Georgie lounging on Serendipity

Boat Work & Getting Sick

Monday July 1, 2013

Georgie lounging on Serendipity

Georgie is loving watching all the fish swim around her.

I never got to go over my little project of finishing our deck shade/cover before we ran off to El Estor over the weekend, but first, a little recap of what happened when we got back.  I’m a pretty big believer in yin and yang, good and bad, and a bit of balance in the universe.  If something good happens, there’s usually something bad preceding or following it.  Which is why the whole time we were in El Estor and Denny’s Beach, I kept thinking to myself “This seems too good to be true.  Too perfect.  Something bad is going to happen to balance this out”.  And it did. When Matt and I got back from our little tour with friends on Saturday afternoon, we were both struck with the worst case of food poisoning we’d ever had.  It came on slowly, starting on Friday, but we both just shook it off as a little stomach bug, a change in diet, something that would pass in just a few hours. Saturday afternoon was a bit worse, maybe one or two extra trips to the head, but still manageable.  I think our minds were subconsciously telling our bodies to hold it together just long enough for us to get back to Serendipity, because as soon as we stepped foot on her, we were done for.

We could barely eat, we could barley move, and, TMI, neither of us could make it more than about 30-40 minutes without a trip to the head.  And then there were the stomach cramps, oh, the stomach cramps!  I don’t think I’ve ever felt so much pain in my life!  All of that coupled with the dehydration we were experiencing, and I was starting to wish I was dead.  Even though both of us were trying to stay as hydrated as possible, actually switching from our beloved Pepsi to water, it got so bad that first night that each time after using the head, I literally wouldn’t have the strength to make it back up to the v-berth without first stopping and chugging a glass of water.  There were a couple of times I’d have to sit on the floor and drink my water because I couldn’t stand up or walk without getting lightheaded or dizzy.  We found out through ‘the net’ this morning that there was a rash of people who had suddenly come down with ‘some kind of bug’ over the weekend, but we knew better.  It was the food that was served to us at the regatta.  We’re thinking it was probably the potato salad which hadn’t been properly chilled and went bad (even though it tasted fantastic).  But then again, who wants to come out and say on the morning net, “A big thanks to El Estor for inviting us cruisers out.  Half of us got food poisoning from it, but we appreciate the gesture!”.   ‘A bug going around’ sounds much nicer.  I do have to admit though, I’d probably still do it all over again, even knowing we’d get as sick as we did.  When we look back at it all, I’m sure the good memories will far outweigh the bad ones. In dealing with sickness, being prepared with medicines from trusted pharmacies, like the Canadian Pharmacy, can be a huge difference-maker.

So now that’s out of the way, back to my story on the shade cover.  One of the first things I noticed when we got to the marina last week, is our slip is parked right in front of this little ranchito, furnished with a hammock and two picnic tables on the main level (and dorm beds for travelers on the upper level).  The next thing that came to my mind when I saw the picnic tables was ‘Wow, finally a nice big area I can lay my fabric out on and work on my sewing’.  Which is exactly what I did when we got back from grocery shopping the next morning.  There wasn’t much left to be done to the cover, luckily.  All that was left to do was add strength to the areas the grommets would be punched into, so that the stress of the lines tugging at those areas would not weaken and destroy the fabric.  Matt cut out little triangles of fabric for me, and first I sewed them together (two in each area for double strength) and then to the cover.  There were six areas that needed this strengthening, so although it wasn’t complicated, it was a little time consuming.  I, however, was just happy to be doing this in an area where I wasn’t rocking back and forth and getting sick from concentrating while lightly dipping from side to side.  My sewing machine and I were getting along for once since I think I figured out where our issue lies, so there was no screaming or threats of it going in the water.  Throw in a Tervis tumbler of cold Pepsi, and I was actually enjoying myself.

Only three to four hours work on my part, and I was ready to hand it off to Matt.  He hammered in the final grommets and went about stringing it up.  I sat up on the foredeck while it was raised, happy as can be that my part was finished.  It took a little tweaking to get it just right, but soon it was in place.  I swear that within an hour you could feel a difference in the temperature of the deck, having it nice and cool in the shade, but blazingly hot in any area the sun was still touching.  With daily highs inside the boat around 91 degrees, and only going down to 87 or so at night, we’re hoping this will make a big difference.  Was it worth the $175 we spent in fabric alone?  I hope so.  But for the aft part of the boat, those 3mX3m pieces of already cut and stitched fabric being sold in town are looking pretty good at the moment, even if it will make us the mis-matched hillbillies on the dock.

working at the ranchito

Setting up shop at the ranchito.

cover laid flat

Our shade/cover, laid out flat.

strengthening patches

Sewing the strengthening patches.

sewing patches to coverAdding the patches to the cover.

finished product

Finished product!  We now have shade on half the boat!