Lucky Dip

Waaaaay back in time when we moved aboard the boat in 2015 (and remained in the boatyard for 18 Very Long Months) I bought a Tempur Visco-Elastic queen sized mattress on eBay, hoping that excellent sleep would make up for cold water only and spiralling mental health. At that point M was okaying anything that might make things easier, and thus only winced slightly as we hauled all 60kg of it up the stairs and mooshed it around the corner, through the galley and up on to the bed space.

Since googling for this picture of a Tempur mattress I have realised that since I last looked at them the range has been expanded to include such variations such as Firm Luxe, Cloud Supreme with CoolTouch, the Hybrid Elite, (not to be confused with the Cloud Elite), Sensation Supreme, Cloud Luxe, the Micro-Tech and the Firm Elite. By the end of looking through every possible variant I wanted to punch somebody. IT’S A MATTRESS, not a paint colour. Jesus.

It got a little bit mouldy during that first Winter in the boatyard. So M put many holes into the bed base plywood, making it look like someone had momentarily lost their mind and thrown a bunch of very hard oranges at it. Or cricket balls. Cue: Angelic Chorus…

The extra thing that we added were grass doormats – $2.50 each from Bunnings – underneath the mattresses they seemed to supply a reasonable airflow. During warm weather. So, HUZZAH!


For the next four years, with occasional airings, the situation was OK. However. Like many boat related things, the situation changed during our first Winter on the water. Which happens to be at 43degrees south. In Tasmania.

My lovely mattress lasted approximately one month of this Winter that we continue to endure. Then we jammed it into the back of the van (while it was still alive), drove it to the tip, and fed it to the shredder while I cried. Goddamnit.

We found a ‘Queen sized foam mattress’ on GumTree for $80 and M went on a solo manly adventure to Hobart to fetch it. Hooray!

How the mattress was in my head: foam – firm, not very yielding foam, the kind of foam that accepts you grudgingly as you lie down upon it and allows you to have a reasonable sleep i.e. you only need to spin 180degrees a couple of times during the night to avoid blood supply issues to limbs.

How the mattress is in real life: foam – as yielding as a Queen Victoria sponge cake, with such deference to my contours that within one night my hips had made their way through to the plywood below…the one with the orange-sized holes. We called the resulting crater ‘The Dip’. Possibly there are other uses for it….

My mattress.
  • Use it to trap Small children i.e one night Small DB woke me, her voice pitiful; “Mama, I’ve fallen into the dip. Can you get me out?”

  • 2) Fill the dip. OK. Crater. Put any pillow that is not in use into the crater to try and counteract the flattening of the exhausted foam. This can work if you ignore the 3am back spasm.

  • Think positively! “At least it was only eighty dollars and is so malleable that I can roll it up every morning – after removing every blanket, toy, electronic device, random crochet hook and cat – to try and avoid the constant threat of MOULD.”

  • Think bracingly of the fact that one has made it through the halfway point of Winter in Tasmania and has (arguably) survived thus far. Think of the rest of the world that is sans any mattress at all and count one’s blessings that one’s difficulties are generally concerned with a dead Delica, the Huon Valley Council, and the imminent destruction of the Tarkine.

In truth, what is required are those plastic pallets used for delivering bread. About three inches high, strong plastic, lots of airflow – I could deal with the loss of headroom and entering my bed like a worm if I was confident that mould spores were not rejoicing in my body heat, craptastic foam, bad ventilation and plywood while I ‘slept’. I looked for some on GumTree and the first thing that came up was:

“Looking for plastic pallets, kind of like the ones they use for delivering bread – if anyone can help me, please call…”.

BC – Grey Bread Crate IH323

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