On Wednesday morning we piled up the mattresses on the cock-pit table, rest of the perishable stuff (like pills, dental items, packaged food, water filters etc) under it, and covered the whole thing by two tarps (it rains in Trinidad several times almost every day). We started to work early in the morning, since Luke promised to come around 10:00 am. We got everything ready before long, took our suitcase and moved into the hotel facility at Peake Marina, which was the place to haul out the boat if need be.
The hotel rates were reasonable (US$88,- per night), for a clean, air-conditioned room with a mini fridge and electrical kettle. What else do you need.
Grenada Marine should learn from these guys how to operate a boat yard. Peake's grounds were as big, but the facilities much better, roads and buildings impeccable, and prices comparable. As well, Grenada Marine does not offer sleeping quarters for the sailors while working on their boats on hard. Although several years ago a crude complex of small cottages were available near by, their management was so bad and they were so overpriced that it did not survive and closed, rather than serve Grenada marine customers. The only place to stay around there is La Sagesse. Not very convenient and full of bugs! On the other hand, Trinidad prices were not cheap enough to tempt us to take the 14 hour passage twice every year.
After settling into the hotel, Al returned to the boat with Luke and his two guys, to seal the boat from the outside by covering all the wholes, to get it ready for "bombing". After the prep work was done, Luke was so impressed by Al's help, that he asked Al, if he would consider working with him as a fumigator! Al watched the guys empty 10 canisters of the gas inside the cabins and the galley through one of the hatches; and two more in the lockers outside using a specially designed system of tubes and can piercing apparatus. We had to leave all hatches closed but unlocked, so the boat could be aerated after 24 hours without entering the salon and the cabins. Before the fumigation crew left, they placed "Danger, Toxic Gas" signs outside the door and on the hull, to keep two-legged pests away from the boat, while the hatches were unlocked.
When Al returned to the hotel, I asked if the crew were wearing gas masks while working, and he said no. Poor guys, who knows how much exposure they are getting every day, even though they stayed outside when they pierced the canisters. Earning a living should not be so hard.
Next morning, Al took the guys back to the boat to open the seals and got it aired for us to move back in. Apparently the toxic gas was lighter than air and left no residue after proper ventilation. The gas had no odour, although deadly for insects as well as humans. So, in order for it to be detectable, they were adding tear gas to it, which had a distinct smell. It took Al two days to completely clean the air, by opening every window, door and hatch, while sitting at the cock-pit. Unfortunately leaving the boat unattended while airing out was not an option. It would have been easier if Ruyam II were on hard, in a secure atmosphere. Oh well, Al sat there for two half days, and got it done, while I languished at the hotel.
The whole operation cost us $1,000.- Canadian dollars. Tenting would have been triple that, so we felt lucky. I hope this will be the last time I see those unwelcome visitors!
Luke gave us a small sample of the bait for dust-mites, which we can use to spray the new larvae that might come out of the eggs if any, in about 6 weeks. We will check carefully, and apply the bait before the new year.