To describe where we are anchored, it is in a long skinny bay around 1km wide between the city and the island of Gizo on one side. The side we are anchored on is next to a island called Logha island where there is only a small church. The rest of the island is forrest. Nandji sits about 70m off this island.
Yesterday afternoon, we had been preparing a roast vegetable feast for dinner and spent the afternoon cutting, chopping and generally preparing for this event. All food scraps are ditched over the side to prevent green waste from being on the boat and the general infestation of bugs from the neighbouring island mangroves that enjoy this waste the following day. Therefore, it all goes over the side like we are at sea. With the veges in the oven roasting away, a quick game of uno as the sun went down, then we retired to the aft cabin for an episode of Breaking Bad. A tv series we have watched about 10 times now as we have broken our hard drives and have nothing else to watch. Whilst lying there watching our series, we consume a lot of cold water as around this time when the sun has disappeared, 80% of the time the weather gets that sticky and uncomfortable Bonita and I crowd under our one fan, trying to appreciate its small breeze. The copious amounts of cold water is to help stay hydrated as we sweat as much water out as we are trying to put back in. Bonita had reached her maximum capacity though and needed to go visit the head. Upon opening the door in the dark, she flicked the light on to be greeted with a stow away!
Me, lying in bed enjoying the maximum output of the fan, heard a horrific girl scream. The type of high pitched scream that would resemble a teenage girl on a roller coaster. I rolled from my position and asked what the problem was... A mouse! Yep, a little rodent had somehow made its way onto Nandji. Since we are at anchor and not attached to land, we pondered for ages on how this little bastard got on board and started to brainstorm how we would get it out! Since it was a Saturday evening, the idea of purchasing a mouse trap was out of the question. You see, the Solomons are beautiful and we are loving our time spent here, however when it comes to purchasing items that are readily at your disposal in the western world eg. mouse trap, this is not the case here. The chance of having a store open on Sunday is slim, but then to find such an item. Well, lets say we have more hope of Nandji sailing at 15 knots... Therefore, the conundrum of how long are we going to have this stow away and how are we going to get rid of it!
I created a trap out of a plastic bottle, where I cut of the top of the bottle, turned it upside down and taped it back in. Then placing peanut butter on the rim to entice the rodent in. The mouse then jumps into the upside down bottle top, slips on the sides, falls in the hole and ends up in the plastic bottle... Genius. I placed this trap in the head area and went back to our series of Breaking bad and patiently waited. Listening to the rustle of the mouse in the neighbouring area, our patience was getting thin as Bonita continually explained how the mouse was going to eat the wiring and chew through the walls.
An episode finished and returning to inspect the trap, i realised that I was dreaming if I thought the mouse was going to fall into the bottle. Maybe if the trap was a larger scale it would work. Thinking for a bit, another light bulb went off inside my head. I fetched the 20 litre bucket from up stairs. Filled the bucket a quarter full with salt water, then made a lid out of paper. I taped the paper to the rim of the bucket, creating the illusion of a lovely solid white surface built for a mouse to wander over and eat the big scoop of peanut butter in the middle that the lovely folks of this house provided... Little did ole mousey know that Captain Yosh had cut this paper in a big cross and the peanut butter was the glue to hold the flaps from falling down. Convinced I was a mouse catching machine I returned to bed for another episode.
We lie there in bed listening to this little bastard scurrying around and trying to find an exit from the head. Lucky we can close this area and bilge off to the rest of Nandji, confining the mouse to the head only. We finished another episode and checked the trap, only to be greeted with two big eyes looking back, unafraid and knowing he is to quick for me to grab. I shut the door once more and thought, Marley, it is your time to shine. You are a trained killer and bred to hunt. You will get the rodent.
After ten minutes of dragging Marley out of his bed, we pushed him into the head compartment right in front of the mouse. The mouse hid behind my spearguns (yes, my spearguns live in the shower) and Marley paid no attention, turned around and looked at us like, what am I doing in here at this hour of the night... Thanks for the help Marley as he waltzed back to bed.
It was up to us and this trap. We closed the door once more and returned to bed. I nodded off only to be awaken constantly by the sharp ears of Bonita listening to the mouse move. Getting frustrated at the mouse and the continuous noise this little bastard was making, I tried to relax and convince Bonita the same and try to get some sleep. The trap will work.
Roughly an hour later, Bonita was still wide awake studying the noises of this rodent moving around. Then she announced "It sounds wet!" We jumped out of bed with excitement and went to investigate, inside the bucket, swimming in circles was the mouse! YEW!
We do not know how he got on board, but the cunning little guy found a way. We are very happy to find him quickly and release him back on land the following day before he was able to invite his friends and find a girlfriend to move in. In the rodents short time on board Nandji, he managed to chew the wood on the bottom of the door in his attempts to escape the head. We then spent the next two hours ensuring the boat was sparkling clean and not a crumb lying around as a mouse is not a visitor we want to have.