The initial sight of the Ruyam II’s interior was pathetic; the coverless foam sofa cushions were heaped at a corner, the air was hot and stuffy, however, there was no moisture anywhere in the boat, just a bit of dust. Outside was another story, the cock-pit was full of plant debris, the deck black/green with moss starting to grow, port-side ropes stained black from mildew, etc, etc. First thing I did was to open the front hatches, and swipe down the bed to get it ready for the night. While I was busy inside Al was inspecting the newly finished bottom of Ruyam II. He liked what he saw.
My poor make-shift mosquito net was still hanging over our bed. I had made it in the marina in St Kitts, from bridal net draped over a big loop of thick electrical cable. Unfortunately the netting was not large enough to loosely cover the whole bed, so our feet sometimes touch the sides and got bitten. For some reason Al did not like it and complained about the lack of air in it. I am usually claustrophobic and hate confined spaces, but for me, the net just provided security, while the mosquitos whirled around trying to get in. Al is funny sometimes, and the first time I had put it up, he decided to sleep at the deck. He had to rush back in after being eaten alive in no time.
It became pitch dark in a few hours. Since we have no entertainment on the boat, we can hardly stay up past 8:00 pm. We were quite tired anyway. Time passes really quickly in the Caribbean. Nothing can be done after sundown, especially on water. All planning is done accordingly, no sailing after 4:00 pm, no shopping or sight-seeing can start late in the afternoon, since all involve a dinghy ride back to Ruyam II. Only when tied to a marina, I like venturing out for dinner; but Al does not care about the dinghy ride in dark, especially when we have visitors.
Next morning I did some clean up, and got rid of the luggage. Then the canopy over the cock-pit had to be put up since the blinding sun rendered it impossible to sit outside. I had not helped Al to take it down, so it looked harder than it was to securely and tightly hang it. It made a world of difference to our comfort.
The moment of truth had come, we started to stuff the sofa pillows into the new covers I made in Ottawa, which took me two weeks of full time sewing. We had taken along the original covers, and I used them as pattern/guide to sew the new ones. I am not used to sewing without trying out a fitting, so I was not hundred percent sure about my success. Anyway, after several attempts to find the right cover matching the pillow, which involved a lot of pushing and pulling by both of us, while sweating buckets, we were able to finish the job and set the pillows on the sofa. Voila, it looked really spiffy!
Before putting the covers on, Al set the foam pillows on the sofa and was puzzled that they were too big for the confined half-circular space. The reason was that the covers were made a bit smaller than the pillows, in order to give them the concave shape, and fit perfectly when good and ready. Every time we look at them, we make a remark about the change they made over the old and faded ones.