Shepherd Moon - Noah's Ark

Whilst we were in Shelter Bay (the Caribbean side of Panama) we had the boat fumigated. Surprisingly, this was not necessitated by having Jacob on board for an extended period of time, instead it is a requirement for all boats visiting the Galapagos Islands. Likewise, you have to make sure your bottom is squeaky clean (that's the boat's bottom, not the individual crew members', or at least I hope that's what they mean). Both stipulations are designed to protect the islands from invasive species and are noble in principle, but the timing of the fumigation seemed a bit premature. Invasive beasties will have had three weeks to re-colonise the boat, and they seem to have embraced that opportunity.

The first arrival turned up in Jacob's shower. He had been complaining that his bathroom smelt a bit funny, but we assumed that was just "boy" smell. It was only when he went to have shower that he discovered our visitor. There was a small black sea bird sitting in the corner of the shower tray, hiding behind a bag. It has flown in through a small open window, and clearly couldn't find its way out again. Thankfully my Christmas present from my mother-in-law was to hand, and so we were able to identify the stowaway as a Storm Petrel. I scooped it up (the bird not the book), lifted it to the window and it immediately flew off across the waves.

The second visitor was a dragonfly. It arrived one evening and found its way under the hardtop. There are various plastic boxes and cloth bags stored there with things we might need quickly (safety harness, torches, sunglasses etc.), and it hid itself behind those. The trouble was that every time you reached to get anything in the night, the dragonfly would wake up and start flying around manically. It even found its way down below at some point, until Vanessa worked out that it was attracted to light and so with some judicious torch work, managed to lure it out again. By the morning it was gone.

The final arrival was a giant moth. It turned up around lunchtime and, once again, settled itself down under the hardtop. Despite all the banging and bashing (and bickering) which form the aural backdrop to Shepherd Moon, it only moved once during the afternoon, shifting from the port side to the starboard side (it was clearly a racing moth). As dusk fell, Vanessa was reiterating for the fifth time all the reasons why we couldn't take "Malcolm" with us to the Galapagos Islands, and then literally a minute after the sun had slipped below the horizon, he was off. (As it happened, in the direction of the Galapagos, and so perhaps we'll see him there after all).
At 13/02/2018 13:46 (utc) our position was 01°04.00'N 083°43.00'W