Monday, January 31, 2011

Good to the Last Drop

Rub-a dub-dub, give the canopy a scrub!
Sunday was sunny, and warm. Carpe Scrub Brush. Time to tackle a chore too long postponed:  Washing and re-sealing the canvas canopy. 

Managed to unsnap the darn thing without breaking any snaps, falling off the railing, or getting spiders on my face (they hide under the edge of the canopy and jump out when you pop the snaps).  

Laid the canvas on the dock, hosed it down, and scrubbed away the mildew and the bird poop and the spots of lichen (yes, lichen).  Had to make an emergency trip to West Marine for enuf canvas sealant to finish the job.  But now:  Let it rain! Who cares?

As long as the hose was out, we also filled our water tank.  Which holds 100 gallons.  Think about it.  We take on water every four or five days, to supply two people.  Most American homes use 80 - 100 gallons per person per day.  

Those figures come with some qualifiers. We don't water a lawn or garden.  We don't have a washing machine on the boat.  (So to our boat consumption, add the water it takes to do our two loads of laundry per week on shore).  

And full disclosure: We do take advantage of showers at marinas (showering on boat is roughly comparable to the experience of stepping into a drafty phone booth that's been equipped with one of those little kitchen-sink sprayers. Only less forceful.)

Some aspects of boat life lend themselves naturally to water conservation.  Boat toilets use very little water.  As previously noted, the boat showerhead is definitely a low-flow model. And we wash dishes by hand, not in a dishwasher, scrupulously following the "Good Boatkeeping" guidelines for washing dishes with a minimal amount of water. (If you really really love having a dishwasher, well, you don't want to know the details.)

But we're also conscious that we have a limited amount of water, and that we have to be careful. We turn off the tap while we brush our teeth.  Take military-style showers.  And measure just enough water into the kettle for morning coffee.  

Because, if the tank runs out while we're anchored out in the middle of nowhere, well, thhaatt's all, folks!  

OK, ever since that time the Cap'n ran out of water mid-shampoo, we do keep a couple gallon jugs stashed away . . . just  for emergencies.

So that's the water-management report . . . inside the boat, and out.  

 . . . unless Cap comes up with a plan to take on water by funneling rainwater run-off from the solar panels (and the newly clean and waterproof canopy) into some kind of storage barrel. I'm sure it's possible.  Just make sure to incorporate in the design a device to filter out the spiders.

More photos from the daily ship's log HERE.


  1. There's a really amazing novel in there somewhere regarding your ongoing war with spiders....