"There’s a Rat in the Kitchen” (with apologies to UB40)
In the same spot as before, at nearly the same time, Max again spotted the rat. Much to his frustration he again was the only one to have seen it. After trying to trap it in some upturned buckets, it, once again, got away - and probably didn't jump in to the sea. Our fumigation attempt had been a failure.
Max remains the only person to have seen the rat. The crew have joked that the rat is clearly very comfortable around him and he somehow puts it at ease; some even say that the coincidence suggests that Max has a very vivid imagination! It would be great if he were making it up, but everyone has seen the evidence – chewed fruit, holes in food packets and a pungent smell below the floorboards.
Before we could say “back to the drawing board”, Yuri was building a rat trap. And after cobbling away for half the day with a metal basket, some wood, wire, and string, Yuri had made what looked like an impressive feat of engineering. Loaded at one end with the rat’s favourite food (nuts), Yuri had made what is effectively a prison activated by a seesaw. The rat crawls in, steps on a very sensitive ledge which is covered in food, and a metal door comes sliding down behind it. Or at least, that’s the plan. With Yuri’s birthday the following day, what better present could he ask for than a captured rat?
Apart from Yuri’s trap, Dirman and I also made some slightly less intricate traps and set them up. On top of this, we hid as much food as possible. The quiet engine room has now become a safe haven with hanging bags and a hammock full of vulnerable food which is now out of reach for the rat. Any remaining barrels and boxes we have covered in grease, which according to Dirman and Aziz is not popular with rats.
In other news: we had a windless couple of hours and took the opportunity the replace a fraying parral (the rope that secures the yard) and have a swim.
Swimming, taken by Diderik
Yuri and the "Minnie Mouse Niteclub" Rat Trap, taken by Charlie