Getting things ship shape for the Bahamas

Greetings from chilly Florida.  I heard a collective grumble from my Minnesota friends who are suffering through -14 weather.  Perspective is everything.  Yours?  You have heat.  Last night it was 42 degrees on the boat.  Mine?  I’ll gladly take 42 degrees and sleep with cold toes and nose.

We hope to untie the dock lines and head out in the next couple of days.  We are going to meander to the keys where we will wait for appropriate weather to make the passage to the Bahamas.  Once again, we are on the slowest race to nowhere in particular.

We have spent these last ten days on Marco Island tidying up loose ends.  Ladies and gentlemen!  We have a working anchor light and a happy wife!  The captain pulled himself up the mast with his climbing gear for a bit of electrical work and installed a new light.  He had an audience of people in the neighboring condos watching and commenting from their balconies and a few curious pelicans who flew by.

He has also added water level sensors to our water tanks so we can monitor water usage more carefully.  Water is gold on a sailboat.  Echoes carries 110 gallons of water which we can ration to five days.  That means we can be out on the hook or cruising for 5 days before needing a marina to fill back up.  Let me put this in perspective.  110 gallons divides out to 11 gallons a day per person.   According to USGS, the average person uses 1 gallon of water a day to brush their teeth, 35 gallons to take a shower, 18 gallons to hand wash dishes (we, of course, do not have a dishwasher, which take 16 gallons of water on average.)  You should drink a half gallon of water per day.  Each toilet flush uses 3 gallons of water (average use 7 flushes) and hand washing another gallon per wash.  Some sailors use sea water in their heads but we choose to use precious fresh water as it keeps the heads free from smelly microorganisms making their home there.  This totals 78.5 gallons a day on average per person.  This does not include the many miscellaneous uses of water daily.  Incidentally, a washing machine uses 25-40 gallons per load.  So, you see, 11 gallons a day is quite sparse and it is imperative to know where you are at so you can bathe, flush, and not die of thirst.  However, there is always wine.  John jokes that he can shower with a thimble full and I with a cup and a half.  I cut my hair for this reason.  We get greedy and critical with each other’s water use.  John uses more fresh water to rinse off his fishing poles than his body.  He complains that I am an exuberant flusher and prolific showerer.

Provisioning the boat is quite an undertaking.  We live on 41’10” of length (that is tapered, mind you) and 14’10” beam at the widest part of the boat.  There is not a lot of storage and, I must add, we have more tools aboard than Home Depot carries.   I found wrenches in my underwear drawer.  I did put on a few Christmas pounds. We have been told that we will be lucky to find a paper towel roll for under $7.00 and that a case of Miller Lite is at a minimum $48.00 in the Bahamas.  We are buying as much supplies as we can carry.  I put things inside of things inside of other things and then forget where I put them.  I should make a spreadsheet of provisions and their whereabouts.   Pffft, who am I kidding?  I will certainly remember where the ample amount of wine is and anything else is incidental.

We have become known regulars at Bealls discount store as well as the hardware stores on Marco.  We have a favorite cashier at Bealls.  She is pushing 60, friendly, has a warm smile and grandmotherly appearance.  We were chatting about different geographical nomenclature such as pop vs soda, water fountain vs bubbler, etc.  She mentioned that the English call swimming suits costumes.  John told her to be careful with the English as they refer to a lady’s most essential parts as fannies.  So, he warned, do not refer to the thing you carry your water and lunch in as a fanny pack!  Well, she said, it might be lunch to someone.

Ta ta for now.  Captain Wegottagetgoin is barking.  I hope to tell you a story before we go.  Blog with you soon!


6 thoughts on “Getting things ship shape for the Bahamas

  1. We travel in a 21 foot class B RV. Similar issues with water, particularly if we are boon docking. But that said, we can walk on land once in a while. Your adventures sound wonderful. Bon Voyage!

    Liked by 1 person

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