STS Leeuwin II feathered stowaway finds safe port in a storm

STS Leeuwin II feathered stowaway finds safe port in a storm

A STRANGE stowaway caused a bit of excitement for the crew of the STS Leeuwin II during a sail in last week’s blustery conditions.

Leaving its B Shed berth, the chief officer heard a distressed-sound which stood out from the usual seagull squawks.

STS Leeuwin II duty watch officer Phil Reynolds said the crew began searching for the source of the noise, which seemed to be coming from overhead, but could not find where it was coming from.

He said that after some searching, the crew finally found the stowaway, a seemingly tame weiro cockatiel nestled high atop the mast, who they have dubbed Jack the Lad.

“The very strong easterly winds must have blown this quizzical, excitement seeking lad from his inland suburban home,” he said.

“Being exhausted, I think he was looking for refuge from being blown all the way west to Madagascar, finding a safe haven on STS Leeuwin II.”

He joked that the bird’s capture was like something out of a swashbuckling scene from the 1800s.

“The crew were scurrying around the weather deck, trying to restrain the little chap and clap the young offender in irons, but I saw the opportunity to win the confidence of this wayward lad and I walked gently up to him, leaning over with an outstretched cupped right hand,” he said.

“On seeing this, Jack the Lad confidently walked along the main weather deck towards me and freely jumped into my hands.

“At his capture, he was looking up at me and winking, as if to say ‘thank God I have made it to a safe anchorage!’”

The Leeuwin Foundation is looking to reunite the bird with its owners.

Call the Leeuwin office on 9430 4105.