Our Jaguar 27 was anchored in the clear, warm, blue water off Lakka on North East
Paxos on night four of our holiday, when Jean got up for a trip to the heads. Whilst
seated something nibbled her toe with explosive consequences and she screamed and
crashed against the bulkhead.
We turned on the lights and found a small rat cowering next to the companion way
steps. I tried bravely but unsuccessfully to catch it using a broom but I lost it
through an orifice I was too fat to fit through.
For the next four or so hours we dozed and listened to every rustle or squeak. With
first light we checked everywhere but apart from chewed food packets (it even ate
my Ibuprofen tablets) and dirts there was no sign of the creature.
At eight we called our lead boat but without success. Our dinghy was inflated but
the oars did not fit the rowing pins on the Plastico RIB so we were stranded.
Eventually we cadged a tow to the quay and told the flotilla leader of our problem
and he contacted our hostie, Sarah. Together they scoured the boat but without a
sighting so Sarah went and bought some traps containing bait surrounded by sticky
There appeared to be no company policy in evidence in regard to managing the situation
and we were simply asked to set the traps and live with the situation. Jean wanted
to leave the flotilla and go ashore but I was confident that we would catch the boarder
We sailed for Parga – Valtos Beach on the Greek mainland where, before going ashore
for dinner, I set the traps again and Jean put some food on the quay. We returned
at midnight to find that our guest had escaped the trap leaving only footprints and
dirts. Some on our bed! I managed to quell the mutiny but only because it was so
late, again we woke at every rustle or squeak.
At some stage I was snoring when the rat ran down my back. I leaped up banging my
head on the deck above nearly breaking my neck only to find that the feet were Jean’s
fingers gently touched me to make me turn over.
I rose at dawn but apart from dirts we saw no further signs of visitation. Jean came-to
with a cold sore developing on her mouth, a sure sign of stress in her. The food
she had left on the quay was now floating near the boat and had been well chewed
by something with small teeth so I was hopeful that we had encouraged our passenger
to dine elsewhere and seek more friendly accommodation.
Leaving the mainland for Paxos again raised Jean’s anxiety but I persuaded her that
Ratty had left so we sailed for Paxos and a night in Mongonisi. That evening I again
set the traps before going to dinner and when we returned there were no more footmarks
and no more dirts. Ratty had indeed gone, we slept like logs.
Apart from this excitement our trip went well with some light wind sailing and some
iron-topsailing. The days were warm and comfortable, the sea warm and clear, the
nights balmy and bright with stars. The food was good the drink flowed freely with
new friendships developing. We enjoyed the socializing and had a great night Greek
and other dancing in Mongonisi on the southern tip of Paxos.
Ahh the wonders of Ibuprofen! Jean won the "Perfect Parking Award" for womaneuvering
the boat on and off the quay, even astern.
Apart from our small guest the holiday was most enjoyable and with luck we will do
it all again next year.