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A Visit from “Goldie”

By Joan de Regt

A visit from GoldieMy husband John and I were making the run from Isles of Shoals to Provincetown, heading back to our homeport of Rowayton, Connecticut after spending a month in Maine. Both of us were a bit wistful that our cruise was coming to an end, but we were enjoying a lovely day in August, about 10 miles offshore, with no other boats in sight. There was no wind, so we were motoring along at about 7 knots on our Cambria 46 Starlight. (Fun fact, her first owner was Christopher Reeve, who had her built in 1989 and named her Sea Angel.)

The author shares a moment with “Goldie.”  © John De Regt

In my never-ending quest to spot whales, I was scanning the horizon. Nothing. Wait, what was that? A tiny blur of yellow appeared just a couple of yards off to port. Much to our surprise and delight, a yellow finch was trying to land on our lifeline. But it was having difficulty negotiating the landing. John immediately cut the throttle and “Goldie” managed to come aboard.

While we had no clue if Goldie was a male or a female, I immediately started imagining it was a “she.”

The little thing was exhausted and just sat on the lifeline for several minutes, chest heaving, catching her breath. Then, all of a sudden, she flew to the deck and then into the cockpit. She wasn’t fazed by the two humans there, and even hopped around on John’s bare feet! I poured some water on the teak floor, which she quickly drank. But Goldie wasn’t interested in the bread I brought up. Instead, she started eating all the dead fly carcasses we had been swatting all morning and had not bothered to clean up. Once they were consumed, she started catching live ones. Amazing.

Goldie then began exploring down below. We were a little concerned that it would be difficult to get her back on deck, but not a problem. She negotiated the companionway easily, and went below several times over the next couple of hours. John even caught her napping on the counter in the galley. (Of course, we found little pooplets everywhere!)

My favorite moment was when she hopped on my shoulder and climbed down my arm to sit on my hand. We were starting to hope that she would decide to stay with us, but it was not to be. Refreshed and reenergized, and with Provincetown now in sight, off she flew to her next adventure. We are still smiling.


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