It arrived dry, so I believe it walked down the gangplank. And it left wet, very wet. Possums can swim apparently.
There are no action photos to accompany this post. After all, who wants to see pictures of my husband in his night attire (it's too hot to wear pj's at the moment...) chasing a stinky possum round the back deck with the scoop net he uses for fish?!
He didn't get it in the net but he did scare it overboard. And here's the funny part. It swam to our port side jetty, climbed the poles, ran along the jetty to the back deck of the Store. I thought we were in the clear then because it can get from there back onto dry land. But no, the stupid thing turned the corner and ran back down our starboard jetty and jumped onto the neighbours boat!
We woke them up (their hatches were open so we thought it was best they didn't meet a possum face to face in bed) and the first thing our neighbour asked - in his very English accent - "Am I dreaming?!" The next thing he said was, "Where's my camera?"
The possum hightailed it up the sail on the roller furler. It kept going higher and higher and even unrolling the sail didn't dislodge it. It made it to the top of the mast (which must be a good 15 metres or 50 feet) and sat there. Probably changing it's mind about the wisdom of a life at sea.
We all gave up at that point. Closed all our doors and hatches and went back to bed. This morning it's gone. And yes, we checked the anchor chain locker ;-)
Here's a photo of possums my sister took in Australia, where they are a native species and protected. They may look cute, but in New Zealand, where they were introduced for hunting for fur, they are considered noxious pests which destroy our forests and eat native birds eggs.