Unwelcome Visitor

We have a rat on board.

We have a rat on board.

We have a rat on board.

He has eaten various foodstuffs, the nose from Andy's mask and snorkel,
and the toggle from my sunglasses strap. So far.

He has evaded the rat trap three times and now got smart. People do
experiments with rats in labs because they learn from previous
experiences. He is learning. No longer does he scamper all over the deck
at night leaving a trail of droppings and nibbles. He has become Stealth
Rat.We now even sleep in separate bunks, on 'rat patrole'. So far, to no

Other yachties tell us what they did when they had a rat on board. One
intentionally flooded his boat to drive the rat out of one remaining
hole, another started a fire in a bucket to smoke it out, a third set up
an elaborate rat trap with a large bucket, water, and peanut butter.

Maybe one day we, too, will be able to outsmart the rat.

We now have poison and traps. Not too enamoured with the idea of poison
as 'rotting rat in boat' is only slightly preferably to 'alive rat in
boat'. A local also offered to lend us his cat. But Andy's cat allergy,
combined with dead or injured rat, might just end up driving him off the
boat instead.

I don't want to kill it; I just want it to not be here. Not eat our food
(supplies for the next six months), not eat through our electrical
wiring, not shit everywhere and spread disease. Just not be here.

Days like this bring into question the merits of self-sufficiency. One
one hand we get to sail across oceans with no fixed destination, produce
our own electricity, catch our own water, and set our own clocks. On the
other, there are no restaurants or take-aways, no laundromats, and no
pest controllers.

I'd like to tell you more about pacific paradise but the rat occupies
most of our thoughts.

I did make breadfruit pancakes last night though. Kind of nice. Sort of
sweet. And wired a fan. And we did a load of laundry (which might also
have been when we picked up our friend). And we have both been out
sailing in the dinghy- a great way to take your mind off rodent-related
issues. Andy makes impressive zig-zags around the bay even when there is
nary a puff of wind. I thought I was doing really well too, then I read
the end of an email he sent to a friend:

"PS got our little row boat rigged up with a sail yesterday bamboo mast
boom and spirit sail shes a beautiful little sailor Rhian has been going
out in it she still has no idea where the wind is coming from but is
happy going around in circles xx"

5 thoughts on “Unwelcome Visitor


    The second trap, flambed to remove human smell, stacked with peanut butter, stale bread, and salt, did the trick.

    I feel bad for the rat.

    But we have our home back. Music is playing, beers are opened, and Andy is cooking – ratatouille.

  2. Rhian this has been a vey trying time for you what with the Rat or Rats after my sons comments about you sailing round in circles, Yvonne and I know who is the boss, Love to you both great blogs this will one day make a fine book. End of Jan whole of Feb is on for us see yu then Yip ehh. LOVE MAD xx

  3. Good riddance!

    If you've ever had a rat crawl across your face at night, there's zero sympathy when your Rambo instincts take over.


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