Thursday, February 10, 2011

Vanity, conservation, and observation

Washing hair onboard. Chandler and I wash each others hair in a bucket once in a while when it’s too cold to jump in the water to bathe.  The fresh water shower off the back of the boat makes it somewhat easy but still, it’s an awkward way to get clean.  When one is trying to conserve water it’s hard to stand there and let fresh water rinse over you and drop down into the sea, knowing you could capture the run-off and at least rinse it down the head (toilet) to give the pipes a fresh water rinse.  In fact we keep a bucket at our feet when we shower to do just that.  Just one of the many ways sailors think through and conserve their resources.

Salt water wash, fresh water rinse. 


When we first headed out of Puerto Escondido (months ago) and sailed south for 2+ weeks I couldn’t help but notice that Doug was getting more attractive day by day while I was feeling increasingly unattractive.  I concluded this:  for guys, this lifestyle only makes one feel more virile and manly – scruffy beard after a few days of not shaving; feeling physically stronger due to the activity of raising and lowering sails; mentally stronger due to handling crew complaints and fixing engine troubles; feeling more self-sufficient due to catching fish for the family each night; the list goes on.  

On the other hand, after not showering for a few days (the water’s freezing) I feel gross and look worse. Doug says he doesn’t notice. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad but for now I’m grateful and move on.  The salty air permeates my clothes and makes them feel damp at all times. Yuck!  I crawl into the bed sheets at night and a similar feeling takes over. Double yuck!  At this point Doug is smiling…living his dream and it’s all good.   

The next day I wake to put on the same outfit I had on yesterday, pull my dirty hair into a ponytail and stick a do-rag on it, as if that’s fashionable. Out here, nobody notices and it doesn’t make sense to put clean clothes on a dirty body.  Doug on the other hand looks great in his three-day-old outfit. What’s going on here?

See what I mean?

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