We finally got away from the dock after dealing with some engine issues and spent last night out on the hook for the first time this year, which was wonderful. There's something amazingly peaceful about anchoring in a secluded cove and just kicking back, reading, napping, or daydreaming. We've both missed it. This was our shakedown cruise to make sure we were ready for a longer session on the water. Boy are we ready.
|Back on the water where we belong.|
One of the challenges of living aboard, particularly for those of us cruising or living on the hook, is just keeping clean. Too many days at sea without some semblance of a shower can leave the cabin and bedding a little. . .well. . .ripe. Add to that the vaguely corrosive effect of salt water on the skin, and you have a formula for some really funky crewmembers.
A lot of vessels, even rather small ones, have showers, generally of the "wet head" variety, but, to be honest, a lot do not. Constellation
is one in the "do not" category. While at dock, we can always use the opulent showers at the marina, but frankly, with the whole Covid-19 thing going on, we're trying to keep as far from public spaces as possible. Besides, with the return of warmer weather and Maryland's release of boaters from quarantine rules (mostly) we're planning on being away from dock a lot, so what to do?
Our solution was to create our own privacy stall in the cockpit for bathing, and thus far, it's working pretty well. We used a couple of long bungee cords, threaded through some inexpensive polyester shower curtains, to enclose part of the bimini.
|A bungee threaded through a couple of shower curtains makes for a simple privacy screen.|
In looking for a shower source, you have several choices. You can, of course, go with one of the ubiquitous hanging solar bag showers. They do work, but they're heavy, and most bimini's won't gracefully take that kind of load. We opted to go for a small electrically driven unit. There are several of these on the market. They're inexpensive and work pretty well. Some are USB rechargeable units, but we opted for one that plugged into the 12V outlet we have in the cockpit.
|This simple 12V pump just drops in a bucket and provides you with a pretty decent amount of water pressure.|
We use a 5 gallon bucket for water, either using tap water or river water, and adding about a half gallon of boiling water to heat it up. You could, of course, solar heat the water or just take a cold water shower (not my fave). The full bucket gives the both of us a decent shower without doing much scrimping, and it sure feels good after a few days on the water, and the cat no longer objects to the smell.
Total cost of the setup was probably about $60 including the water pump rig (do a search for "camping showers" and you'll find lots of options), and a couple of discount shore shower curtains. On a side note, I couldn't tell what the bizarre pattern on the ones we got was from the package. Once we opened them, it turned out they were--ready?--Constellations! Hows that for kismet?
Next up: Laundry! Stay tuned.
Be safe out there.