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
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.