Gurty joins the crew! - May 23, 2020

Much has happened over the last few days.

First for the sad news – today is the day we have to leave our beautiful Leinster Bay. Dirk submitted his last bay report this morning and we turned in our Volunteer shirts, hats and other materials. Very sad to leave, but we have other adventures ahead of us.

And we have a new Crew member in training! A rescue pup named Gurty is along for the ride to New York where her new owner is in Brooklyn anxiously awaiting her arrival. Gurty is a BVI Belonger who will live out the rest of her days in the Big City. Many times, dogs are adopted in the BVI (where the shelters are all kill shelters) and flown home with vacationers who meet up with the adoptive parents and hand off the pets. Since there is no longer tourist air traffic, the rescuers are frantically searching for boat rides to get their charges to the States. After a couple of glasses of wine, we saw a Facebook post looking for a boat headed to the Northeast that was willing to foster a Rescue dog, and we said – “that sounds like a GREAT idea!” so we volunteered. Then we thought – oh boy, remember the dog hair and the jumping on furniture and the obvious complication of “potty” at sea? Then we had a couple of weeks of radio silence, so we thought we’d dodged (dogged?) the bullet when we got an email that Gurty was spayed and recovered, her papers were complete and she was on the way! So it was really happening!

When Dirk went to pick her up, she was terrified and did not know what to think of him. After a few rounds of sniffing, they soon made friends and after that she was much more comfortable. Keep in mind that as a rescue pup, this is a dog that has not spent any time on boats, so she is going from 0 to 60 in just a few seconds. She had a 20 – 30 minute dinghy ride ahead of her going upwind in order to get back to Catatonic, so she had a very quick indoctrination.

When she arrived on Catatonic and I met her, she warmed up to me right away and didn’t show signs of being terrified, but she was a little bit shy and quite hesitant to get back in the dinghy again when it was time to do a potty break ashore. We finally got her into the tender and went to pick up another set of friends for a walk ashore. She was rapidly gaining confidence and when the other friends joined us in the tender she was very friendly.

Once on the beach, she tentatively put her toes in the water, and actually swam for a few feet, but she is not a water dog. It seems she is still trying to figure out how to play, as we took a ball ashore and rolled it by her and she just watched it go by and had no interest. Soon enough we had her playing with the ball a little bit and Dirk had her playing in the sand. Once they were playing she actually barked out loud and scared herself. It was hilarious. That’s the only time she’s barked so far since we have had her.

Now she is becoming a pro at boat life and she even hops on the paddle board for a quick trip to Waterlemon Cay (now called Gurty Pee Cay) for a potty break. She has been VERY well behaved aboard! Since arriving, she has learned to come when called and to sit on command. She is still working on Stay. She’s had zero accidents and she only gnawed on a tube of sunscreen and a clam shell. We need to get her a few toys so that she has some things of her own and the little red collar she came with is a little bit tired, so we need to replace that with something nice as soon as we can find something for her.

Today we rented a car in order to make some preparations for our trip to the States. Once we offload extra SCUBA tanks to our St Thomas storage and do a WHOLE BUNCH of other chores, we are going to do a shakedown sail to St Croix and meet up with some of our friends. We will spend a couple of days there and then when we have a weather window that we like, we will sail to the Bahamas and then on to Lauderdale. So, our Virgin Islands time is winding down this season, and as happens every year, we are very sad to leave, but new adventures await and soon enough we will be back in our Island Paradise.

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