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Carrier Pigeon on Board

March 25, 2012

Day 6, 365nm, that means little to no wind, but huge waves as the days before we left the wind was very strong.
We’ve known about this area with little winds but hoped to sail along the east side of the High where there should have been 10 to 15 knots. That was the forecast at least. We had about 3 to 5 knots. But our 24hr etmals are getting better, 60, 63, 71, 73 and 94 miles! Today the wind’s supposed to freshen up, maybe we hit 100 tomorrow, we’d like to arrive someday.

But anyway, we’re not here to sail but to serve our guest.
As Teneriffa was just about 20 miles off, a very exhausted pigeon landed. It has a ring and is very tame. At least at the beginning, she learned where to find food (bread and raw rice) and stayed inside our green dishwashing basin. Beside of short boat explorations, even the galley was interesting.
Now it’s fed and healthy again, so it seems, as it ignores us, shits just everywhere and flies around the boat. Just for food into the basin, well, it’s fun to clean every day a few times, it’s really hard to get rid of the stuff and it makes green spots on our powderblue paint. Uh, and the smell!
But we didn’t want to put it in a closed box. At night it sleeps in the back above the dinghy, ok, big toilet, and no chance for us to get it and put it in the green basin as we did before. But it’s pretty, light grey with green-purplish neck.

Thanks to the help of Christoph’s morningnet on SSB the carrier pigeon club in Madrid got informed but till now we don’t know what to do with it.
But we changed our plans and sail to the Cape Verde islands as we don’t want to bring it all the way to the Caribbean! And we hope it’ll leave itself and doesn’t think Optimist is the new home. Otherwise we might be in trouble!

Last night we got an additional guest, a small black swallow with a red head. After a few flights around the outside cockpit, testing to sit comfortable on lines, displays, and the wheel, it headed straight for a ventilation hole inside the galley. It was too small though so it had to spend the night outside on the wheel, but much less dirt to clean! Today it left, where to, who knows!

But the pigeon stays, if somebody has use for a carrier pigeon with the nr: ESP-CAN, R.F.C.E. 2011 209416, ready for pick up in 3 to 5 days on the Cape Verde islands…..

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