Serpentine Stowaway Causes Panic in Fiji

For Chris Myles and KT Roddick, cruising the Fijian Islands is a process of constant--and sometimes slithering-- discoveries

Cruising Posts: Billabong Naviqiri

A panoramic view of Naviqiri, Fiji, the port where Chris Myles and KT Roddick made their startling discovery.Chris Myles

Chris Myles and KT Roddick have been bumming around the South Pacific aboard their Gibsea 126, Billabong, since December 2003. The couple's weekly blog entries tell of playing Frisbee with Fijian islanders and exploring WWII ruins in Kiribati. In this recent post from the Fijian village of Naviqiri, Chris recalls a frightening encounter with a serpentine stowaway:

"One night after a busy afternoon of playing with the kids and a drink of tea afterwards we headed down to the dinghy to go to the boat…Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a black and white striped thing on the engine…and it began to move. Yikes, holy cow…
what the…it was a sea snake, one of the most poisonous snakes.

"We jumped around trying to get it overboard, flailing violently and forgetting about steering the dinghy. We made a couple of circles, headed right towards the reef, and pretty much made fools of ourselves to anyone on shore who didn't know what was happening. We finally got [the snake] overboard and we certainly deserved a good beer after that adventure. The good thing about a sea snake is they can't really bite you because their jaws aren't big enough. I guess you can get bit in the skin flap between your fingers and toes so I pretty much fought it with palmed hands. It was funny in hindsight. It's been rather cold in Fiji and I guess [the snake] was warming itself on the engine for awhile.

"The next day we explained to everyone what had happened and after a big sigh of relief, they laughed at us."

To visit Billabong's website, click here .

To read the couple's latest blog entry, click here .