Most of us in the world are lucky enough to have, used, cleaned or even seen a shower of some fashion. From the simple garden hose variety to the elaborate style that looks like a car wash for your body. There are many styles and configurations including some with what may seem like an endless supply of water. Just turn the valve and bingo. Water to use in conjunction with soap, shampoo and other personal hygiene devices. There’s the kind with pop up plastic curtains to encircle you or those fancy open marble walled beauties that just kind of take up a whole corner of the bathroom. Whatever style you have seen, we use showers to get our clean on.
Most modern day first world homes have indoor plumbing complete with possibly a shower, shower tub combo, his and hers or even a whole wall of special jets and sprays to make sure you get every nook, cranny and crevice sparkling clean. You turn the shower knob and cold and hot water is at your disposal.
Of course you may live in an area that has water rationing. Or perhaps you have a well on your property. Then there are those areas that collect rain water in a cistern. Of course there is
The Happy Time water tank truck that delivers water to your water tank that sits on your roof. The point is your fresh water used to shower comes from one source or another.
Hang On, I’ll Get to My Point Shortly
As you may know, we on Dazzler posses a 150 gallon freshwater tank onboard. We can use a hose to fill it. But, most of the time we use our reverse osmosis system and make really good water from seawater. So as long as we are floating on sea water we can make our fresh water supply by using solar and wind to generate battery power to run the water maker.
The Luxurious Hot Water
Yes we have a water heater on Dazzler. It creates hot water in one of two ways. Either by 110 volt AC power supply or by a tube that coils inside the water tank and it carries hot water to and from the running engine through the tank to heat the water. Really! I know most of you yachties know all about this heat exchanger system.
Because of or in spite of our land dwelling roots, we have become accustomed to using hot water to shower, do the dishes or even wash our hands. I will go out on a limb and say that most homes in the US have on average a 40-50 gallon water heater. Ours onboard Dazzler is six gallons thus making hot water very precious. Especially since we only have hot water after the engine has been running for a while or if we are fortunate enough to have a 110 volt power umbilical supply attached to our electrical plug.
Dazzler like many cruising vessels has at least one form of a shower stall. It’s complete with a cold and/or hot water valve to clean ourselves. The hot water is only available from the above mentioned supply sources. Some vessels have hot and cold water supplies at their transoms so they can shower there. Some have them in their cockpits and a myriad of other locations. During the summer months in Mexico we used our freshwater hose and showered on deck while wearing a swim suit. We also supplemented our hot water shower supplies by using solar shower bags.
Speaking of Shower Stalls
I won’t speak for any of the other cruisers, but a shower stall left empty could be a huge waste of a valuable storage locker. On Dazzler we don’t waste a square inch of potential storage space. Those bulky items that don’t seem to fit anywhere else go in our shower. Maybe we just have too much damn stuff. Things like dive tanks, boat cleaning bucket and supplies, a plastic bin filled with other cleaning supplies, hair drier, hair straightener (if you’ve seen my balding head you will know those are not used by me), wetsuit, a hanging cosmetic bag, two shower bags and a teak shower seat to sit on when everything else has been removed. Yes our shower stall is fully functional after you remove all the equipment and other torture devices. It sounds like a lot but it is emptied out within a half an hour or so. LOL No, it’s not that bad.
New Zealand has presented us with a unique dilemma with regards to showering. While staying at a marina, we use the supplied marina showers. That is a hazard all in itself as you will recall Jilly fell last year and fractured a few vertebrae in a marina shower. Most of them operate on a dollar for six minutes or so. Sometimes it requires two dollars to get more benefit from their hot water source. While cruising the island wonders here I have been brave enough to use a shower bag on Dazzler’s deck when it wasn’t so cold.
Okay, Okay…I’ll Get To The Point
I told you all of that to tell you this. The other day after our near death experience, LOL, from the storm on the hook, I listened to the beautiful and talented soon to be Mrs. Morrison fill our nearly 120 square feet of living space with a post storm rant. There I said it. Post storm rant. Feels good to get that out. You know not keeping it all bottled up inside and festering like it does.
“I can’t take this kind of thing anymore. I don’t think I slept at all with all the boat noises. Several times I thought the bow was going to be ripped off and we were going to sink. I couldn’t sleep if I wanted to because I kept flying up off the mattress.” And on and on and on. Blah blah blah. One of the last statements that really caught my attention was, “ I really need a hot shower and to wash my hair.”
I thought I know how to fix this and MAYBE bring a small beam of sunshine into her morning. I opened the head door and was going to start removing the items in our storage/shower stall to prepare the chamber for the little woman. Some of you are already getting a head of me. Hold on a few more minutes.
From the other side of the 120 square foot living space, it actually more like six feet away, I hear these words, “Don’t take that stuff out of there. I’m not taking a shower now. I don’t want to be stepping all over that stuff to get clean.” And on and on and on. Well, when the little woman’s southern pride, I am woman hear me roar, speaks loudly I heed the warning. It was at this moment that I decided I needed to be in the vastly more open area of the cockpit for some fresh air.
Fast forward to the next afternoon. I hear these words, “I should have taken that shower yesterday.” I responded in true Dan form, “That’s good, you can move the stuff out of the way before and move it back after you use the shower stall.” I now refer to the former shower stall as The Garage! And my new berth is in the cockpit.
The point of this article is to provide just a little taste of what living in a small space truly is like. If someone tells you that they don’t have these moments, don’t buy anything from them. Let’s just say we are close to each other. When I say close I mean literally next to each other twenty four hours a day every day. Disagreements will happen and usually can’t be avoided. But it always works out in the end. Especially a day later when you realize you really should have considered all things clean and holy and taken a shower when it was offered the first time.
One of the things we always try to remember is you can be in love with each other and hug and kiss and be great friends. But, when it comes to the safe operation of Dazzler, we put aside our sleeve bearing feelings and wear work hats that are all business. There isn’t time for hurt feelings when someone has to go up the mast or a serious situation occurs and sometimes needs loud communication. When it’s all over. It’s over. Anything said is left behind and forgotten and regarded as not personal. Well at least that works for us. Now excuse me while I watch the unloading of The Garage and shower transformation activities.
Until the next adventure in 120 square feet occurs, this is Captain Dan from Dazzler’s cockpit. Good night and Cheers!