Photo: Dave with his fly swatter.
It was Dave and Karen's fourth day out and we were anchored in Gambier Bay. Each day after leaving Thomas Bay, the weather had grown warmer and each day the number of horseflies buzzing around our cockpit had increased. In Scenery Cove, where we had anchored in Thomas Bay, a few had buzzed around the cockpit but we'd managed to ignore them. In Cleveland Passage, off the former village site of Fanshaw, the few had become a squadron and the flyswatter came out. In Cannery Cove on Admiralty Island, the squadron became a fleet but a rain squall soon vanquished them. Then in Gambier Bay, an entire air force of flies came zooming in.
Our two guests reacted differently. "I want cold, I want wind, I want glaciers," cried Karen as she followed Steve and me below behind the mosquito screens. But Dave took his book and stayed up on deck. From down below we could hear the, "slap, slap, slap" of his flyswatter as it hit its targets.
When a rain shower drove him below, he told us, "I counted 50 killed and that doesn't count the ones I threw overboard."
The rain drove the flies away but when I looked through the mosquito screens I could see hoards of no-see-ums waiting for us. In Alaska, we pay a high price for warm weather.
Photo: dead flies on Osprey's deck.