In April of 2009 I had my boat launched early at Bayport Yachting Centre in Midland, Ontario. I went up to the Marina by myself the first weekend in the slip...just to get things shipshape for the Admiral...that being Eva.
I decided to stay over a few nights on the boat and start laying in supplies for the upcoming boating season. I bought cereal, chips, cookies, crackers etc. I was quite pleased with myself and when I left, I decided to leave the main cabin door open so as to allow fresh air to circulate. That way, I figured, it would be nice and fresh smelling next weekend when the Admiral would be accompanying me.
Well, when we arrived next weekend about Noon, as soon as we went inside the cabin, we knew something was amiss. The chips were gone, the crackers eaten, the cereal box was empty. Something had been in there and helped himself!
After some muttering by me and some sharp words from the Admiral for leaving the door open, I set about cleaning up the mess. Bits of cardboard were everywhere, bits of memory foam in the V-berth all over leaving a nice hole etc.
We then carried on about our business for the rest of the day, straightening up here, cleaning there and generally getting things organized. Finally, in the early evening we cooked supper and sat down to an enjoyable meal. Things sure taste better up at the boat!
We did the dishes and settled back to watch a movie and things were wonderful. Our little heater kept us toasty warm.
After the movie, I set up the bed in the Main cabin for the Admiral and I retired to the V-berth for the night. I had dreams of anchoring in Port Rawson Bay and eating pan-fried pickerel at Henry's.
Suddenly , about 2AM, I heard the Admiral shouting something at me. I woke with a start only to find her standing near the galley sink with very large butcher knife in her hand and shouting, "There's a $#@%*& racoon in here!!
Sure enough, when I got out of bed and got my spotlight, there was a cute looking racoon staring at me from the space behind the lower helm station. He got scared and ducked back in behind the cabinetry where he had obviously been hiding all day. By now, the Admiral was gone. She had hightailed it up to the washroom.
"Now what do I do?", I asked myself.
I kept thinking about that while I got dressed and finally came up with what I thought was a foolproof plan. I would lay a trail of ham and cheese all the way down the floor of the cabin, out to the back deck, and onto the dock.
I then went up my car and sat inside, waiting for the racoon to come out. Soon the Admiral joined me. We listened to the radio, talked and tried to keep a sharp eye on the boat. At about 7:30AM, I finally said to the Admiral, "If that thing doesn't come out of there by 8AM, I'm going to have to call a Pest Removal Service.
Minutes after saying that, we saw the racoon come out of the boat and hide under the dock. It was not as small as I had thought. In fact, it was huge. Someone later told me that it was probably a female looking for somewhere to have its babies.
Moral of the story: Don't leave your cabin doors open.
Editors Note: If you have a boating story you would like to share, feel free to post it on this blog.