Friday, March 4, 2011

Bathing in a Boat Yard

We live attached to a dock attached to a boat yard. There is a huge 72 ton lift to lift boats down to the water or up to the yard or so that their bottoms can be scraped of barnacles and seaweed, scrubbed clean, stripped of paint (if they are steel or if they are "glass" (fiberglass) they do not need their paint stripped off), painted and all manor of boat repairs. We've seen boats come in that have hit a reef and need their keels fixed (chunks of the keel missing). We've seen boats come in that had something leaking (severely) in their keel and have had to have their keel's removed to be repaired - that looks odd - a sail boat with out a keel looks like a top heavy and narrow power boat. The boat yard is generally busy, the kids are not allowed up there without an adult during work days (6 days a week). All of this activity makes for lots of excitement for Tamsyn and Griffyn, boats are frequently powering just to our port to tie up before they are lifted out. Often they need assistance tying up to the dock (so we run out and catch the dock lines). Sometimes the boats come so close to our "slip" (a temporary spot not really a slip) that we have to stand on the bow with our whisker pole (a long pole with a hooked end) in hand ready to push their boat away from ours.  Once a very large powerboat gave a us a nice chilled bottle of red Mexican wine (for when we leave Mexico). They had a 60" flat screen TV aboard. There are a number of these mega yachts up on stilts in the boat yard - walking around them as you head to the banyo can be a little daunting. 

We use a communal shower/tiolet in the boat yard. We can't "poop" in our Lavac toilet because there are no pumping out facilities here. We only pee in it. So every time a young person has to go #2 (young 'uns are not allowed in the boat yard unaccompanied) Owen or I and the child must treck up to the banyo together. It makes for a lot of fragrant quality time.

Did I mention that we have no hot water on our boat? (I found out when I got to La Paz). So taking a shower - if you want hot water can only happen in the communal banyo (in the boat yard). The day Owen went to pick up Grandpa John he left very early - before I could take a shower, so to get one, I had to bring both Tamsyn and Griffyn with me to take a shower. They cannot be left alone on a boat even their own.  Now they get fairly dirty every day playing on the dock and on deck (since we haven't been able to give this boat a bath yet) so of-course they needed a shower, but I don't relish being naked in a hard and slippery somewhat public place with two hungry and fairly squirrelly naked and slippery children. I have done this only once before and swore I wouldn't do it again (but I had forgotten about that that morning).  We wondered up to the shower after Owen left around 7:40 AM. (The shower is near the office of the boat yard, near the front gate, near the entrance.) All the workers in the boat yard (10 or so men used to long hard days in the hot sun) arrive between 7:45 and 8:00 AM. 

Lately the showers have had a tendency to overflow - filling up the stall (a couple inches lower than the main floor) because of a clogged drain. And taking a shower with three people will take more water than taking a shower with one or two. Thus I was anticipating a bathing experience in the shower. So when my kids, who are usually angels, began splashing the water from the over flowing shower stall into the changing area I wasn't too happy about it. The "changing area" is what you walk into when you enter the banyo. The banyo door's lock doesn't work, the door blows open in a slight wind (the wind is always blowing in that direction). Earlier I had found a way to secure the door - pushing the broken block (of the lock) into the slot in the door frame so I wasn't worried about it opening on us (as it has to many other unsuspecting women). But I was getting rather frustrated with my two for throwing towels up in the air and other surly activities as I was drying off. I was "encouraging" them to get dressed and not having much luck. Well at some point - I had had enough of their playing (instead of dressing) that I gave Tamsyn a swat on her butt (Griffyn was already in time out). She let out a deafening howl (tile walls). After some scolding and finally dressing, we "unlocked" the door and walked into a completely silent boat yard. No heavy equipment generators running, no sanders or power saws running, you could have heard a pin drop. They had all been listening!! I was mortified - but clean. The three of us marched across the silent boat yard to the dock and back to our boat to hybernate for a couple of hours. 

After talking with my dock neighbors about bathing with children - and we all laughed about it - I was reminded of the quote from Pride and Prejudice, "What are we but sport for our neighbors - and to laugh at them in our turn."  

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