Our saga and worry with the Rat continue as we have had no success in catching it and that is despite three types of traps. We are well aware of the health dangers and have been washing our hands after having been in areas where the Rat has been. Most crew members will admit to being a bit worried by the Rat.
Max said he thought he felt it in his hair and Sheimaa said she thought she felt “something” in the night. Steinar has taken to sleeping in a hammock rather than on the floor where the rat might come across him. Others have had dreams about Rats. As you can imagine it is quite a topic of conversation and the source of various jokes and humour (for some?).
Due to the lack of success so far, Yuri’s trap has gone through a number of modifications. The main one being that the trigger mechanism is now even more finely balanced, as Yuri’s claims that Rat went in the trap and ate some of the food but clearly didn’t trigger the trap door. He has also relocated the trap to nearer where the rat had attacked some apples earlier in the voyage. We have also taken to covering the trap with a black plastic sheet, to block out the light and make the rat’s navigation more dependent on smell. So, we are hoping for better results in due course.
Otherwise our progress continues with the ship making about a 100 miles per day. The wind is now mainly from the East but is accompanied by a number of rain showers and overcast skies. Although the showers are light, they don’t do much to raise the spirits of the crew. They are also accompanied by strong gusts of wind. So, when the rain storms are approaching we have been reefing the sail with the 8 brailing lines for which the Phoenicians’ ships have become famous. Crew are all good in spite of the challenges.