Yuri didn’t get a captured rat for his birthday, we’re still waiting on that, but he did get a Falcon! The delicious chocolate cake with coconut icing, baked during the night watch by Maran and a handful of other little gifts, paled in comparison to what mother nature had in store on Yuri’s birthday.
At mid-day, to everyone’s amazement and out of nowhere, a falcon swooped down and perched on the cabin window, inches away from us as we sat there. Sheimaa has named him Baalito (Baal is a Phoenician God of the sky) which means “Little God”. So far, the bird has provided hours of entertainment for all of us. The way it hangs in the air and the flies with such grace and agility is a pleasure to behold. We have been desperate to take it under our wing (pun intended) by offering it water and scraps of fish, but it’s not at all interested. Baalito is self-sufficient, always on the hunt for its own live prey: fish and particularly flying fish.
Of course, we have spent so long admiring the falcon that we have started to believe that it may hold the answer to all of our problems. Could this wonderful and deadly little predator be the hero to catch the rat? Nothing has worked so far, and Baalito has all the characteristics to be the rat catcher we need!
Although we’re well over 100 miles from land, it’s amazing how much wildlife we’ve seen. We have our very own rat and bird on board but have seen lots of dolphins, small birds and even a butterfly. I wonder if our ecosystem extends to us having a crew of pilot fish under the hull too?
No complaints in the fishing department: We have two fishing lines trailing from the stern. Dirman’s traditional Indonesian frayed string lure on the port side, and a modern lure on the starboard side. Dirman’s lure has so far caught at least 7 fish this leg (at one point we could barely finish all the fresh dorado we had on board!) and the modern lure: 0 fish.
We are now reaching the end of our fresh fruit and vegetables, so it’s on to the canned/dried stuff for the remainder of the journey (plus any fish we catch). There is also a familiar box of tasty “off limit food” which is being held until Christmas!