Showers al Fresco

Hello everyone,

A recent question made me realize that most people have not seen our boat and have no idea how we do even the simplest things. Thus this latest message.

Our “head” or bathroom is quite large as boat heads go. It is approximately 4 ft by 4 ft, with a counter along one side. This gives us about a 2 by 4 foot floor space. Part of this space is taken up by the toilet. The counter has a small sink in it, cupboards above and below and a cut-out in the top called “the hell hole”. This hole gives me lots of room to store extra towels and supplies.

To shower in the head, we string a cut-down shower curtain along the windows, protecting the counter and drawers from water. One person sits on the closed toilet seat while the other sprays water on them. The waste water accumulates below the floor grate and is pumped over by a sump pump. But, as the pump doesn’t always work and the whole room then needs to be dried, we seldom use the indoor shower.

Instead, Murray has cut a shower panel with hot and cold water, into the cockpit combing. This works very well. Except when it is cold, as it has been the last few days. The cold wind blowing over wet skin is not especially inviting. And, of course, the water is only hot if we have been motoring. Otherwise, it is just at the water temperature of the surrounding seas. That might be in the low 70’s ( 20C ) or cooler.

To shower, we sit on the cockpit seats, slightly out of view from neighbouring boats. One person, seated next to the shower controls, runs the water and gets us both wet and then turns off the water. We apply shampoo and then soap ourselves. Then, the rinse cycle, making sure to get all of the soap off but not use too much of the precious water supply. Then we wrap ourselves in large towels to warm up and dry off. Murray mops the cockpit seats with a string mop and the job is completed.

Once the days warm up, we will take navy showers. That is, we jump into the salt water and wash hair and all with shampoo. Bar soap will not suds in salt water. Once we are squeaky clean, we climb back aboard using the ladder and rinse off with fresh water to remove the salt. This can all be done either in bathing suits or without, depending on the closeness of nearby vessels.

So, as you can well imagine, we very much appreciate the first few showers at home, where the water is always hot, the shower has a door and the wind isn’t whistling through the rigging.

That is life aboard.

Hugs from the clean,
Heather & Murray