I tried my hand at lizard repatriation. We’d been out in the dinghy for an explore and returned to the boat to find two such creatures paddling like fury and trying unsuccessfully to climb up the convex hull of the boat. The current would sweep them back 5 meters or so then they’d summon up more energy for another unsuccessful assault to board Grace.
We watched this for a while thinking, what are these creatures doing out here? We’re anchored maybe 500m from land. It seemed to be such a fruitless pursuit. I wasn’t in need of a boat pet and didn’t fancy waking up with a lizard on my head. (Another unpleasant way to wake up to add to my list).
These creatures seemed knackered. We managed to coax one up onto the paddle board and it sat quietly resting for a couple of minutes. Then it skittered speedily off the board across the water and onto the side of the dinghy. But Lenny the lizard only had one goal. Get onto the big boat. He was summarily back in the water scrabbling fruitlessly at the side of the hull. His mate had disappeared by this point.
I concocted a plan. I’ll get Lenny back on the paddle board and take him to shore. Off I set. Me in the dinghy and Lenny on the board, being towed at a fairly sedate pace. I called by our Belgium friend Jarne to see if he wanted a pet. His girlfriend sails a boat called Gecko. Could have been appropriate.
I was pootling along towards land watching Lenny. Paddle boarding wasn’t for him. He started legging it towards the front of the board, reached top speed then launched himself into the water. And so ended my lizard repatriation. He was big boy with a mind of his own. He’d be okay. Human intervention was not required. Even if it was well intentioned.
This wasn’t our only wildlife encounter recently. On our return trip from Panama City (we’re legal now with proper stamps in our passports) we had the most amazing journey. It was the full on David Attenborough experience. We saw several Bryde’s whales, a whale shark, two hammerhead sharks, manta rays, jumping rays, dolphins, a sword fish and all manner of birds. A was a superlative time. The waters were teeming with life.
That evening at anchor we shone a torch in the water and the water was thick and rich with krill. That may help to explain why there was so much wildlife around that day.
Finally a quick update on our movements. We’re currently cruising around the Las Perlas islands off Panama. More positive news is coming out of French Polynesia with no new cases of CV. Negotiations are taking place regarding foreign flagged vessels getting into New Zealand and Australia later this year. So we’re pretty hopeful that the Pacific will still be on this year. It may be a very different journey to the one we originally envisaged. Staying positive (well trying to) and just waiting a little longer.