Following a hint from my friends, Sophie and I went for a walk and found this enormous fig tree. There were figs all over the ground, and branches laden with fruit, so it seemed to be abandoned. We ate as much as we could and filled a bag in a matter of minutes.
The next day, Sophie chopped up a pot full and I put it on the stove with a bit of water to simmer for about 30 minutes.
I drained the extra water and saved it for a fig flavoured drink, then simmered the fruit a little longer adding some freshly squeezed orange juice and a spoon of honey.
Ready for tomorrow's breakfast.
We were visited by a couple of little birds and later on Sophie tried her hand and fishing.
Sofie arrived yesterday and after a relaxed breakfast, begun helping me by tackling my next project - sanding the teak trim. It's a never ending process!
And then a swim before lunch.
In the late afternoon, we went on a short walk and found a treasure! I will write about it tomorrow. We also went to the weekly market in the harbor and I bought some local grape juice, tomato sauce, and sun-dried tomatoes.
All you need for this recipe is some organic oranges, water and sugar. Eat the oranges but save the seeds and peels. Cut the peels into narrow strips and then using small scissors cut off as much of the bitter white pith as possible. You now have a choice: you can sun dry the peels and save them for making orange tea, or chop them finely for marmalade.
I do both. For marmalade, put them in a pot with some water and the seeds wrapped in cheesecloth, and bring to boil. Leave overnight to soak and soften. The next day, add sugar to taste and boil again. Do this until the consistency is spreadable like marmalade. Pack in jars while hot. Enjoy!
I can still smell the mothballs, so this morning I went to town leaving Eidos open to air out. No sign of the mouse, so I'm hoping that it jumped ship repelled by the fumes. My crew, Sophie arrives tomorrow, so I hope to have Eidos aired out by then with no sign of any rodents.
I had an early morning coffee with cake at my favorite cafe on the waterfront and then took a walk up to the church that overlooks the harbor.
Eidos is anchored about 160 m, or 500 ft from any land. I rarely go to land myself; perhaps once a week for supplies.
Three days ago, I noticed a hole in my mosquito netting that covers the entryway at night. Careless me, I thought to myself as I looped an elastic around the hole to stop the mosquitoes from coming in.
But the next day there was another hole in the mosquito netting. The second strange thing that I noticed was the cheesecloth that I use to cover my jar of kefir was lying beside the jar. I suddenly put the two together: Mouse or a rat.
Rodents can do a lot of damage to your boat. They can gnaw on furniture and upholstery, destroy the wiring with the added danger of causing a fire, as well as ruin your food supplies and spread disease. I keep all my food in glass jars with metal lids or double bagged. Only fruit and vegetables are out in the net hammocks.
My fears were confirmed when something scurried away in the dark near my feet. I don't have any traps on board and I'm terrified of using them. First of all risking my fingers to set them and second of all dealing with the dead body of a mouse or a rat if it works. And so a couple of years ago when I had a similar problem with a rat on a quay in Vonitsa, I bought some poison. I still had some left. Judging by the size of the droppings, this happily was not a rat but only a mouse.
I put a cake of the poison in the cockpit, closed the door to the v-berth and attempted to go back to sleep. A couple of hours later, I checked and the poison was gone. Thank goodness, the problem has been dealt with. Just to be sure, I put another cake of poison out in the cockpit and a second one under the sink where I found some droppings. In the morning the poison in the cockpit was gone but the one under the sink was still there.
In daylight, I saw half eaten cakes of poison behind my herb garden. All I could wish for now is that the mouse would swim to shore before it dies. I imagine it would not be fun if it crawled into a small space in the boat to die. Rotting corpse of a mouse is probably not the most attractive smell on a boat.
Today is the third day. The cakes of poison have been fully eaten, there is a hole in the mosquito netting of one of the portholes as well as in one of the garbage bags.
And I just found some damage to my upholstery. I sprinkled cayenne pepper on it which I read repels rodents. I also put out some more poison bait.
I replaced the netting on the porthole, and tonight I will have to close all the hatches and portholes in 30 degree heat, to hopefully keep the mouse out and not in. I also made up some bait using (organic!) almond butter and a) boric acid and b) washing soda, and made an anchor chain guard from an empty water bottle.
I sure hope something works soon, because I have no idea what to do next.
Day four. The bait has been tampered with overnight so the mouse is still alive. I placed another one in the same area behind my herb garden . Happily, I have not noticed any more droppings or damage to my upholstery inside. I have not heard any scampering sound either. I am now hoping that the creature has either died or has decided that it's safer for it to stay outside.
I made patches for the holes in the upholstery with the hope that the mouse will not make any more damage.
Yesterday, I placed about 20 or so mothballs around the inside of the boat thinking that perhaps the strong smell would repel the mouse and cause it to abandon its hiding place. There are hundreds of tiny crevices where a small mouse could hide that I would never be able to access and I hoped the fumes from the mothballs would chase it out. And then I Googled. Not only are mothballs and their fumes dangerous to humans but they do not repel rats and mice. So, I spent an hour retrieving as many of them as I could before I was the one that got gassed. And then another hour cleaning the boat with vinegar . As you can see, I'm getting desperate. My ears have become ultra sensitive to any unusual sound, I am not sleeping well, and I find it difficult to do anything else but getting rid of the rodent.
My question is, why would a mouse swim to an anchored boat when there are restaurants, shops, and garbage bins everywhere on land?
To counteract the loneliness I felt after Justin left, I decided to take the bus to Nafplio. It used to be the capital of Greece and I heard that it's a pretty town. Perhaps a place where I could spend the winter.
I first went to the harbor to see if Eidos would be comfortable there. However, the harbor is wide open to the sea without any individual docks. There is no connection to electricity or water and it looks like it's meant for cruise ships and super yachts. I enjoyed the view of the fort on the island in the distance but I think my boat will be safer elsewhere.
After about an hour or two of walking around, I decided to take a break at the Terrace Cafe of the hotel Grande Bretagne.
It is known for its luxurious decor and hand-painted ceilings in the lobby.
I was especially pleased with its continental breakfast. After a lengthy rest, I resumed my tour of the town.
It is true, the town is lovely, but the designer shops are expensive and meant for the rich and famous who arrived in the harbor on their super yachts. It is also quite spread out and not easy for walking. As far as living there, the rent must be excessively high in the pretty part of town and I only saw one supermarket. I also prefer a town that hugs the seashore with cafes and tavernas lining the harbor but here the waterfront looked like it was meant for buses. I stopped for 20 minutes at a local hotel lobby to ask about possibility of staying in winter but the hotel owner told me that I would have to pay daily rate. In the past, on other Islands I was able to negotiate a monthly rate in a hotel in winter. And so my search for a winter home continues. I added up the distance that we covered from Nidri to Epidavros Harbor and it comes out to 190 nautical miles.