Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Transformation to "Marina Mode" (Or...our evolution to "Sailor Trash")

If you are looking at this picture and wondering "Is that a shower curtain on the back of your boat?" you would be correct.  Let me explain...

You could call the heat here "oppressive".  Think middle of July in Key West.  I actually know exactly what that feels like because I once booked my friend Justin and I tickets to go to Key West, Florida for a week in the middle of July for something ridiculous like $100 bucks round trip.  We were eighteen and thought we were getting a steal.  $100 bucks to go to paradise and back?  Heck yeah!  It took us all of .02 seconds to learn exactly why the flights were that cheap.  It, too, was "oppressively" hot.  Meaning, by 8:30am a simple stroll to the bathroom will leave you with pit stains and a sweaty back.  The steaming humidity literally hits you like a brick wall as soon as you step outside.  You wake up with damp temples, motivation leaks out of your pores with each drop of sweat and you labor through the day in a constant state of dewey stickiness.  You're skin is always slimy.  One shower a day is not enough.  Dizzy spells abound if you don't drink enough liquid.  Staying inside - in the shade and out of the scalding hot sun - is about all you can do to slow the process of drying out and turning into a raisin.  If you dare to walk around during the peak sun hours, you will literally feel your skin crinkle and burn and no amount of SPF coverage will help it.  Again: it's oppressive.  But hey, it's paradise, right?

Being at a marina, while not without perks, means the heat is a little more unruly.  Unlike being at anchor, out in the breeze - we are now in a protected cove surrounded by high hills where the air hangs thick and heavy.  While we do have air conditioning on board, we have opted not to use it because we are gluttons for punishment - like all modern conveniences - it comes with a price. $0.62 EC a kilowatt hour to be exact.  So instead, we find cheaper ways to stay cool...Like covering our entire boat in utility tarps in order to stave off the sun and keep the cabin temperature just a few degrees cooler.  It actually works but, as you can see, doesn't do much for curb appeal.  All we need are a few lawn flamingos and perhaps a busted up dinghy on the dock behind us and the look would be complete.

Another thing that we lack here at the marina is privacy.  We are mere inches away from the boats to our left and our right, and our dock happens to get the most foot traffic of any dock here at the marina.  Since we spend almost all of our time in our wonderful cockpit and we are docked "stern to" this means a lot of people get to see us in our element, much like zoo animals, during the day.  We don't mind this - in fact, being a professional people-watcher I actually enjoy it - but we decided that a little privacy shade was in order.  Not only would the shade shield us from the litany of boat workers who constantly remind us (like, several times a day) that our varnish is in need of some work and our boat sure could use a polish - but it would also ensure that the melanoma inducing rays of the setting sun remained outside our boat so we could eat dinner without burning our retinas.  First, we hung a beach towel back there, but since it's the "rainy season", I figured something waterproof would be better.  Then it hit me:  a shower curtain!!  Perfect.  We went to the hardware store, bought the tarps, some bungee and a cheap shower curtain (with plastic rings, metal would be rust city) and...VOILA!!...we went from class to trash in less than thirty minutes.  We even watch movies in our cockpit at night which is pretty much the cherry on top of our "hick" sundae.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have officially become "sailor trash".  And we're totally okay with that because instead of a zombie inducing, brain cooking 102° ambient temperature, our boat is now a tolerable and only slightly uncomfortable 85°.  All because of our tarping.  We might not look pretty, but we're cool.  And being cool trumps looking cool in our books.

15 comments:

Paul and Terri said...

That there was some funny stuff right there, I don’t care what ya all say! The story I would love to read would be the one from the owners of the cruiser next to you!! Now THAT would be interesting. Too bad you couldn’t find a lighter colored tarp to help keep things a few degrees cooler. As we are learning from Windtraveler, there is always a tradeoff. Thanks for sharing. Throw an old tire on top of the bimini!

Paul and Terri

Marlin said...

One bigger problem you have is that large condo docked to your starboard, they block alot of breeze too.

Dan N Jaye said...

So true ... and so funny! All of us liveaboards have been there at one time or another.

Brett A. said...

You are braver than me! Being someone who does not do well (translation: super sweaty person) in hot n humid weather (of course thats why I live in Virginia) I end up using my AC full time whenever I have the luxury of a shore power connection (when I have a boat that is)! Its one of the things that worries me about going to the Caribbean one day... I may hate it like I hate the VA summers :(

Lisa said...

Ha! My husband and I are Boston liveaboards and have matching silver tarps. At first I was mortified when I saw what they looked like, but once I touched the roof of the cabin on a 90-degree day, that sentiment quickly went away!

Love the blog by the way...I read you everyday and silently cry that I'm at my computer at work instead of on the water like you!

Mikaela Swedlund said...

This is so funny!! I love the term "sailor trash"!!

I was a crew member on a catamaran back in the summer of 2008. We were sailing around greece in July and it was HOT.

I distinctly remember being in the marina, showering at the stern with an entire audience of Greek fishermen watching. Ranks as one of the most awkward moments I've ever experienced :)

Wish we had been as creative as you guys, and set up a shower curtain! Nice work!

the Liveaboard Wife said...

Funny : ) We have an A/C unit fiberglassed into plywood in our companionway - sailor trashy, but completely beneficial. Great post!

Alison
www.liveaboardwife.blogspot.com

Carol Florida U.S.A. said...

Whatever works, eh? Have you seen those packs of 10 Emergency Mylar Survival "blankets" (for $6.00/pk.) . . . they would work similar to the foil/silver windshield reflectors that we put in our cars to keep them from getting too hot in the summer!! From reports, although the "foil blankets" are thin . . . they are pretty strong, and the reflective properties would work the same . . . to bounce the sun's rays back out and away from your cockpit and cabin!!! Or, you could always get heavy duty ones for a little more money!! Whatever you do, stay hydrated, and hopefully you have some beverages that can replace lost electrolytes, for you and Scott . . . and for Isla!! <3 :-) Carol Florida U.S.A.

Mark and CIndy said...

So funny! Would love to have seen shower curtains with - oh, I don't know - Budweiser logos maybe.

The laundry on the rail is also a nice touch for the "hick" ambiance you seek to acquire.

BTW - we have found just running the AC for a couple of hours at night - say 8-10pm - really helps cool the boat for the entire night. Nothing like a good nights sleep to help face the next scorcher.

Glad you guys made it there safe. Enjoy the summer and make a friend who has an air conditioned boat.

Mark and Cindy
www.creampuff.us

Jennifer said...

"...the cherry on top of our "hick" sundae."

LOVE it!

Tim R. said...

I love the "cherry on top of our hick sundae" comment. Add underwear on the lifelines and a NASCAR flag and you can be boat-billies!!

Donna Pawl said...

To complete the look, you need RV lights ... you know the dingle-ball, multi-colored thingies that folks hang off the awnings of RVs at KOA campgrounds! I do like the budweiser shower curtain suggestion too ... Yup, that would dress up Asante for sure (or get you evicted from the marina).

Hope to see you in mid-August.

kwmINDY said...

Brittany you have to do a blog post that uses the phrase "If you....You might be Sailor Trash" Jeff Foxworthy tribute. Like, If you use your life-lines like a dryer in a marina you might be sailor trash. If you hang dingle-ball, multi-colored RV lights off your bimini and fly the confederate flag, you might be Sailor Trash. I think you could come up with some better and more funny ones. Loved the post.

Mike said...

Great post! I could almost envision a dinghy up on cement blocks on the dock.

Comfortable definitely beats pretty any day.

Jessica said...

You are not nearly as trashy as you first indicated, although the shower curtain did give me a good laugh. I wish you could be in the Rio Dulce with us, we have this AWESOME ranchito right behind our boat, a nice covered area with picnic tables, a hammock, and always an afternoon breeze rolling through.
There's still time to get here... (Ok, there's not. And don't even think about trying it.)

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