We had two days of stinky weather. It was blowing 20kt or so, gusting higher. We didn't want to mess with the dinghy, so we played quietly while we waited.
We discovered more rat damage to the front hatch screen. And rat scat on deck.
We didn't observe this before; and we're a little vague on the timeline. But we think it might have been this.
Night of the 26th. Rat gets in the cockpit screen. And out again.
Day of the 27th. We observe no other damage. Screen is intact in the V-berth. Scat is on the ladder, in the cockpit and in the bread bag. We get traps. Close the V-berth.
Night of the 27th. Cockpit hatch is closed. Is this when we closed the hatch? We sort of doubt it. Is this when the rat rips up the screen? We think it can't get in. Too much slick plastic. It can't climb around and backs out, pissed off. So much bread, and no way down to it.
28th-29th we're going south. At some point, we close all the hatches. When -- exactly -- did we close this hatch and when -- exactly -- did the rat tear it up? We don't rightly know.
29th we notice the damage.
Did we close the hatch after the rat ripped up the screen? And not notice the damage?
Did we close the hatch before the rat ripped up the screen? How did it get up there? And where is it now?
We have four traps around the bread bag. No rat. No scat.
Here's Scout II ready for her maiden voyage with the Mercury Propane Outboard
This went quite nicely. The propane engine takes several pulls to get started, since there's no fuel and no squeeze bulb to prime the engine.
The propane seems to take quite a while to warm up -- compared with a 2-stroke. I had to keep the choke closed for a surprisingly long time.
Also, and this may be a design feature -- when I turn the throttle down, it seems to utterly starve the engine of fuel. This may be something that will change during break-in. Or it may be an adjustment I need to make to change the throttle's lowest setting.
Here's Red Ranger at anchor outside No Name Harbor. We're the ketch on the right. With the red sail covers and red trim.
Today we're visiting the Bill Baggs Cape Florida state park. The next few days -- Sat2, Sun3, and Mon4 -- all look like mild weather. We think we can get to Pumpkin Key, then Tavernier Key. We suspect we'll have to wait for better weather to make the last two jumps to Key West.
Here's the first leg chart.