While living aboard in Baltimore Maryland, I had a friend who did detail work on all kinds of boats. She was always busy and sometimes she would ask me to come along and help. Once she found out I had a sewing machine, she started asking for side jobs like binding on carpet. She would install the carpet on swim platforms or she’d ask for fender covers. It didn’t take long before I was asked to replace Eisenglass. Whoa, stop right there.

Soon I had a commercial machine and my friend was feeding me job after job. I had a business and business was good. It didn’t matter that every night I came home and had to take a few Ibuprofen for my aching hands, back and neck. I had utilized a skill learned earlier in life and it felt good.

Soon it was time to leave Baltimore for our anticipated trip to the Eastern Caribbean. So I packed up my machine and all my tools. I did pull them out from time to time to repair a sail, or to make a cover for this or that, but mostly it was smaller jobs. After all, it was hard to spread out on a sailboat.

After sailing the Caribbean it was time to settle down for a while, get jobs and refill the cruising kitty. St. Thomas proved to be a great place to do that and it wasn’t long before we had a mooring and jobs…and a new boat to refit for more cruising.

Our friends Jamie and Keith on Kookaburra did the same thing and were moored right next to us. They have a catamaran and their stack pack was showing some wear. They asked me to take a look and we came to the conclusion that it needed to be replaced. I agreed to do it but we had to find someplace big enough to lay out the materials. Once we found a place, (thank you Jane), I began assembling the materials, hauling the machine out and remaking their stack pack.

Carrie, Sewing away

Carrie, Sewing away

All was well or so I thought. My darling husband tells me what a great job I did for Kookaburra, and didn’t I think La Creole needed some stack packs too?

I just looked at him. After all, I’m also working a full time job and trying to help with the refit on La Creole at the same time. You know how it feels when you are working and working but you just can’t seem to see any progress? Well, I knew that if I made the packs it would make me feel better. It would look like we had accomplished something, something visible every time I looked at our boat, you know. I wanted someone to come by and say “Wow La Creole is starting to look good.”

As soon as the material arrived I made the packs, and it did make me feel good. And someone did come by who had not seen us for a while and said “Wow, you guys have come a long way, La Creole is looking good.”OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


To be continued…