Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Going with the Flow...

Or the not-so flow, that is.

It happened while I was brushing my teeth. The water was only trickling out of the faucet so I yelled to Scott with mouth full of toothpaste to turn on the water pump.

"It is on", he replied.

Uh oh.

That's right, our fresh water pump decided to say farewell. Adios! Adieu!

What does that mean, you ask? Well - imagine not having any running water in your home.  It's like that.  Luckily, living on a boat means you assume situations like these - so there are built-in redundancies like solar showers and hand pumps and jerry cans to get you by in the interim.  But not having running water sure makes life different.

Try washing your face, for example, with one hand while you operate a hand pump with the other.  One little hand does not hold a lot of water and the whole ordeal is reminiscent of an Abbot and Costello sketch.  Brushing teeth is not so bad - but washing your sticky, drippy hands after devouring a delicious, juicy mango becomes a comedy of errors as well.  Showers are a little more tricky too - instead of just holding a wonderful nozzle over our heads, we must fill and hoist our solar shower and try to balance it just so with the rocking of the boat while dancing underneath the trickle of water so that none of it gets wasted.  Dishes - ugh - don't even get me started.  Let's just say I'm cooking very clean, simple meals and we're eating off paper towels when we can.  Running water goes right up there with sliced bread in terms of things that made life just a little bit better.

One of the "perks" of living on a boat is that almost always you get to fix problems yourself!  When something goes wrong, you don't just call the electrician, the plumber or the serviceman.  Oh no!  It's not that easy!  There are no 800 numbers nor is there any directory assistance out here.  Ninety percent of the time - you have to fix things on your own, which is why we carry an arsenal of spares for just about every system we have.  Living on a boat you learn, very quickly, how to become self-sufficient in this regard.

This is what we signed up for.  This is life on a boat.  Things break, parts corrode, sails tear, motors stop and water gets in - the key is to try to stay ahead of it all or, at the very least, be prepared for it when it happens (because if it can, it will happen).  And when it does happen, you need to be ready to go with the flow (or lack thereof) until you can fix whatever it is that went wrong.  If that means looking like a fool while washing your face with one hand or switching up your routine a bit - so be it.

Our poor little solar shower was looking like it was feeling neglected, anyway.

Brittany & Scott


Unknown said...

Great post - love the last line - the neglected solar shower.

Duff said...

If you get a chance while in the Leeward Islands to go to Babuda, it was an unspoilt island where the people are friendly. We stayed along the sand spit, inside the reef (very peaceful). You can drag the tender over the sand spit, cross the lake to go into the town.

dg tooth paste said...

I have found DG tooth paste to be among the finest toothpastes around as it will feel like it is doing the task. It also contains fluoride and also has some bleaching components to it every time you use it. Really good to use if you have experienced some dental function done in yesteryear, It's not that expensive and is often on sale in the grocery store. Usually accessible though.

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