Ambassadors for all we America was. Apologists for all America is.

StormRider and Hidalgo or “The butterfly that went to Sea!”

Spiritus does not have pets.  It gets lonely on board, so we have a mechanical butterfly.  It is powered by the sun and waits thru the night patiently.  Every morning, it is hungry ’till the sun comes up.  Like our solar-panel array, which has wings that we spread to capture light and make it into energy, StormRider has mechanical wings and sips sunlight to “live.”  She is an automaton of the simplest kind.

Hidalgo is her best friend and the tiniest little mouse you ever may see.  His story is different.  Every boat worth the name has a mouse on board.  He was on board during the Force 7 gale we encountered off Oregon’s southern coastline.  To his credit … he did not abandon us but rode  out the storm in the galley.  We think he was safely tucked away in a box of Quaker instant blueberry oatmeal.

We are pretty sure that was the same night StormRider came aboard.  She had been blown out to sea and down the Oregon Coast as she made her way south,  migrating to California.

We found her after the storm as we tied up in Half Moon Bay, sitting on an apple in the fruit hammock, talking to Hidalgo.  They have become inseparable friends.

StormRider and Hidalgo

About the video. The butterfly in a bottle. No real butterflies or mechanical butterflies were harmed in any way in its creation. Enjoy!

A CAUTION FOR KIDS: Don’t keep a real butterfly in a bottle … if you catch one, after you look, release it … !


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