Jamie and Rosemary can bang on about sailing and weather windows and whatever all they like, but us three know that the Real Sailing Life is owned and run by us; me (XL Dita), Walter, and Bella. We are the ones that keep this sailing boat ticking over, even though it might not always seem like it to them! We can give you (with our secret opposable thumbs and blogging skills) a real insight to what goes on aboard the SY Rose Rambler from the professionals’ point of view!
You will have already seen our pictures on the ‘Crew’ page, but I thought I’d introduce myself a bit more – how on earth did I come to be aboard the HMS Inept with Roger the Cabin Boy and the Master Baiter??
I was the first arrival on board, so obviously I am the senior one – whatever the other two say. I was wrenched from my comfortable sideboard in Ealing on a really windy afternoon in July – I mean, seriously people, windy as anything, and there’s me in my 5′ vivarium being off-loaded onto a trolley and pushed down ramps, through gates and heaven knows what in driving crosswinds to this floating thing! My only bit of satisfaction was that my tank caught so much wind on the sides that it made manoeuvring me REALLY difficult! Then they dump me on a sofa, switch on my sun and desert warmth, chuck a piece of chicken at me – ha! Like *that* makes everything better! – and off they go again. Ok, the chicken DID make everything better, it was amazingly tasty – definitely my favourite of their offerings! I was totally ok with them leaving me here as long as there was chicken around.
Since then, it’s been a good life. My eyesight isn’t good (it’s a breed thing), but everything is much closer that in that house in Ealing, so I can actually keep a good eye on the goings on. It’s quite stimulating actually, and I even find myself staying awake just so I can see the antics of the rest of them.
Every now and again there’s this huge vibration and some noise – it seems to be like a weird cat signal as he just freaks out. It gets a bit strange as I can see from my log that there are things moving around outside as if by magic – I even saw the cat sliding across the floor, but I don’t really get it. I’m on a log, I hold on. Easy. That cat always was a bit of a dram queen though. I hear them talking about ‘the log’, but it’s not a proper log like mine, it seems to be some kind of book, then of course there are the charts, bearings, position fixes etc, so it seems as if we’re moving somewhere, but hey, my log is better than theirs, so I keep myself to myself and laugh when the cat slides by.
I get chicken fairly often – occasionally I get a bit of finger too (it’s the iron in the blood I crave) – they think it’s because I mistake finger for chicken, but that’s just stupid! There are always greens and water on offer too.
Recently, I’ve been getting to explore another bit of the new habitat – it’s a big area with a big sky (I have to keep my eyes peeled for eagles etc), but it’s nice to have a change. There’s a small swimming pool out there, but I’m damned if the other two won’t let me have a dip in peace! Constantly staring at me! I feel so self-conscious! I have a small pool in my vivarium, so I can bathe more discreetly there. Bathing also helps my digestion, and I can usually move things along sufficiently to force Rose or Jamie to give my quarters a good clean afterwards!
They bought an extra battery for me (for powering my light and heat) so I don’t get cold, or kept in the dark, and I pretty much have pride of place on the sofa – I get to watch everything that happens! No, I can’t complain really. It’s warm, even when they do forget to buy spare heat lamps (they did bring a water bottle though, but who needs that in the Med?!), I get chicken, I have a pool, sometimes tasty flies appear in my tank (I’m not that great at catching them, but I try to look like I’m making an effort – especially if there might be any chicken in it for me), and I like doing impressions. Churchill is my best I feel, but I can do several – it seems to entertain the others, and I like having an audience.
I think I may be the only bearded dragon to ever go to sea! One day I’ll sell my story to Reptile Monthly and make a fortune. I’ll get this lot to drop me off in BVI and I’ll be waited on by buff beardies from the Gold Coast or some such. Chicken every day, bigger pool, crickets sauntering past, fresh romaine lettuce smoothies. The staff fawning over me, begging me for another story of my pioneering life on the waves, mentoring a baby hatchling or two. Maybe a book deal! Yes, that’s how it’ll be!