Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Attack of the Killer Mosquitos (and Flies)

Two great anchorages Sunday and Monday: Carver Cove on the Fox Island Thoroughfare and Merchant Island near Deer Island Thoroughfare, both in Penobscot Bay.

While at Carver Cove, we met up with Jeff and Karen Siegel on their DeFever and Smokey and Jo (friends of Jeff and Karen) on their Lord Nelson Victor Tug. We all dinghied over to North Haven for dinner. After walking the town, which took 15 minutes going from one side to the other, then back again, we dined. It was great to see Jeff and Karen again and to meet Smokey and Jo. Hopefully we will see them all again on the water.

When we woke up on Monday morning at Carver Cove and started getting ready to go, we were beset by giant black flies. They’re big and they have a big buzz. We’d heard about them in Maine, but hadn’t seen them until now. It was a very still morning and we were anchored fairly close to a wooded shore, so the conditions were favorable for them. One took a chunk out of Rick’s leg that required Vicki to dip into the wound box to get antibiotic cream and a bandaid. (The wound box has been dormant, thankfully, but it was pretty exciting for medical officer Vicki to give it a workout.) And, of course, after Rick got bit, we all started feeling phantom flies on us and jumping when nothing was there. Lynnie was posted on the bridge on swatter duty to protect us while we got underway. We haven’t seen them since – Lynnie must have scared them.

Yesterday’s anchorage at Merchant Island was selected specifically because there were good hiking islands around. We’re getting porkier with each great meal (not to mention chips and wine on the back porch while watching the full moon) and wanted to get some exercise. We dinghied over to Harbor Island which was just 20 feet from the boat. A trail wanders up a meadow into spruce trees and bisects the island. We got as far as the spruce trees and then were attacked by (literally) clouds of mosquitos – and they were hungry. It was a race back to the dinghy and some of them stuck with us back to the boat. Again, we’d heard about mosquitos in Maine, but not experience them until now. We were fortunate that our three weeks of hiking in Acadia National Park was essentially bug-less.

The odd thing was that later in the day other people in the anchorage went ashore on the island, went into the woods and didn’t come flying out, and explored the rocky shore without swatting frantically. Perhaps the mosquitos gorged on us and were napping. Or perhaps those people were savvy Maine hikers and used bug spray in advance.