You can choose the place, or the
time, but not both....
We have had several cruising friends
tell us that this is an important rule when inviting
guests to stay with you on the boat. The problem
is the weather. If we have to be at a particular
place, at a particular time, there is not a lot of room
to allow for bad weather. I'm not sure exactly how
this works, but it seems to me that you will have to buy
a plane ticket to get you to the general vicinity, but
be willing to travel a little further or to wait a day
or two for us to show up on the boat. I know this
sounds a little self-centered, but it is really a safety
issue. If we make a decision to sail someplace
because we have to be there to meet people, in spite of
a questionable weather situation, we are putting
everyone in harms way. So, if you want to plan a
visit, be aware that you might have to make some last
minute itinerary changes. Hopefully, we will get
better at making arrangements as we get more practice so
it won't be as inconvenient as it sounds. I love
having guests, and the last thing I want is to be
discouraging about coming to visit.
What to bring with you
Bath towels and beach towels. Sun
Sleeping bags, depending on how many of
you there are. We can accommodate one couple in
Cassie's cabin. The kids can either bunk up with
the girls, if appropriate, sleep in the salon, or sleep
outside on the trampoline or bimini.
Good, whole bean coffee (supposedly hard
to find in the islands)
Actually, the proper terminology is
how to pump the head on Zia. We have two
different heads. Both are
traditional boat heads with a manual pump handle. We
have holding tanks for both heads. On the East
Coast, it is illegal to discharge your sewage into
the coastal waters. You have to be at least 3
miles offshore, generally, although the rules vary
according to location. We recently installed
tank monitors so we can see when the tanks get full.
If you overfill them, they overflow into the bow
lockers, making for a very unpleasant clean up job.
Joe had this issue on the delivery up from Fort
Lauderdale, and he has first hand experience with
the task. Luckily, most harbors in New England
have a free pump out service so it is relatively
easy to empty your tanks when necessary.
It is somewhat amusing to discuss
this in public, but it is quite a prominent issue on
a boat. The discharge and intake pipes for the
heads run throughout the boat. One of our
first upgrades on Zia was to replace all of these
pipes. After prolonged use, they tend to
absorb the odors from the product that passes
through them. On our survey in Florida, I
noted a distinct "head" smell in the cabin entryway.
Indeed, one of the pipes for the port head runs up
under the refrigerator, which is just to the left of
the entryway. Joe, with the help of Bruce
Cunard, replaced these hoses with high tech hoses
that do not absorb the odors. Happily, our
boat no longer smells throughout, although the heads
themselves are somewhat stinky. There really
is not much you can do about that.
Anyway, the procedure for pumping
the heads is as follows:
Scrape and rinse all dishes well with the sea
water sprayer on the left of the sink. Be careful, the
thing shoots water all over the place. I can divert some
of the spray by holding my hand behind the nozzle and holding it
low in the sink but don't be surprised if it sprays everywhere.
Stack the dishes on the counters around the sink as
they are rinsed. When the sink is empty, lift the drain plug and
allow the water to run out. You can't set our drain plug
to just allow the water out and not the food, so this is
important as the food could easily cause a blockage in the
discharge pipe and hence a headache for Joe. Empty the
food scraps from the drain plug. You can leave the drain
plug out at this point if you are sure you got all
of the big chunks off of the dishes.
Apply soap to sponge and wash all dishes.
Depending on the quantity of dishes, you can leave
them in the sink or stack them around as needed. Spray with seawater again,
removing them from the sink once they are suds free. Rinse
the sink bowl well.
Set the fresh water faucet to trickle out,
and I mean TRICKLE.
Place all of the dishes back in the sink. Rinse each dish
with fresh water, trying to direct the fresh water running off
the clean dishes to the other dishes in the sink as much as
possible. Stack in the drainer. The drainer area is
pretty small so you have to get creative and use the stove and
the ledge behind the sink as well.
This seems to be the best method in terms of
water conservation, which is a huge issue on any boat. The
only problem is when you forget about the big stack of dishes
that you set on the countertop behind you. Bummer!