28 January 2013

The Sad Facts Surrounding Our Current Lavatorial Plight

With tenuous wisps of sorrow, wrung from the once-supple sinews of a shimmering and momentaneously inexhaustible faith, will they, in successive dawn-brought bursts, tread, with or without malice, through the ruins of their legacies, those woebegone remnants of possibility ravaged by the myopic zeal of their ancestors.

Ah, but sadly, one cannot spend all one's time penning a pasquinade of Faulkner's prose style. Some days, one must look for a hose. Not really "a hose," which is to say not just any hose or even, for that matter, just any category of hose, but a special, nay, in fact, singularly unique type of hose. A plumbing hose, a hose that will, by its very purpose and design, enable us to use one of our two heads.

Our commodal sufferings, I am loathe to admit, are not entirely unjust; they are our penance, our karmic handback for the abiding neglect, the complete lack of preventative maintenance to which we have subjected our heads. Although why they both failed...on the same day...for utterly unrelated reasons, mechanically speaking, is a little difficult to ascribe to either random chance or retribution. I can but think that some irascible demon has laid curses upon our plumbing, a disproportionate retaliation for we know not what perceived slight. Failing to buy some street vendor's fugazi Cuban cigars in the walled city, perhaps? An insufficient tip for the privilege of letting us pump diesel into our jerry jugs with the aid of a sawed-off pop bottle? A cavalier disuse of the "free" wifi connection provided by the restaurante in which we parted with $120,000 COP? If only we knew to whom we had given such dire and unwarranted offense, we would immediately, yet with an uncontrived and boundless sincerity, beg forgiveness and, moreover, inquire as to what we might possibly do to make amends for our wholly unintended yet doubtless no less agonizingly experienced transgression.

Every cruiser sooner or later has to endure it, this most dreaded repair. Many in desperation, and ultimately in vain, then recount the details in blog posts, hoping that by so doing, despite its one-sideness as a therapeutic modality, they may forestall the debilitating effects of PTSD. Everything eventually breaks down out here. We were not apportioned this part of the world by evolution and so life at sea is duly hard on us and on all that we bring along. The need for recuperative attention on the parts of our heads, just as on everything else aboard our vessel, has been a blip on the radar screen of our lives from the moment we first bid adieu to land and I am given to consider that there but for the sheer force of my will, bent with super human intent upon the perpetual staving off of this most ghastly happenstance, they would have given out long ago.

Were I a heartier sort or, failing that, one with a complete olfactory deficit, I would be better suited to such hellish employment, not that the visual horror to which one must subject oneself when taking apart one's toilet and attendant plumbing cannot alone suffice to drop one in a dead faint. Even the complete encasement in a hazmat suit will not save the poor soul so obliged from the debilitating effects of this vile task. Forsooth, no amount of water, soap, bleach or muriatic acid will succeed in cleansing me of it.

Yet a great disservice do I do to Jane, my captain and spouse in failing to mention that she sallied forth headlong into the abyss when my demeanor made it clear I was temperamentally unfit for the monstrous work. I, miserable wretch, afflicted with sensibilities too delicate, a constitution too frail, hung back offering her what succor I could in the form of tools and sundry replacement parts. For all the day did we labor, first on one head then the other, some twenty person-hours in the aggregate. And ultimately all for naught. At sundown, weary in body and spirit, having followed every possible course of action of which we could avail ourselves, we were forced to bow our heads in utter defeat alas, neither head any more usable than when we began.

On the morrow, for weal or woe we shall set out in search of that hose. In the meanwhile, we shall hope that the silicone sealant applied to the other head will stop the pernicious seepage and that by nightfall, we shall in some wise have at least one working latrine. The alternative is too hideous to contemplate.


  1. Hey Guys, Kirk on Salsa here, when you said in a previous blog '
    My mom departs on January 1. Shortly thereafter, we will be headed for Panama.', I now wonder what "Shortly" means!? Anyway, was a very nice stop behind Isla Grande in the Rosarios and at least gets you out of Cartagena. San Blas is very nearly everything I remembered it to be, currently anchored off of an island with small Kuna restaurant, $1.50 beers and $5 chicken dinners, fresh fish, lobster, crab, and more come by the boat every day. Hurry up and get here before I consume it all. Dont bother going direct (or possibly ever) to Porviner to clear in (just trust me on that one). Everyone monitors VHF 72. If you want more info you can get my email off of my website; sailingsalsa.com Hoping to see you soon!!! -Kirk

    1. We're finally here, Kirk! Are you still in San Blas? It's SO beautiful. We're in Nargana now and for the night. Yay, internet. Colon within a few days. We hope...! Didn't know about 72 - we have tried to raise a couple of boats on 16 - just because we took AWESOME pics of them under sail....

  2. Ahh, the advantages of having two heads :-) No ladies peeing off the side of the boat or in the sink then, eh?!

    Glad you guys are well and dealing with crap with a sense of humor :-)


    1. The sense of humor comes and goes.... I seem to recall that you had a good "head" post - good Monkey's Fist topic, no? HEAD HELL (cue the scary music).