One winter we anchored in a quiet anchorage all alone just a short walk from a beautiful deserted beach. Most cruisers anchored in another spot all clumped together in an unprotecded spot where the current spun them around in dizzying circles. I asked them why they anchored off the town in the current and crowd rather in the quiet of "MoonShadow's Anchorage". Some didn't know you could get in, many mentioned convenience, but all said "here you can take showers"!
This brings me to a sensitive subject. Many are not aware of it but society can be roughly divided into two groups: those to whom showering daily is a necessity and those to whom its not. (You're not sitting real close to me on the subway right now, so it's safe to admit that I'm one of the latter.) Do you suppose that some people get a lot dirtier than others? Now don't get me wrong, I don't have anything against showers they just aren't real high on my list of daily concerns. I asked one of these "showerers" on a large boat if he didn't have room aboard for a shower. "Oh yes, but you know it uses up a lot of water. We only carry 120 gals." This puzzles me, Moonshadow only carries 35 gals and we wash and cook and drink for over a week. Just how much water does it take to wash off less dirt than one can normally see? Did I miss some vital piece of information in those high school hygiene classes?
We met a couple on a small boat who took pride in living frugally to spread their limited resources. Then they told us how every two or three days they tied up to a marina so they could get showers! Their boat was 27 ft. and at $.75/ft. we're talking $20 a shower or over $2000 a year for the pleasure of standing in a stall to watch slightly dirty water swirl down the drain between your feet. Myself, I'll just watch what I step in.
Of course this leads to the question of just how dirty do we get. Dirt, or more accurately, body grime comes at one from two directions: inside and outside. Now outside dirt is fairly easy to deal with. Your clothing is a very formidable line of defense. Imagine you are a tiny speck of crud trying to force yourself through two or three layers of tightly woven cotton, denim or polyester. Unless you came from the floor of a gas station or a recently wet puddle you probably won't get far. "Inside" dirt is a little different. One thing to remember is that inside dirt is primarily produced by overheated or stressed bodies. Perhaps just now you are beginning to understand just why we've chosen the relaxed life of cruising on a sailboat in primarily northern climes. Sometimes though we find ourselves in elevated temperature and the production of inside dirt starts to rise, but once again I ask you to imagine yourself as a bit of dermal detritus or, if you prefer, a globule of sweat. You poke your head out a pore and what's the first thing that happens? You're swept up and absorbed by some Fruit of the Loom! Once again we see it's the clothing that gets dirty not the people. The conclusion to me is obvious. Stay out of gas stations, don't play in the mud and spend that money on laundry detergent!
Carolyn thinks I've about exhausted this subject and we want to keep what friends we've got so I should move on. (It may be that most people are in the other anchorage for the social aspects, we are quite familiar with how boats will crowd into one anchorage while another is empty. Humans really are herd animals. Whatever).
Some people wonder what, when they're dead and gone, they will be remembered for. Judging by the feedback from my friends on this cleanliness philosophy, they will keep alive fond memories of my showering habits long after remembrances of my stronger points have faded into history.