The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2017.10.05 - Cushions!

I've got to have cushions!

After work this afternoon I went down to the river to spend some time on Naiad. The wind had started to moderate a little, gusting force 7 now instead of 8 but mostly down to about force 5 when not gusting. Naiad was sitting pretty on her berth not scraping on anything and not jerking on her mooring ropes. The downside is that there is some water in the bilge after the rain that we had earlier in the day so the waterproofed cover is not waterproof enough so I'll have to go the expensive route and get some better canvas to do the job.

The lovely Melamine mugs that I was given as a Christmas present are getting somewhat tea-stained and I had taken the worst one back home and run it through the dishwasher which had no effect. So, time to do a little research and a short while later I filled the mug with warm water and a little Milton. Ten minutes later and the brown stain had gone.

Now I know that the culprit is the tannin in the tea but was there a way to stop it from staining the mug? I know that if you have black tea and add some lemon juice, the brown tea turns orange and there's no stain so I know it can be done with lemon tea. Presumably it is the citric acid in the lemon juice that reacts with the tannic acid to stop it forming tannin.

One of the suggestions is that you brew the tea in a teapot and put milk into the mug first. Apparently the casein in the milk reacts with the tannin acid and binds to the tannin preventing it from getting deposited on the side of the mug. You can't put a teabag into cold milk and then pour boiling water in to the mug since you need to scald the tea leaves first with the boiling water, hence making the tea in a teapot. So when I had open up Naiad and sat down I resolved to try this out. A mug's worth of water in the kettle and after it had warmed up a little I poured some in the bottom of the mug and put the rest back on the heat to boil. Two teaspoons of powdered milk gave me the milk in first albeit warm milk and not cold. I don't have a teapot yet so I carefully balanced the teabag on the teaspoon and when the water had boiled I poured it over the teabag and into the mug. The now scalded teabag was then put into the mug and stirred until it was the right colour to tea and then discarded.

So far, so good. After pottering around a bit I drank the tea when done, rinsed the mug out with water and used a little hot water and a dishcloth to clean it out. Result, no brown stains so it seems that this might work. I'll get a small metal teapot to brew the tea however, this pouring it over a teabag on a spoon is alright once but not again. Not an entirely safe thing to be doing.

I decided to have a lie down. A folded smock on the knife box made a pillow and I fell asleep. Only for an hour or so but my bones just cannot take sleeping on a hard wooden bed so having sat up I decided that cushions were to be sooner rather than later and measured up the various places I need them.

I quick scan on the Internet once I'd returned home and I have 5 cushions on order. Three of one size and two of another. The problem with boats is that they are rarely square and although I have once cushion that is rectangular, it's a odd size at 45 x 90 cm or 18" x 36". So the cushions that I've ordered, for 2 and 4 seat garden benches, will need to be fitted over the Winter but for now they will do very nicely.

These are the cushions. 50mm or 2" thick and the three smaller ones will fit on the two cockpit seats and the cabin seat and the two longer ones will be for the sleeping area. Then I can have a comfortable nap.