Are the bugs bad here?

The first time I asked a bunch of expatriate cruisers this question, they told me the chitras (Caribbean no-see-ums) are only out for a little while at dawn and dusk, but that I would barely notice them. I was eaten alive and exceedingly itchy for 3 weeks!

To be fair, we were ashore at a marina for dinner and I did not use insect repellent (stupid, I know). Nobody else seemed bothered by the chitras, just me. I am a smorgasbord for biting insects.

They even manage to find me when we’re at anchor a fair distance from land. My companions (who are rarely bothered by biting insects) usually insist the bugs won’t reach us. Well, they reach me. In the Caribbean it’s impossible to sleep with the hatches and portholes closed without creating a sauna inside.

The rigid hatch and porthole screens that came with Indigo Lady are either starting to tear, don’t fit properly, or won’t stay in place. So I spent a fair amount of time these past couple of weeks making my own screens, which are now affixed by Velcro. Since it’s really easy to lift one edge to open/close a hatch, those can even stay in place, and the porthole screens can be rolled to the side and held in place with a simple loop, so we don’t need to stow these when we have to close up the boat. We also bought one of those hanging screen doors that magnetically “zips” down the center once you pass through. After some simple alterations to width and length, we can now leave the slider open at night for even better airflow

The bugs will not be bad inside at least 😉.

Author: lisamarchi1020

I am a retired educator married to a retired chemist/engineer/educator. We will be living aboard our solar electric catamaran for as long as possible.

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