West End on Grand Bahama Cay: We’d had rice the night before so the next morning as I was making coffee, I said to Cindy, “Could you pick up those rice grains on the floor when you’re finished?” She was flat on her back on the floor doing her morning workout.  Rolling over to sweep them up with her hand, she groaned, “These aren’t grains of rice.  They’re alive! Must be larva of some kind.”   I stifled a scream.  “How could such ugly little creatures be creeping about on our boat, the boat we work so hard to keep clean?” I scurried about looking to see where else the invasion was taking place.  There were a few more on floor on John’s side of our aft cabin.  I breathed deeply, trying not to panic.  All were on the floor, not in cabinets or counter tops, in broad daylight, attempting to shimmy to safe dark spots, like the half dozen we found under the garbage can (not in it).  Could they be coming from the food stores?  Or the garbage?  Or could we have dragged them in on our shoes?

Like banshees from hell, we took to lethal action on the intruders. We collected and smashed them dead, vacuumed every nook, cranny and crevice, washed all the surfaces, shook out all the throw rugs, then considered the food stores.  Cardboard in a known source of such creepy crawling things in the islands.  But we hadn’t bought anything cardboard since we arrived.  All our refuse was in plastic garbage bags inside the can, not strewn openly in it.

It didn’t matter.  In less than an hour we removed all food store cardboard from the boat, storing everything is sealed plastic bags, large and small.  We believed we got’em all.  We are vigilant.  We are deadly. The next morning we spied three jaundiced, dying larva on the floor, scooped them up, threw away the throw rug that they were next to and haven’t seen another one since.

I am pleased to declare that we are clean inside and out.  Yes, out, because the next morning we scrubbed the deck and polished most of the bright (metal) work to remove 14 hours of salt spray.  Dolce Vento gleams and shines once more, ready to explore Bahamian waters. She’ll once again accumulate another batch of salt from spray, but that’s perfectly okay.  It’s all part of boating.

We had a fantastic sail up to Memory Rock then across the Bahamas Bank to Great Sale Cay with three other boats headed the same way.