September 21, 2010

Boat of Refuge

Reader alert: most of our posts are nice travel, or living aboard stories suitable for friends, family and arm chair travellers. But we also have a fair number of soon-to-be cruisers who read the blog and they are always in search of tips and info, stuff that's not as interesting to people like my mum… This is one of those blog posts.
We are many different things to the animals in the Sea: shade for sealions; a roost for birds; a potential mate to nearsighted whales; an object of interest for dolphins. What we didn't expect to be was a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Maia and I have been complaining for weeks about being bit. But Evan, because he wasn't being bit, was convinced we were imagining the welts that were appearing on us. At first I blamed the rain storm in Santa Rosalia-assuming the rains had left just enough standing water for the mosquito population to explode. But then we left Santa Rosalia behind and our mosquito problem stayed with us.
I just assumed there were mosquitoes on shore every place we went, but when no one else was getting bit, and when all our bites seemed to be happening on the boat, I started to wonder if Charlie had some how gotten fleas.
Charlie was flea free, but our mosquito population was growing by the day. This was when I started hunting for standing water. We're had problems with our water tanks-and one leaked in to another compartment, so we got that bone dry and wiped it down with bleach. It didn't make a difference-our mosquito population was clearly, and visibly, growing. So Evan went on a hunt through every locker, mopping up any spills and disinfecting every surface. Afterward we had a larger cloud of mosquitoes than before.
At sunset last night I went to get repellent for Maia, and I and saw a mosquito fly out of the shower drain. We've been showering in the cockpit almost exclusively, for months. While we normally clean out the shower sump regularly, I couldn't recall the last time we'd even used it. So Evan went down and discovered the sump was providing refuge for a good-sized mosquito colony, which he exterminated.
But it was one of those things we had never thought of…
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1 comment:

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

Amazing: the will to survive and procreate. Life is DNA's way of making sure it gets replicated.