Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Tick Fever And Sailboats

Holy Toledo!  I've been achy and cranky, I just figured I was exhausted from volunteer workamping. But daggum it, I found three tiny ticks sucking on my back. I did some weird contortions to rip them from my body.

Now I have angry red welts there. I've been waking up at night both hot and cold, wondering what was wrong. Grrrrr...

In a fit of frustration, I took the dog's tick spray and hosed myself down, so I am stinking up the place.  I think the sheer smell of this deadly stuff kills the ticks.

The dog had a tick on his face the other day and he wouldn't let me remove it, lest I lose a finger or two in the process. For a tiny 6 pound dog, he can be frighteningly ferocious if he is so inclined.

tick fever by dear miss mermaid

I ended up hosing his fur brush with flea and tick spray, then grooming him all over. Once he was relaxed, I spritzed more on the brush managing to gently groom his beard and goatee right where the nasty tiny tick was. Within a few hours, I could tell his face tick had died, because it had suddenly deflated. It fell off while we were out walking, because it was there when we left and gone when we returned.

Yes, he does the monthly meds for flea and ticks, but still once in a great while, I find one on his body. I check every square inch of him at least once a day to make sure he hasn't picked up any hitchhikers.

Sadly, my stainless steel hemostats vanished this summer. They were good for tick picking. Those hemostats have traveled in my toiletry kit for decades. Occasionally I've also needed them as a tool for something dicey. This summer a friend and I were repairing things around the motorhome and used them, then lost them. I keep thinking they will turn up somewhere soon.


Ironically, we have had campers check out early and go home because they didn't like the ticks. I thought that was kind of odd, because you can't really avoid ticks if you enjoy the outdoors. You just have to be diligent in checking for them.  How I ended up with three on my back is a mystery, as I wasn't running around naked outdoors.

At least, not as I recall.

They make flea and tick collars for dogs, why not for humans?

Well, I have a ton of work today, then I am taking the next 2 days off, more or less. At least I won't be workamping much those 2 days, but I will be camp hosting as needed.   I have a long list of things I need to accomplish, plus I think I have company coming to stay with me. Be nice to spruce up the place while cleaning and organizing before their arrival.

Another old salt (for you landlubbers, that's a sailboat owner) with a vague schedule to arrive here sometime before the end of the year. I have no idea what day.

I took a trip down memory lane this morning, poring over old pictures from the islands that someone else took.  Their old haunts seemed to be my old stomping grounds. I astonished them by naming the locations in many of the photos. I think I was in the islands during the best of the best years.

Later, I drifted back to sleep. When I woke up, I thought I was back on my little old sailboat in the Virgin Islands. I was thinking I would climb out of my bunk, make coffee, go up on deck and watch the sun rise.  That was a ritual I often did on my days afloat. I think it started when I was working on charter yachts as a chef.

The captain and I would often get up at dark thirty, tiptoeing barefoot around the boat, making coffee as quietly as possible so as not to disturb the sleeping guests. Actually he made the coffee. If I wasn't up and dressed by the time the pot was ready, he would come poke me and whisper "coffee's done" as a gentle reminder. This was rare, as generally I was up on time.  Amazing, since we couldn't use loud alarm clocks.

We would soundlessly go out on the deck, sitting silently sipping our coffee waiting for the sun rise. We rarely spoke, if we did it was a soft whisper. It was a few stolen minutes each morning before we started our long daily work schedule of making fabulous vacation memories for our charges.

After the sun rose, I would slip below to organize the galley in preparation of breakfast for twelve, while the captain would quietly mop up the dew and salt spray on the deck and  cushions.

This morning it took a few minutes for me to wake up and realize I am lost in America in  my modest wheel estate, not gently rocking aboard my anchored sailboat.

The picture below is Cruz Bay on St John in the Virgin Islands.  For years I had a mooring here, where I kept my 30 foot sailboat Sea Rose while I was out working charters on other boats. When I finished the charter, I would come home to my little old sailboat.  Usually within a day or two, I would set sail to go hang out at Jost Van Dyke and other islands on my days off. My schedule was terribly erratic, I might be gone working for months, then have a week or more off, or I might be gone a week or two then home again for a week or so. Those were some idyllic days.

Oh what I would give to have that boundless energy again.

chart of cruz bay st john virgin islands  by dearmissmermaid.com


  1. Please keep an eye on your back to make sure the tick bite spots don't get worse. I think all flea & tick products for pets that I've seen say they shouldn't be used for humans.

  2. What a great moment to go back in time and relive it like that. Must have been so real.

    You have had a wonderful life sailing, and now you are living my real dream = to rv fulltime. With the cutest dog in town too.

    Make sure you get a flu shot, they say this may be a bad year for it, and it appears the vaccine they selected is the right one for the flu virus.


Life is goof!