Nov 15: My eyes open early and I’m full of energy to get this ship back in order. I’ve got a full a full day before everybody’s back at work, so I dig in. Haul the cushions and pillows out into the sun, commence 9 loads of laundry (the rats peed and pooped on EVERYTHING), fill the water tanks, find the extension cord and plug in the electricity, a long swim at dusk to rinses the sweat away…another night of cockpit stargazing on the poolmat. I hear those rat finkers tinkering inside my Swelly.
Nov 16: Hey hey hey, Lizzy’s back! A hundred bisous (kisses) to all my old friends. Gotta try to get the French flowing again…What, Sylvain? You don’t work here anymore? Who’s gonna help me fix the leak?! I’ll have to settle for the new guy…Laurent arrives–a sturdy little Frenchman in his fifties with hair like Einstein. He’ rather cold and speaks too quickly for me to understand. After one hour he is sure we can’t find the outside source of the leak. Good thing I just paid you 55 dollars for that hour…If only I hadn’t been frolicking in Hawaii for so long I would have Sylvain helping. Oh, so forlorn that night. Rained out of the cockpit and have to sleep inside with the rat…ugh.
Nov 17: Sylvain wanders by and I explain my situation. Okay, he’ll help me at least figure out the source of the leak, but then Laurent will have to do the work. Deal. We pull off the stairs and I show him exactly where the water can be seen from the inside. He goes down under the boat, and puts a pressurized water hose to the cutlass bearing area and the leak erupts from the inside like Ol’ Faithful! Cheers and high-fives in the pouring rain!! I wander back up the stairs and ahhhhhhhhhhhhh! Two little beady black eyes staring at me from the trap. Rat#1 is dead. A little prayer and I send him to the sea on a little plywood ship…
Nov 18: The rain hasn’t stopped…Luckily my Italian friend, Simona, has an extra room in her house that she’ll rent me while Swell is on land, so I shuffle through the puddles to take some stuff to Simona’s house. It’s too wet to do anything but go for a run in the rain. Run run run to some new tunes…A truck pulls over. It’s Amandine! The old boatyard secretary…“Hop in and come see baby Maui!”
Nov 19: Rain rain rain.
Nov 20: Crazy rain again all morning! Feel so tired today…unpack and organize at Simona’s house. A little break in the rain so I wander over to Swell…Taputu, can you help me get my outboard down? Of course it isn’t running right…leaking fuel somewhere…haul it to the workshop and open ‘er up. Just a loose screw in the careburator…I’ve got sea wheels again!
Nov 21: What, a patch of clear sky? Better start the day with some waves…and now its time to commence deep cleaning. Starting foreward…cushion wrestling. Gotta clean rat poop from the bottom to the top! Here we go…inventory, mildew swipe, sorting through the mess, ahhh to start fresh.
Nov 22: What’s this? New poops?! There’s another rat?! Peanut butter rat trap…run run run these rat blues away. I hang my precious bag of new Trader Joe’s yummies from the ceiling…surely they’ll be safe there…
Nov 23: They licked all the peanut butter off the trap and ate my Trader Joe’s walnuts!!!!!!!!! Now there will be no mercy. Scrubby scrubby scrubby…more mildew wiping, finding more rat munched goods everywhere. The trashpile grows.
Nov 24: Again cleaning, still some rain. Drier in the afternoon…cleaned out the pots and pans and spices and that whole port side. Vacuumed and cleaned out the canned food area. Fun!! Thierry arrived to measure for the new engine mounts.