Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Boat yards and Buckets - Trini

Up the ladder. Down the ladder. Up the ladder. Down the ladder. It's annoying as hell but it's a fact of life when you are living on the dirt. Right now we are waiting on a contractor to quote us on tank cleaning. We want our port tank removed and cleaned properly as it's always been a sludge bucket since we bought the boat. So we wait in the dirt.

We are not really sitting on dirt as you know it. When I first saw what we were sitting on I thought it was petrified goose poop but actually it's old crushed coral and shells plus dirt and gravel. This area must have been reclaimed from the sea a long time ago. You walk around in your flip flops and pointy shells stick in them and sometimes through and into your heel. It's basically unsuitable for flip flops. When I am working under the boat I wear my hiking boots. If I wear sandals the small shells and stone always get trapped under my foot.

One of the gross parts of living on the dirt is bathroom time. Nobody wants to take a dump in their boat because there is no place for it to go except the ground or in your holding tank. Neither is a good option so we visit the bathrooms obviously. Lucky for us the bathrooms here are very clean and most people keep them that way. The gross part I am talking about is the pee bucket. Yes, the pee bucket. That 2 AM pee break when you are not fully awake but basically sleep walking can be a dangerous event as you crawl down the ladder in just your boxer shorts or pajamas and walk across crushed coral and open mouthed and laughing security guards on your way to the bathroom, so you utilize a bucket.

The problem with the bucket is that you have to empty it. People are very discreet with their buckets. At first I was wondering if we were the only people that pee at night. It didn't make sense. Most people here are our age and older and the younger ones party most nights so there is no way they can make it all night without relieving themselves unless they are all androids which I have pondered based on observations. There's definitely some bucket dumping going on and if you get up early enough you can see a few stealthy people creeping around. I know this is gross but if anyone was going to talk about it it's me I guess.

Our first night on the hard in the boat and I was thinking, "I'm not going down a ladder at 2am to take a piss. It's bucket time." Deb just looked at me and I recall her putting her hand on her head and mumbling something about hating the boatyard. It's a very unattractive part of our life. OK, there are many unattractive parts of this life like when I replace the joker valve on the toilet. Our toilet has to pump uphill a bit before gravity takes hold. What I'm saying is, you better make sure it's all fresh water left in that section of hose before you pull that valve out. Speaking from experience here. There will be other sailors out there wondering why I even mention some of these things but it needs to be talked about so we can separate the people from the human like droids. Seriously though didn't you ever wonder where all the people pee at night?

One of the other problems with being in the boatyard is having a spiffy boat next to you. I always hope we get matched up with boats of our kind. You know, the older, weathered and ridden hard boats that are sturdy but not too flashy. Ha! Never happens. We always get placed next to people who clean their boats crevices with a toothbrush and polish everything to a blinding shine. They have pallets at the base of their ladder for their yard shoes and trays of water to wash their feet in. There is an older classic yacht next to us that is spit shined every day. They have white canvas. They wear white clothes. Their hair is even white! We have Mr and Mrs Clean next door. They are very sweet and friendly and they take very good and meticulous care of their boat. It's annoying.

We impressed the hell out of them the other night after Deb and I had a few beers in the cockpit with the bug candles going and some snacks to munch on. We even had some tunes on low volume. It was a fun night but we forgot about the beer cans. About 2 am (bucket time) the wind picked up and the cans blew off the deck into the cockpit. It was one hell of a noise at that hour. We both giggled a bit at the racket outside and when morning came I gathered up the wind chimes from the floor only to see Mrs Clean wiping down the deck of their boat. Good morning she said with a slight smirk. Good morning I grumbled to the sound of crushing cans. They love us.

I don't know if we will ever be at the level that some of these folks are at with their boats. Ours will be shiny and clean when she hits the water and there are a lot of things we would like to improve but right now we spend money carefully and on items that are required to function out here. The pretty stuff will come later when we hop on the social security trail and have some extra cash to throw at this old boat. In the meantime all of us pretty and worn, new and old, clean white and faded blue, sit in the yard and sit at anchor with the same view, the same experiences and the same buckets.


Actually, they have a nicer bucket too :(


  1. www.airbnb.com or www.vrbo.com

    You don't need to live like this.

    We are renting a very nice small flat while Cream Puff is in the yard for about $35 per day. I had a good friend fall off the ladder and break her neck getting off the boat in the yard. Needless to say that was a life changer.

  2. Oh, yes, the dreaded joker valve change and all of the grossness that spills out while you're doing it. It's still gross even if you've pumped a ton of fresh water in first.

    I wonder if petrified goose poop might actually be nicer to walk on and softer underfoot? Might be worth having a work with the boat yard about it. Maybe they could spread some down in a path from your boat to the bathroom to make the walk easier. :-)