We’re having a bad week. Month, even. We came to Stuart because we thought we could get the bulk of our pre-Pacific work done and things are just dragging along. I keep hearing the refrain from National Lampoon’s “Deteriorata” on an endless loop on the great tape recorder:
….whether you can hear it or not,
The universe is laughing behind your back
We got a call that our new cushions were done. It was going to cost close to $200 to ship them here and since we love road trips we rented a car and drove the 210 miles each way to pick them up.
The manager of the car rental place is a Steelers fan, although she declined to be in the photo of her office.
In St. Augustine our first stop was to Sailor’s Exchange, a marine consignment shop that I knew had some canvas listed on eBay for a good price.
I got a nice length of Sunbrella to do the mainsail cover for $8/yard, and also picked up four squares of Dri-Dek, snap-together grid flooring, to use on the bottom of our shoe cupboard so any future condensation will drain away without getting our shoes wet.
We picked up our beautiful new cockpit cushions and thanked the crew at Canvas & Upholstery Center for doing such a good job.
On our way home we stopped at Carmelo’s Pizza and got to watch Serena bagel her opponent at the Australian Open. We used to watch a lot of tennis and it was a treat to be able to see part of a match, even if it wasn’t a very competitive one.
It was a long slog home and we couldn’t make it in time to get our cushions installed before dark. The next morning we borrowed a snap setter to install the final snaps on the big stadium seat at the back of the cockpit. This is the one we are so excited about because the old ones were soaked in salt water and nearly always soggy. The new cushions are dri-fast foam; water drains right through. Unfortunately, we discovered the snaps on the boat and the places on the cushions where the other half of the snaps go didn’t line up. Rats! I called the Canvas & Upholstery Center and brainstormed with Darrell. He told me to take the foam out and send him the covers and he’ll fix them. We figured that the goof came because the original cushions were 2″ foam, and with the thicker 3″ foam the geometry was a little different so the measurements were slightly off. We boxed up the covers and biked to UPS.
This morning we moved to a boatyard across the river to have the hole in our support beam repaired. This involved grinding fiberglass, a messy and noisy job. We evacuated with Izzy for a long dinghy ride back to our marina to spend the day and wait out the repair.
While we were ashore we borrowed the jib cover from True Colors and cut out the new canvas. I don’t know when I’ll get a chance to sew it up, but at least it’s patterned.
We got back to the boat about four and took advantage of the dock hose to do some much needed deck scrubbing. It’s been so long since we’ve been at a dock that it’ll take more than one go-around to get the decks cleaned up. Finally we got back into the boat and got a good look at the repair. Horrors! It was not done the way it should have been. I might have known better than to leave the boat during such an important repair. First of all, the person we hired to do it, who we thought understood what we wanted, ended up not being the person actually doing the work. Apparently something was lost in the translation and the actual workman didn’t do it right. Now I question whether the first guy actually did understand or if he just explained it badly to guy #2. We will speak to them tomorrow and decide whether we want to stay at this high-priced marina another day to have them do it over again — with more mess and another day off the boat with Izzy — or pay these two what we owe them and get it done right by someone who gets it.
So twice in as many days we have some long-awaited move forward set us back in time and money. This happens a lot to us and used to even when we lived in a house. We always seem to have to do things twice, first the wrong way, then the right way. It didn’t bother me too much when it was us doing the work because at least we learned from our mistakes and rarely made the same ones twice. But when we hire the pros we expect it to be done right the first time.
To top off our very bad day a front moved in with 30 knot wind. Out in the anchorage we’d be fine, but we are tied to a dock with the wind on our quarter. We have to run outside every hour or so to adjust the fenders so we don’t get shredded on the pilings.
I’m going to have trouble sleeping, what with the howling wind and the constant kicking of myself for not staying aboard and supervising the work. I definitely learned from this mistake.