D & D Nagle aboard MV DavidEllis

27 May 2020 | Elfin Cove, SE Alaska
16 April 2020 | Elfin Cove, Cross Sound, Chichagof Island, SE Alaska
10 July 2019 | Elfin Cove, Alaska (or in Aussie:
18 March 2019
19 September 2017 | northbound Verney Passage, west side Gribbell Island
30 May 2017 | Photo is Meyers Chuck, north of Ketchikan AK
29 August 2016 | on-the-hard, Wrangell
19 November 2015 | almost there
16 November 2015
15 November 2015
11 November 2015 | Shearwater - Bella Bella, BC
10 November 2015 | photo is approaching Bottleneck Inlet
01 November 2015 | Wrangell, Alaska
17 September 2015 | Juneau to Petersburg
19 July 2015 | Wrangell > Petersburg > Tracy Arm > Juneau
28 June 2015 | Wrangell, AK (still on the hard)
03 March 2015 | Ketchikan

RIP Rusty 2/6/2009 - 8/3/2022

25 August 2022
david nagle
From January 2004 until September 2006 and again January-March 2009 we spent a great deal of time at the Seahorse Marine boatyard across the Pearl River from DouMen, China where MV DavidEllis was built. Many times we saw there, these interesting red dogs. They didn’t look like any breed I knew but were clearly DOGs, nothing pet-ish or toy about them; reminded me of Australian dingos. If you ever get the notion to watch “World of Susie Wong” you can see a couple of them on the back of a local fishing boat in the Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter as the two main characters go past in a sampan.

March 2009, having spent close to three years in SE Asia (China, Hong Kong, Philippines and Malaysia) aboard MV DavidEllis, we were moored in that same Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter trying to figure out what was next when I began to notice that the ever-lovely Ms Dorothy was frequently to be found on her laptop looking at pictures of puppies. When I would ask about it, she would say it didn’t mean anything, she was “just looking”. I may have been born at night, but it wasn’t last night. Long-story-short, with the help of our boat neighbor/veterinarian (Tony Matthews / Acorn Veterinary), we got connected with a Hong Kong dog rescue group “Kirsten’s Zoo” and after one thing and another, Rusty joined the permanent crew of DavidEllis.

Rusty’s first months with us are documented in the blog postings at 28 April 2009 & 02 May 2009

May 29, 2009, MV DavidEllis departed Hong Kong on a passage to North America via Japan and the Aleutian Islands. This is documented in the blog from 29 May through June and July 2009. The 10 July 2019 blog post has a summary of the voyage in which Rusty’s experience is prominently recorded.

This is from the “Underway to Ishigaki” blog early in the passage: “Rusty is acclimating very well to boat life. He puked a couple of times, a couple of days ago, but continues to eat his food, and drink his water, play, attack Craig when he's trying to sleep, get underfoot, chew things he isn't supposed to, chase his toys when tossed and get underfoot when things get scary, trying to stay close to someone who'll make it all stop.
Right now he's sleeping on the floor of the pilot house next to Kirk at the helm, sliding back and forth as his body slips inside his skin with the motion of the boat”.

Rusty did not like rough weather. More accurately, Rusty hated when we got underway and as motion increased, would look for somewhere to hide — a pile of foulies (foul-weather rain gear that often piled up at the back of the wheelhouse) to burrow into and/or someone’s lap, where he’d stay until motion subsided.

Underway, Rusty would alert me to dolphin riding our bow wave. Frequently, dolphin would be riding the pressure wave as the boat moved through the water. I’m convinced Rusty could hear the high-pitched sounds dolphin make as he would pop up from his “I’m so miserable” position on the wheelhouse floor and make his own high-pitched “yips”. Out on the deck, Rusty would run back and forth at the bow from port to starboard and back the entire time the dolphin stayed to play.

Rusty did not like water, rarely deigning to walk onto even wet ground — very cat-like in that regard. But he loved to run on beaches and when he ran it was flat out like a horse galloping, body airborne, legs stretched out fore and aft. Every couple of years, to everyone’s surprise, Rusty would wade into the water at a beach, hard to say why that beach or that day.

People liked Rusty. Lady Customs agents fawned over him and forgot their duties when we entered one country or another. In Kushiro, Japan people would come to the sea wall where DE was tied up to ask “Where Lusty?” so they could have their pictures taken with him. A newscrew from a TV station in Sapporo came to interview Rusty.

Rusty hated being left alone, howling piteously until we returned. Two years after Rusty had joined the crew, we flew Rascal over from Hong Kong (courtesy of Tony Matthews & Acorn). The two boys never bonded. Rascal tried, but for the next 11 years Rusty mostly ignored and sometimes growled at Rascal. Anytime we were underway, we would take the boys to whatever ‘beach’ (sometimes just a rock sticking up out of the water) was available for P&P Patrol (Pee & Poo). Coming back to DavidEllis, landing at the swimstep, Rusty would jump aboard, then up the ladder to the back deck from where he’d attempt to keep Rascal from getting back onto the boat… every time. For his part, after a while Rascal just ignored Rusty and his moods.

Rusty hated gunshots, thunder and fireworks and wasn’t too keen on airplane flights in his crate. Rusty loved his many friends, would clearly remember each of them after years of no contact. Frankly, I think he liked them better than me.

Snow would turn Rusty into a puppy. Even after he lost his undercoat due to a skin condition, he would play in the snow until he was shivering and had to be dragged inside to warmup before going back out to do it all over again.

With the exception of snow, Rusty never really figured out “play”. Given a toy, he would tear it to shreds in minutes, literally minutes. Chase a ball or a stick? not for money or love. He did enjoy games we’d set up to find things we’d hidden. He had a great nose.

The last couple years he was losing strength in his hips. Giving him meds was always a challenge. Through our many dogs over the years, Dorothy and I had little trouble getting them to take meds, whether hidden in a treat, powdered into their food or (literally) shoved down their throats. But Rusty, he was impervious to all our tactics. He never ate a meal that he didnt sniff over from all angles before taking a bite. If there was a med powdered into it, he’d walk away and wait for the next meal. If you tried to give him the previous meal again, he’d walk away again. We tried a vast array of foods to hide his meds in — peanut butter, cheese, cheeseballs, mini-sausages, hot dogs, liverwurst, meats, lunch meats — some worked for a week, a few (liverwurst) worked for months, some once was it. If he happened to bite down on a capsule while taking a hidden med, he’d spit it out and take nothing more for that mealtime or ever again the food that had contained the med.

The last six months or so, Rusty has been eating less and less, despite appetite enhancers and attempts to feed him anything we could think of. He reached the point where he had no fat on him — not skin and bones, but nothing extra. He went out on his own terms, took no food the last week and we gave him water by dropper the last couple days. In spite of not having eaten in 3 days at that point, he went to the beach and back under his own power 3 days before he passsed. And now he’s gone. And we are missing him.

Rascal seems to be doing okay with Rusty gone. If anything, he’s more relaxed. About food, about his contact with us, about everything really.

We used to shorthand our little family as “R2D2” — Rusty, Rascal, Dorothy, Dave. We are now R1D2.
Vessel Name: DavidEllis
Vessel Make/Model: Diesel Duck 462 (Seahorse Marine)
Hailing Port: Sebastopol, CA, USA
Crew: Mike (Dave) and Dorothy Nagle
Home for us is Sebastopol, CA, USA, where children, grandchildren and surviving parents still reside. We lived aboard in SE Asia, except for short visits home spring of 06 til fall 09, primarily in China, Macau, Hong Kong, Philippine Islands and Malaysia. [...]
while building, commishioning and shaking down, the boat was the 'ends'; now she's become the 'means' to explore new places, live there awhile, get to know folks before moving on. "David Ellis" is named after David J. Nagle & Ellis D. Peterson, Dave & Dorothy's dads. Both have passed, but [...]

Who: Mike (Dave) and Dorothy Nagle
Port: Sebastopol, CA, USA