|The Adventures of
"Water water everywhere, and nary a drop to drink."©
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(Occasionally, editorial comments from Don of S/V Destiny Calls, host of this web site and southern waters frequenter, will appear in green italic)
One of the cruising sailors most precious commodities is drinking water...we are surrounded by water,but it is not drinkable. Most boats have water tanks. Ours carries 230 liters in two tanks and we carry an additional 55 liters on deck, for a total of 285 liters.
When you consider that your average daily consumption of water in Montreal is roughly 800 liters of water per day and our total tankage of 285 liters MUST last us at least two weeks....you ask yourselves HUH! how can they do it. You can do it but it comes at a price.
Whenever we went cruising in the 1000 Islands, water was never an issue. If you ran out you simply went somewhere and filled up....for free. That is because we have an abundance of fresh water and never seem to care how much we use. Here in the Bahamas water has to be made or caught from the sky. They use a process called reverse osmosis...this takes seawater, removes the salt and gives you sort of drinking water...it is an acquired taste. You say to yourself hey with all that seawater how can it be so bad It takes electricity to do it, and all of the power here is generated by burning oil, and that is very expensive...we recently purchased bottled Reverse osmosis water in Staniel Cay for 2.50$ US for ONE gallon...remember that the next time you are having a hot shower
The only item on board the boat that we dont care about the water usage is the head...or toilet for you folk who dont quite grasp the lingo. That is because when we flush, we use the sea water to evacuate and clean the bowl...unfortunately down here when you flush it goes right back out to sea. In the morning I have only one cup of coffee, and Janette has one cup of tea. All of the dishes get washed in salt water and get a rinse in fresh, but again very little water. Having a shower is quite the exercise in water management . We are fortunate to have hot and cold pressure water ,so when we do have a shower(Janette and I are very close) we will wash our hair over the sink, and catch as much water as possible from this and then have a sponge bath with what ended up in the sink, usually about 1 to 1.5 liters of water. As to laundry,we havent had to do one on board yet, but it is soon...if we dont get to Georgetown soon....
Which brings me to a little mishap that happened recently. The day before we were leaving Staniel Cay, we took on some water as our tanks were getting rather dry ,we had filled up in Nassau and had not topped our tanks in over 10 days.... With tanks full we were ready to leave the next morning, only to find the floorboards floating that evening. It seems that a hose clamp loosened and we lost both our tanks of water. There was 230 liters of water in my bilge...completely useless. That was an expensive lesson, as it cost us 30.00$ US for water that day.....so next time you are cleaning something and letting the water run, or you are having that nice hot shower...or even watering your plants, remember how lucky you are to have such a precious commodity so easily at hand, and that there are to many people in this world that have to haul their daily ration of water .
Janette and I stopped of at Warderick Wells....this is the headquarters of the Exuma Cays Park. The Wells means that it was once used by sailors to replenish their fresh water...nowadays the water is brackish. And what sailors they had . At the southern end of this Cay, there lies a few small islands with names like Pirates Retreat, Pegleg Rock,Teach Rock named after Edward Teach aka Blackbeard. Two other Islands are named after famous female buccaneers, Read Rock was named after Mary Read, and Bonney Rock for Anne Bonney. The anchorages that these cays provide could easily take a pirate ship with a 12 foot draft, so that they could lie in wait for the passing ships that they would raid.
Warderick Wells is also known as a haunted Island. They say that on moonlit nights,one can hear a congregation singing hymns. There were three shipwrecks of the coast here ,and it is reported that one of these was laden with missionaries, but archives dont show that a ship sailed from England carrying missionaries to this area.The discovery of a human skeleton on the south end of the Island has led some people to believe these ghost stories....some Bahamians refuse to be on this island after dark.
Something else not to be missed on Warderick Wells ,is a trip up to Boo Boo Hill.
After a short trek up a sandy slope to view the majesty of the Exuma Sounds waves ,crashing on the rocky eastern shore,one can go to the summit and view what passing cruisers have left to mark their passage through....we even found one that we knew. And we left our mark too on this hill.
Till next time
Jim and Janette
Here's a audio clip of Jim calling a Montreal radio sataion from Borean while they were anchored at little Farmers Cay. It's in Real Audio so you'll need the player to listen to the 180 k , aprox 3 minute clip.
They also report that the radio tower is still down at Staniel Cay: cell comunication there is very bad, but land lines are okay.
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