Bill is…

The Bae office did their research and decided that Bill must be a…

Fire Salamander.  Thanks for the information, though I must admit I worry about the amount of work that gets done in your office 😉 !

 A quick google search http://robbsnet.com/trip_report_1.htm revealed a similar looking Bill-type creature. 

One of Bill's cousins...probably

As for where he came from, it could have been anywhere.  For those of you who are interested in exciting Wikipedia-type information the following is a short snippet (with some additions) about the Fire Salamander

“Fire Salamanders live in forests in the hilly parts of southern and central Europe. They prefer deciduous forests, as they like to hide in the fallen leaves, but also at mossy tree trunks….Whether on land or in water, fire salamanders are inconspicuous. (m.o.m: yes we obviously didn’t spot him for quite a while) They spend much of their time hidden beneath stones, wood or other objects. (m.o.m: Obviously Bill preferred the luxurious life of the sail)

Fire Salamanders are active in the evening and the night, but on rainy days they are active in daytime as well. Their diet consists of various insects, spiders, earthworms and slugs, but they also occasionally eat small vertebrates like newts and young frogs. (m.o.m: Goodness knows what he ate on the boat…the only edible things in the cockpit were us…) Small prey will be caught within the range of the vomerine teeth or by the posterior half of the tongue, which adheres the prey….”

It is possible that the name of the species derives from old tales of these amphibians: the salamanders hide within holes and crevasses in damp wood and tree trunks. When humans cut down wood to use for heating, the salamanders often remained hidden within. When a fire was lit, the heat forced the animals to leave the wood and crawl to safety, because of this they appear as though they were “crawling from within the flames”. Wikipedia 2010

At least we never had one living in the paraffin cooker.  It might be badly behaved sometimes but despite the big flame that sometimes comes out, there has not been a creature accompanying it so far. 

Pete has the luxury of having the whole boat to himself for a few weeks and has decided to travel back up the river for a bit before heading back down to Vila Real for a painting event in the main square at the weekend.  Otherwise his plan is to do “occasional
sailing, walking, lazing around and odd jobs” though in what proportions it is not clear…

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