This post has been “stopped up” for over a year. Seriously, I felt that it had to be written for the edification of other boaters and because … well because s*!t happens. But I didn’t want to relive the moment and I hesitated to actually post this front and center on the blog.
So, today’s actual post “Barbara Does Do Gooky” can be found on a page in the column at right. If you want a frank discussion about a head disaster aboard a cruising vessel, then click on the link above, or simply go to the page and open it. However this extra post is not recommend for the following readers
· Those who are eating
· Those who are squeamish
· Those who do not need to know how a marine toilet works
· Those who do not want to know what happens if a marine toilet doesn’t work
· Anyone who has never changed a diaper and gets sick thinking about it
You have been warned. Read, cringe and learn at your own risk. For the rest of you, the information below is much easier to take.
Why La Luna Still Doesn’t Have a Composting Head
If you choose not to head to the dark or gooky side, let’s discuss heads in a more oblique fashion. When we purchased La Luna 2002 there was a tiny, old holding tank under the chart table. We don’t think anyone had used it. More importantly, the boat wasn’t in compliance with Maine and US laws. EW liked Lectra San electronic marine sanitation devices, and had installed one in our SeaFarer-26 in 1987. Neither of us like holding tanks, and while in 2002 composting heads were presented at the local boat show, neither of us wanted to be the first on our block to try one. They were still a novelty among cruising sailors in Maine.
So we bought and installed a Lectra San in the aft head. A few years later, use of these devices was (we believe unfairly) made illegal in our location and we once again were not in compliance. By then, composting heads were more prominent and I suggested we look into it. EW was not interested and, since I don’t like “gooky” and didn’t know anyone who had a compositing head I didn’t press and I’ve regretted it. Instead, we kept the Lectra San in the aft head, and installed a holding tank in former storage space in the forward cabin, connecting that to the forward head. We should have purchased a composting head.
The Lectra San gave us problems every other year or so and fixing it was messy and expensive. (Think a box of ick with electronics in it.) When it died in the Bahamas I vetoed spending more money on it, and we eventually pulled it, later using the at space for the new inverter.
As for my aversion to “gooky” I talked with a lot of people who have composting heads -- both Air Head and Nature's Head -- and knew that I can handle it – even if the inevitable issuess. I came this close (holds thumb and pointing figure ½ inch apart)] to buying one from a friend who had purchased a new cruising boat and found a brand new composting head in a box in the forward cabin. She would have sold it for a song. To me. I said yes, but then I had to ruin it by being honest. “Are you really sure you don’t want this?” “Oh yes. I think it would be gross!” And I replied (dammit) “You better talk with Boater A and to Boater B before you sell it to me. You may want to keep it.” She thanked me later. She was delighted with her composting head. I like being right, but that’s only a small consolation.
And that is why La Luna still doesn’t have a composting head, despite the universe giving me three opportunities to get one. So here we are with a hated holding tank, and two working marine heads, requiring four thru hulls and a deck port. (For a blast from the past about emptying the holding tank in Fort Lauderdale, check out this post.) While EW will continue to undertake necessary maintenance on both heads, when one of these goes, we will finally install a composting head and get rid of the hated holding tank.
This completes today’s normal blog post. For the informative yet gooky post, go to the link for the page. If you can handle the truth. No shame if you can’t (I couldn’t for years.)
The only time I’ve envied Cruise Ship Passengers: They visit Sint Maarten and get to play. I dealt with Gooky.
And that sunset at top? That's today's "pretty" and my apology for posting about heads and gooky. Sunset on April 12th at Honeymoon Beach, Water Island, St. Thomas.