Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Night of a Million Mosquitoes

Underway again, repairs made and maintenance done.  The engine was humming happily and the helm was easy and the sun was shining and warm.  We had a great day on the water and made excellent time, covering more than 50 miles to anchor near the head of the Pungo River.  There was a small chance of thunderstorms in the evening, so an anchorage that was secure and sheltered was more of a priority than one that had nice breezes.  We were sitting in the cockpit enjoying a quiet evening, with the boat open to the warm moist night air.  Almost 360 degrees of trees, water, marsh, and nothing built by humans in sight in any direction.  This really is the life.

It started to drizzle and when we went below – ugh! We seem to have gotten a little more shelter than we bargained for.  The still air allowed the insects to come out.  There were mosquitos everywhere, a LOT of mosquitos. Un-swattably many mosquitoes, on every surface.  Finally in desperation we closed the boat and burned a mosquito-repellant coil, letting it serve as an impromptu bug bomb.  I’m sure that stuff wasn’t great for humans to breathe, either, but we didn’t have a lot of other ideas at that point.

Well, the bug bomb idea was about 80% effective and soon those mosquitoes were dropping like, well, flies, and we could swat them or pinch them up in paper towels.  Now what?  It’s hot, it’s raining so we can’t sleep with the hatches open, and we’re wearing long pants and long sleeve shirts and socks (all sprayed with Off!) to protect us from the remaining mosquitoes.  And we’re going to sleep exactly how?  The v-berth is even hotter than the main cabin.  Blankets are unthinkable, but so is leaving skin exposed.
We ended up sleeping – or at least dozing – fully dressed, one on each side of the main cabin, me on the starboard settee, Dan on port.  And I’m thinking to myself – this is the 21st century!  We have air conditioning!  We have electricity! Why am I living like this? What, again, is so romantic about this life afloat?

I bet Dan that we’d be laughing about the “night of the million mosquitoes” a few days from now, when we got the boat to Great Bridge, Virginia.  We’d be drinking margaritas at our favorite Mexican restaurant that’s an easy walk from where we usually tie up for the night when we’re in that area, and laughing.  Just, I wasn’t laughing yet. (Note, I’m posting this story 4 days later and I’m STILL finding little souvenirs of this night every once in a while, on the rugs or floor.  And we have arrived at Great Bridge, Virginia, and tonight we’re going to that Mexican restaurant!)

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