It was Saturday night in Verdun, and we were forewarned by fellow cruisers about the summer concert series along the waterfront…it would be LOUD!! Duh! It’s a CONCERT! Verdun’s waterfront was crowded; boats were rafted to one another, including Detour which was rafted to M/Y Zonderzorg all the way at the end of the docks. But, we had front row seating for that night’s show. The opening band took the stage at 9:30pm (yes, it’s still quite light outside) and they got us rockin’ to some Ska-style music. “Loud,” as it turns out was an understatement as we could feel the base vibrating through our feet on the topdeck. The opening band has us groovin’ in our PJ’s, and so when the main event began we wanted to get a closer look…The band that drew the crowd that evening was Les Yeux DLa Tete. They had an interesting vibe, a mix between what we would call rock/ska; you can have a listen for yourself thanks to YouTube. This song, “I Don’t Speak English” was entertaining, particularly during the choreograph lessons between the band and the crowd. It was the only song of the evening that actually contained any English, yet we were not certain toward whom the band was pocking fun…you know Britts speak English too!
The concert was super fun! But, to get a closer look we had to step across M/Y Zonderzorg. Not a problem, it had been easy to get ashore across the bow of this restored/converted Dutch sailing barge. Brian was at the dock, always a gentleman he extended his hand to assist my step down when – EEEEEKK!! I spied a RAT aboard M/Y Zonderzorg and my gasping and sidestepping scared the rat so that he/she ran forward and roundabout toward Detour. EWE!! Now, my head was spinning at the concert wondering whether the rat had gone aboard our boat!
We’d had no indication that any vermin had boarded us permanently. The following morning, I told Brian that I’d heard little rat feet scuttling across the deck above my head. “Dreaming,” he brushed it off as if I were paranoid. Well YEAH, I WAS! We speculated all the possible ways a rat could get inside the boat, there were few, and then we attempted to rat-proof the exterior which meant only that we fastened a plastic bag over the open end of the boom (lashed to the deck). That very night, while we were watching a new TV series (Spooks; donated from some friendly Aussie’s back at Chalon sur Saone), a rat peered into our windows! I was seated just right so that I, naturally, could see the little silhouette of rat ears and whiskers and feet. There was some screeching, by yours truly, followed by Brian going topside with flashlight and boat-hook in hand. Neither of us really knew what we could do aside from shoo away the little critter. The topsides were clean, so we were convinced ourselves that the rats were investigating M/Y Zonderzorg and then doing the same aboard Detour. There was nothing for a rat on deck. No rats found, TV show resumed, and then…peering into the window once again was a rat!! We both went outside this time, but found nothing. Just to be safe, I shoved a towel into the very small gap between the hatch and the hatch-board. We’d hypothesized no other entry points. Through the duration of the show, no other rats peered into the window but one or several scampered across the deck.
Next morning, we checked all possible exterior hiding places and then…outa there!