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Feathered stowaway gets comfortable

When Ron Pringle of East Dean, England, was about to slip the lines in SovereignHarbour earlier this month, he realized he was not alone. A female mallard duck had taken up roost in the cockpit of his sailboat, Caracyl, along with 10 eggs, according to British newspaper, the Herald Gazette.

“This kind of thing must happen fairly infrequently because everybody says ‘You’re the guy with the duck,’ when they see me,” Pringle told the Herald Gazette.

The duck leaves its nest, which is in a locker in the cockpit, while the boat is under way and she returns to her eggs upon Pringle’s arrival at the docks.

“Why she has taken a shine to my boat I don’t know, perhaps it’s because it’s painted red when most of the boats [in the dock] are white or blue,” said Pringle.

Duck eggs usually hatch within 28 days, so Pringle is expecting ducklings to start waddling around the deck any day now.

— Elizabeth Ellis