Jess Lloyd-Mostyn
Sailing Today|April 2021
Rats and sailors share an uneasy relationship going back almost to the beginning of time. When Jess and crew received an unwelcome visitor, drastic action was required
JESS LLOYD-MOSTYN

A loud bang from the cockpit wakes me. Followed by a fleeting, scurrying sound, then a flurry of movement up on deck, a splash and my husband, James, shouting “Give me an oar!”.

“What the hell is going on?” I demand, scrambling up the companionway steps, blearily taking in the scene. But I can see from the chaos on the cockpit floor exactly what must have happened.

The rat escaped.

Let me backtrack a moment here. There is a long history of rats and boats. Indeed, most islands only have rats on them because they were transported by our sailing trading ships of old. And, in our pre-sailing life in London, it was said that you were never more than six feet away from one. Although, I think that was more of an urban myth.

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