordered in consequence by the Venice authorities, as Venice, at the time, held the secrets to making mirrors.

More of our adventures with Nancy and Bruce in our next update. 

Sailing up the Seine

Day 18 13-May -2017

From Honfleur, we entered the Seine an hour or so before the incoming tide began. The vestiges of the outgoing tide was sufficient to check our speed over ground to 3 knots. There was no mistaking the change in tide as boat speed increased swiftly and we sped up the Seine at nearly 10 knots with the tide in our favor.

The riverbanks of the Seine offered view after view of meticulously maintained homes of exceptional grace and beauty; many protected with traditional thatch roofs.

Small villages and churches were equally charming;

As were occasional farms.

Ancient castles and grandiose mansions fit seamlessly into the landscape.

Lastly, we encountered a number of unusual buildings and homes built into limestone cliffs. Sometimes it was an entire home; others, a garage or shed or just the back face of the building. We understand some of these structures are still inhabited today.

Our Journey Begins – The English Channel and Honfleur

Day 18 through 21 12-May – 13-May-2017

ICE FLOE’s mast was taken down on Wednesday in preparation for a Friday departure  from Cherbourg.

We passed on leaving Thursday as the forecast was for unfavorable winds and rain.  Friday’s weather forecast was for moderate southwest winds and clear skies.  As we were headed northeast and the current in the channel heads east for most of the trip, we were ensured a relatively smooth ride.

We headed out Friday, but as it turned out the winds never shifted to southwest and it rained off and on.  Our first sail in the English Channel was with moderate wind and waves (3-4 feet), However, there was no pattern to the waves and they assailed us from multiple directions.  As such, waves periodically merged with one or more waves and we had an exceedingly topsy turvy ride about 12 hours long.  I recently boasted that I never get seasick, but after one trip to the cabin brought on an unpleasant queasiness, we remained topside for the balance of the day, with short exceptions for a quick trip to the head and to retrieve a baguette and butter for lunch.

A kind gentleman in Cherbourg suggested we enter the Seine through the port of the ancient town of Honfleur.  It is difficult to describe how such a town seems to welcome you with its beauty, vitality and feeling of peace.  We tore ourselves away after a short memorable visit on Saturday morning as the village woke up in preparation for market day.

Our departure could not be delayed as the 24+ foot tide in the channel was near low and current created as the tide turns at the mouth of the Seine can either swiftly speed you on your journey to Rouen or reject you to wait for a more favorable tide.

Barfleur and Cité de la Mer (aka the Cherbourg Titanic Museum)

 Day 12 through 17 6-May – 11-May-2017

The weekend was devoted primarily to sailing and completing  the last tasks we needed a car for.  We enjoyed some of the best weather and sailing conditions and wished for more time to sail before we had to move on.

Fort in Cherbourg Harbor built in 1858

I tried my hand at fishing with no luck.  The Channel is said to be quite fished out but you can’t catch a fish if you’re not fishing.

On Monday, just before we returned the car, we  visited Barfleur, a seaside town reputed to be one of the loveliest in the area.  It is absolutely charming, from the harbor, to the homes, and the village atmosphere. 

George assembled long fender boards to protect ICE FLOE from the many locks and   docks on the trip through France and a voice from the future is here to tell you we really needed them.

On Tuesday, we visited Cité de la Mer, a museum combining exhibits of historical events and artifacts relating to underwater exploration, the Titanic (Cherbourg was the last port visited by the Titanic before it sank), and sea life.  This included a tour through a submarine that was fascinating.

Top left moving clockwise: Submarine, me and George at the helm, Captain’s quarters, Captains Dining / Meeting area, enlisted men’s sleeping quarters.

There are few artifacts from the Titanic, if any.  Much of the exhibit consisted of reproductions of portions of the ship.  Below, a reproduction of a first class cabin brings to light the luxury provided to those who could afford it.

We found it surprising that such a luxury cruise ship also provided accommodations for immigrants, as well. In addition, there were many photographs of passengers that were taken before the tragic sinking or were possessions of a survivor.

The displays of marine life wee individuals small habitats. Despite the many exceptional aquariums we have enjoyed, we found each habitat to be fascinating and unique.

Ice Floe Interior and the Beaches of Normandy

Day 10 through 15 8-May-2017

ICE FLOE is all but ready for the beginning of her journey.  Everything we brought to  France and many items we purchased here are all stowed and we are ready to show her off.

This photo on the left is the salon.  It will be converted to a third bedroom when Allison, Mike, Riley and Tristan and Marilla and Mitch join us in June. The doorway opens to the stateroom (George’s and my bedroom).

Below is a part of the galley and the doorway into the aft cabin (guest room –  on the left). 

George’s (the Captain’s) Nav station, above and the stateroom (our cabin) below.

We are a bit behind schedule, having planned to stay in Cherbourg for only 2 weeks.  Modifications to ICE FLOE and weather caused the delay, but we are taking advantage of the extra few days to sail and see some of the local sights.

When you visit another country there are so many things you need to learn to do.  We get right into it.  Below, George has figured out where to get air for a very low tire, and subsequently to get it fixed.  Don’t return your rental without fixing it (~18 Euros) or the rental company will charge 850 Euros.

The beaches of Normandy are close by and we visited them on one of our “free” days.  Imagine being dropped off in waters beyond this long expanse of beach full of mines on D-day with absolutely no cover.  Then imagine that the planned pre-bombing campaign was unsuccessful and you were being attacked from machine gun nests firing rounds at you at 1200 bullets per minute.   That is what faced the American, British and Canadian soldiers who landed on Omaha Beach.

Omaha Beach

 On Point du Hoc, just west of Omaha Beach, less than 300 American rangers scaled sand cliffs to disable German defenses prior to the landing of soldiers  on the beach.  Nearly two thirds of these patriotic, young men lost their lives.  How can we ever repay such a debt?

Cliffs on Point du Hoc

While American forces fought on the beaches of Omaha and Utah, British and Canadian troops were advancing on Gold, Juno and Sword.

The cemeteries and memorials in Normandy that honor those who fought and those who died in this battle, elicit a multitude of emotions. The people who live there hold the allies who freed France in the highest esteem. French children visit this site on field trips to learn about World War II and this famous battle. Barbed wire fences built to defend this German-occupied land and craters from bombs dropped in the effort to take this coast are preserved.

Cherbourg

Day -8 and 9 2-May-2017

Cherbourg is a large town built around its Harbor.  Children learn to sail at a very young  age as part of their school curriculum and they are out there almost every day regardless of weather conditions.  As sound carries so well over water and the wind has typically been blowing inland, we enjoy hearing their continuous laughter and chatter.  Some of these young sailors will ensure France continues to dominate in international sailing competitions. 

Youngest sailing students in Optimus prams
As children grow older the boats grow, as well

Mayday is a holiday in France and it rained all day.  This afforded us some much needed down time.  I weaved pot holders from George’s old socks, an invention of Marilla’s with a few additional tips from Nancy.  George read some of the many boat manuals.  It was delightful. 

The following day it is back to business.  George has been communicating all morning with Jean, an ALLURES workman who has come to fix the leak in the keel trunk and investigate what looks like a leak in the cabin top over the head (turned out to be condensation).  Jean does not speak a word of English, and George does not speak a word of French.  George appears to anticipate Jean’s needs (ie, a wrench, a hose, et al.,) and with a bit of charade- like gestures “Voila” there are nods of heads.  

Communicating does not always go so smoothly.  A few days later we set out to buy a 40cm X 55cm piece of plywood to build a mount for the dinghy outboard motor.  In a store that is a bit of a cross between a IKEA and a Home Depot we could only find plywood marked “Non-structural”.  I asked in my best French (a combination of words I know and words in english with my best French accent), “Je regard non-structural plywood.  Avez-vous structural plywood?”  Puzzled look.  My statement, I later discovered, translates to “I look non-structural plywood.  Have you got structural plywood?”  George goes over to the sign that says Non-structural and puts his hand over the Non.  A look of enlightenment comes over the employee and he runs off.  

Quite some time later he returns with another employee who speaks English very well and we let him know what we are looking for.  In the interim, we had found a small cut piece of plywood that was big enough and I show him a written notation of 40cm X 55cm.  He understands our request, but his expertise is in the gardening section of the store and responds that he does not know enough about building materials to advise us.  We are almost ready to give up and I see that about 20 feet to the right of the many stacks of non-structural plywood, a stack of (you have probably guessed) structural plywood.  The first employee then guides us through the store to an area where the 40cm X 55cm piece can be cut.

The piece we need and the remaining scrap and large piece of plywood are loaded back on the cart and we prepare to leave.  I get the bright idea to ask that the store keep the larger piece of plywood and explain in my Franglais that we are living on a boat.  That we will pay for the entire piece of plywood, but could the store please keep the large piece.  This third employee pulls up the Google translator on his phone and with several rounds of back and forth communication, he understands we only need the small cut piece.  He takes a few minutes calculating and then give us a bill for 2 Euros (just over 2 US dollars).  We surmise that we had thoroughly confused the man by simultaneously saying we will pay for the whole board, we can only take the small piece, can the store keep the large piece….. It took about two hours to purchase the plywood.  Everyone was so helpful and patient.

When George started to plan the installment he discovered the outboard engine is too large to fit in the locker.  Can’t wait to see how long it takes when we go to return the piece of plywood.

Love at First Site

Day 1 25-April-2017 

We arrived Tuesday morning in Paris after an overnight flight on British Airways.  We treated ourselves to Business Class seats using some of the miles accumulated during Susan’s working days.  It allowed us sufficient comfort to sleep for part of the trip and access to the airport lounge where we had a before-flight dinner and some very pleasant beer (that also helped us sleep for part of the trip).  We drove to Cherbourg, where our new sailboat was built and it was love at first sight.

The length of daylight is very long here (almost 15 hours).  Consequently, we have been fooled into staying up much too late on most evenings. Nonetheless, we adjusted to the time zone change with remarkable ease sleeping until our customary 7:00am time from the very first night. 

We are docked at an very large marina protected by two amazing barrier walls that were man-made in the 1800s. 

Entrance to marina
Port Chantereyne in Cherbourg

The picture above shows the steepness of the ramp to the floating docks – the daily tide change is 24 feet!  You can also see the popularity of sailing in France, even in this chilly Northwest harbor where temperatures are moderated by the sea ranging from the low 40s in mid winter to the low 60s in mid-summer.  We are experiencing typical weather for April and May with temperatures in the mid 50s with the best days seeing a penetrating sunshine in the afternoons.

Day 2-7 26-April-2017 – 31-Apr-2017

We spent the first week unpacking and stowing the 500 lbs of gear we carried over on our combined trips in January and this trip.  This was an arduous undertaking in parallel with getting an in depth overview of ICE FLOE deux’s (henceforth ICE FLOE) systems from Phillippe Hasne, an expert on the ALLURES  from Grand Large Services, and having every inch of ICE FLOE inspected by Brad Baker, a part owner of SwiftsureYachts, the US company we purchased ICE FLOE from.  Brad’s inspection raised a number of issues that were quickly attended to with a flurry of workmen working in the boat alongside us.

We took our first sail on April 29th.  It was a short sail in light wind.  We were accompanied by Brad, Francois (ALLURES salesman) and David (a British national living in New Zealand who came to Cherbourg to see the ALLURES 39.9).  The sail  gave us an opportunity to see ICE FLOE function admirably in low wind and to be tutored by Brad on many functionalities we had not enjoyed on our previous boat.  ICE FLOE deux is not “just” a bigger boat than her predecessor;  we have much to learn to take full advantage.

Our second sail was on April 30th in winds approaching 20 knots.  It was a beautiful sunny afternoon and an outstanding sail.  We sailed consistently over 8 knots. Unfortunately, the most memorable part of the sail was when we discovered a leak in the keel trunk.  This required nothing more than some additional silicone cauking, but it did take quite a bit of time to bail out the bilge and flush it repeatedly with fresh water – another late night!!   

Second sail

We’ve moved

Blogger to WordPress

Hello to all,
Our blog platform has switched from Blogger to WordPress.  In theory, this should not create any change in the manner in which you access this Blog and all the Posts that have been published will be there.
You will see some changes:

  1. If you want to continue or start receiving emails with new posts, you may need to sign up again.  On the home page you will find a column on the right that in the photo below with a big red circle.  Just add your email address and click the follow button.
  2. The Blog’s Homepage and Posts page have the posts organized by date (Archives) and “Destinations” on the right side of the page also identified with a red eclipse. If your interests lie mostly with a particular destination, you can select it and those are the blogs it will bring up.
    1. A new destination will be added soon – Sailing the French Canals
  3. The transfer of some of the photos introduced some distortion that I may or may not be able to fix in the future.
  4. A few past blogs are still missing – should be restored in the next several days.

To access the Blog directly, you can still use www.gowiththefloe.net

If anyone has any difficulty, please do let us know.

Leadership in Grenada – A Cruiser’s Perspective – Updated September 2, 2020

September 2, 2020 – (Update to March 31 post)

Five months since I first wrote this post, we are still in Grenada.  Ice Floe is on the hard in Clark’s Court Marina for hurricane season and we will resume sailing in November.  What began as the prolongation of our time in Grenada due to the airport closure, evolved into a decision to stay in a country where as George often comments “The Grenadian Prime Minister cares more about our health than our President does.”  We are living in a small apartment overlooking BBC Beach in Morne Rouge.

        The view of BBC beach from our apartment porch in Morne Rouge

To date, Grenada has confirmed a total of 24 cases and ably managed a limited outbreak of community spread infections through extensive contact tracing and quarantining.  There have been no deaths and are no known active cases.  Children are back to school, and most businesses are open and the amazingly efficient bus system is back in full service. Large gatherings are still prohibited and the Grenadian Carnival and Emancipation Holiday were canceled to reduce the chance of infractions.

Masks must be worn before entering businesses.  Upon entering, your temperature is often taken and hand sanitizer applied.  In restaurants, your name, phone number, and time arriving is recorded for contract tracing purposes.  International traffic to the island remains highly restricted.  We may hear some grumbling from time to time, but we have not witnessed a single instance of disrespectful behavior, let alone violence.  Adherence to these restrictions is very good – Grenada remains armed should Covid 19 return.

Sadly, in the United States, the pandemic rages on.  Our President applauds his success when the average daily number of deaths declines to 1000, and daily new infections drop to 40,000.  He continues to contradict the world’s leading experts on infectious diseases and the simple numbers a young child can understand.
Over six million people have been infected in the United States and 189,504 died from Covid 19 infections as of the instant I am writing these words https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/  .  Grave concerns about serious, long-standing, health issues in those who have survived the infection are continually being discovered. Our president offers, in an effort to minimize the tragic loss of life, “Half of the people who died were in nursing homes”, recommends less testing so we will have fewer confirmed infections, and threatens to take health insurance away from millions.

We plan to return to the United States in early spring of 2021.  At that time we expect to have President Biden shepherding our once great country through its recovery from the enormous damage wrought by the morally corrupt, deceitful, and self serving actions taken by Trump.

Until then, we remain grateful to Grenada leadership and Grenadians for the safe haven and hospitality they have afforded to us.

Original Post -March 31, 2020

Choosing to Quarantine in Grenada

As the inevitable invasion of Covid-19 infections reached the Caribbean islands, many cruisers raced to find a way to get back to their motherland.  My husband and I, having closely followed the news concerning Covidi-19 outbreaks in much of the world, elected to self-quarantine on our sailboat, anchored off a small, uninhabited, breathtakingly beautiful island in Grenada.  

We reasoned that a trip back to the US would require flying to JFK airport in New York and our coming in proximity with many hundreds of people from all over the world.  We would be putting ourselves at risk, as well as, potentially adding demand on already over-burdened health care professionals with insufficient resources

Can we save ourselves?

The magnitude of this tragedy today, is difficult to take in.  Near-term certainties of what lies ahead, should we fail to slow the progression of infections, will forever damn humanity for our short-sighted, selfish, and shallow priorities.
  
Tomorrow (April Fool’s Day), the number of deaths in the United States will exceed those in China.  Tomorrow, the deaths in Italy will exceed 12,000, with no hint of an inflection in the curve to suggest it will not continue to increase until exhausted by Italy’s vulnerable population.


And yet, leadership across much of the world, points fingers, debates, and seeks to secure some personal or political advantage; none more-so than in the United States.


What true leadership looks like

Presently, confined to our sailboat, in the relatively speaking tiny island nation of Grenada, we have had the opportunity to observe and remember how exemplary leadership can guide a nation through a crisis.  Grenada’s leaders have taken swift, decisive action, given unequivocal direction, spoken the truth, and conveyed empathy.

Before a single infection was confirmed in Grenada, increasingly more stringent directives, principally directed at reducing the immigration of potentially infected foreigners, were enacted.  The following are those relevant to cruisers, like ourselves.

18 – March. Ports of entry to Grenada reduced to two and health check and travel history taken prior to possibility of check in.
19 – March (12:00am). Foreign vessels checking into Grenada must fly a quarantine flag and all passengers be quarantined on their vessel for 14 days
20 – March. Persons on board foreign vessels in Grenada cannot set foot on land 
21 – March (11:59pm) Grenada closed to any foreign vessels not already cleared in
  • The first infection (an individual returning from the UK) tests positive.
22 – March. Grenada’s main airport, Maurice Bishop International Airport closed to commercial traffic

The announcement that those on foreign vessels could not set foot on land, was simultaneously accompanied by hand delivered details of how our need for resources (food, water, fuel, et al) would be met.  This service has been faithfully provided at no cost.  We feel much indebted to the Grenadian Prime Minister Dr. Right Honorable Keith Mitchell and Minister for Health Honorable Nickolas Steele and all Grenadians for continuing to provide us with safe haven and necessities.

Since the first individual in Grenada with a confirmed Covid-19 infection was identified on March 21, eight additional individuals are known to have been infected. All have ties to patient zero and we can only hope the infection has been contained.  In addition, a Limited State of Emergency was put in place, curfews were established and the need for social distancing, hand washing, not touching your face and remaining at home whenever possible was repeatedly emphasized.  

Grenada’s Leadership not afraid to take unpopular decisions

March 30th, a written announcement from Grenada’s Minister of Health, the Honorable Nickolas Steele included the following excerpts.

“Sadly, many have not heard us.  Many have ignored us.”

“In this regard, therefore, a mandatory curfew will be imposed beginning from 7:00 pm on Monday, March 30th, 2020, and ending 7:00 pm on the 6th day of April 2020.

During this period, every person shall remain confined to their place of residence (inclusive of their yard space), to avoid contact outside of their household; except as provided in the Regulations or as may be authorized in writing by the Commissioner of Police.”

Strict guidelines for the procurement of food were established.

“Shops which sell groceries, grocery stores and supermarkets in each Parish shall be open for business between 8am and 12 noon on select days specified by the Commissioner of Police.”

“One Person from each household shall be allowed to leave their residence once during a grocery day to attend shops which sell groceries…..in their own Parish”

All other places of business including restaurants and gas stations will be closed.

Strict guidelines for personal vehicles and busses were clearly spelled out.

Lastly, in my opinion, the most powerful and persuasive message issued from the Minister of Health, when addressing the nation live today was the following.

“Do not leave your house unless it is a food or medical emergency and you will have done your part to keep your household safe and your nation safe.”

Judging from the comments left by Grenadians following the publication of these directives, there is widespread support, despite the hardships imposed.

That is what True Leadership can accomplish!


Duhkxy and the Sandy Island Rats

Prelude – Catching up

We are still here in Grenada on Ice Floe, moored off Sandy Island within the Sandy Island / Oyster Bed Marine Protected Area (aka Carriacou Marine Park).  We have been here since March 18th when the majority of Caribbean Island Nations closed their borders.  Our June 18th flight was rescheduled for June 16th and subsequently canceled.  The airport in Grenada will open no sooner than June 30th.  We are now rebooked for July 4th.

How do we spend our days under lockdown?

That is a question we hear quite often so here is a description of our typical days.
We are both reading a lot, and of course I write my Blog every so often.  I spend way too much time reading the news and then I feel depressed and play solitaire on my iPad for an hour, or so.
I am heartened that the outrage played out in the peaceful protests following George Floyd’s death has rekindled the Black Lives Matter movement and drawn international attention to the need for police reform.  I track and graph the pandemic statistics every day.  In my humble opinion, we haven’t seen anything yet.
There is the requisite cooking and cleaning every day, 3 times a day.  Now that the Paradise Beach Club has re-opened we treat ourselves to a visit there a few times each week – sometimes for the best rum punch we have ever had, sometimes for the best fish tacos we have ever had, sometimes for the best lamb fritters we have ever had….
I FaceTime with Riley and Tristan on Wednesdays.  They are both reading me a different book and Tristan recently serenaded me on his ukelele.
Our days are frequently variations of the same, with occasional outings to sail, fish, snorkel, watch the seabirds and turtles around Ice Floe, or take a hike around Carriacou.  Many of these adventures are described in other blogs.
We visit Sandy Island almost every evening with Duhkxy and I will devote the balance of this entry to Duhkxy discovery and fascination with the rats on Sandy Island.

Duhkxy and the Sandy Island Rats

Soon after we arrived I saw the first rat on Sandy Island flash past into a pile of palm fonds.  Several weeks later, George and I both caught a glimpse of several surfing along the branches of a sea grape.
The photo of the cute little rat at the beginning of this blogpost was first seen less than two feet from George’s right shoulder.  I said “George, there is a rat – right there – pointing”.  George asked “Where?”, a bit alarmed.  I pointed again and George, now seeing it, quickly retreated to a safer location.  I then kept staring at the rat, who kept very still in hopes I did not see it.  George pulled the camera from our pack and I captured this adorable shot.
 
Now, as rats go, the Sandy Island rats are quite cute – smaller than nasty dump rats, shaped a bit more like a kangaroo rat, with soft-looking brown fur and big round eyes.  George was having none of it – he does not like rats (or snakes).
 
It was not long after that Duhkxy discovered them and for weeks his favorite past time, while visiting the island, was trying to flush them out and catch one.  He is a clever doggie and it was not long before he succeeded.
 
His favorite game is chase.  Unfortunately, he is too fast, and so are the rats, for me to capture that in a photo.  He has treed them as below.
 
I got you
Get down here and play with me (or let me play with you)

And he forced one into the water.  He would have been in there after it if we had not restrained him.

Admittedly, not as cute as when dry and fluffy.  This rat sure could swim.

Each day brings new discoveries and things to see on Sandy Island.  Each evening a new sunset.