Living Like Land-lubbers

Gene's jury-rigged air-conditioner.
Last Week…..
I know I’ve been writing about the birds and the jungle and how much I enjoy it here, but even a place with Toucans, Crimson-headed Woodpeckers, monkeys and anteaters has a few drawbacks. The number one drawback for me is the mosquitoes. I really don’t like having to cover myself with poisonous spray when I go birding, but I can accept it. I can’t accept having to light coils and spray bug killer in the boat. That choice gives me another mosquito virus or lung cancer. I have had hundreds of bites and I am on my second pack of Benadryl. If I don’t eat it to ease the intense itching, I scratch the bites open. I told Gene I could feel the symptoms of Ross River Fever coming back. It has to be my imagination, but I swear that there were a few days where my ankles were locking up. We don’t always have to light mosquito coils, only on still evenings, but we’ve had too many of those lately. In the early mornings, the coil is burned out and the mozzies are sucking my blood and trying to give me malaria or God knows what! I wake up scratching a dozen angry red welts. The weird thing about these mozzies is that they don’t make a sound. They are small, silent and deadly little bastards. Why should they whine, they’re getting what they want.
I would leave the hatches shut at night to keep the mozzies out, but it is too hot for that, and the days are getting hotter. It has become unbearable on the boat from about 3:00 to 6:00. I usually go up to the restaurant and hook up to the wi-fi to study birds or mess with Picasa. I am deleting the hundreds of movement-blurred blobs from my picture files and sending what I want to Picasa Web. The restaurant is air-conditioned and I can have ice cream while I work. The employees help me with my Spanish and a few hours can blow by. Gene usually escapes with a dip in the pool.
As we would walk the dock to Peregrine, we would see the fancy big boats all closed up to keep in the cool of their air-conditioning. I kept saying we needed to get an air-conditioner. We could keep out the heat and the mozzies. I pointed out that we were really going to suffer when the rainy season arrived. We already spend a few nights opening and closing the forward hatch and it’s the dry season. We read that during the rainy season the rain can come so fast and furious it can fill your dinghy during the night. There would be no way to open hatches under those circumstances. When we were in Townsville, Oz, Gene rigged an air-conditioner to the main salon hatch and it was heaven. We were cool, dry, and mozzie free. I finally told Gene I was going to get an air-conditioner. He told me had already checked some out (such a communicative guy) and we signed up for the Monday bus to 4Alto shopping center.
Monday, February 15
We took the shuttle in, did our grocery shopping and bought a small air-conditioner. We took a taxi back because we would have made life difficult for everybody trying to fit on the shuttle. The negotiated rate for a taxi is $15.00. I put groceries away while Gene started cutting pieces of foam to use as a casing for the air-conditioner. A few hours later, we closed out hatches and turned on our energy sucking machine.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I had such a good night’s sleep last night. No mozzies, no getting up to open or shut hatches, no waking up feeling half cooked with a sweat drenched pillow and my hair plastered to my face. I am having my coffee in a cool, mozzie free salon. What a luxury being comfortable is.
Oops! The electricity just cut off.

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