If anyone was considering visiting us on the boat, I feel the need for full disclosure. We definitely want you to visit, but I want you to make that decision with all of the facts. And the facts are that you may be at risk for a few things.

  1. Falling in love with this lifestyle and wondering what the fuck you’ve been doing for the last (insert appropriate number) years instead of sailing off into the sunset.
  2. Sunburns
  3. Jellyfish stings
  4. Acclimating to a slower pace of life, making it difficult to return home where you may not be able to leisurely drink french press coffee over the course of hours every morning.
  5. Witnessing a poop-splosion.

The list goes on, of course, but I was definitely burying the lead on this one. Don’t worry, there aren’t any pictures to accompany this story that you’ll regret seeing- I’m not that dedicated to documentation.

Lemme give you a bit of background. When we bought Small World and dove into the boating community, we learned a lot of lessons very quickly.  For some reason, a lot of these lessons classify sailors into categories that always start with declaring that there are only a few types of sailors.

There are three kinds of sailors:

  1. Those who have run aground
  2. Those who will
  3. Those who lie

There are three kinds of sailors:

  1. Those who get seasick
  2. Those who will one day find just the right combination of conditions to make them get seasick
  3. Those who don’t leave the dock

You get the idea, right? A lot of these little sayings brought comfort to me when we would experience something that I thought was a disaster (like running into the dock when parking the boat back in her slip). There is a sense of camaraderie that made me feel like we were all in this together and we’ve all made the same mistakes and really, in the end, it’s no big deal.

Well this last classification of sailors is my least favorite.

There are four kinds of sailors:

  1. Those who have had a poop-splosion
  2. Those who will
  3. Those who are so traumatized by the experience that they black the whole experience out from their memory so they don’t have to relive it
  4. Those who are too embarrassed to recount the event on their blog and post it on the internet for all of their friends and family to read

We are most definitely, and most unfortunately, the first kind. And this is our reality. We live a life in which we collect what gets flushed down the toilets into holding tanks. Then we have to either go to a dock and use a vacuum to pump all of it out of the tanks, or we have to take the boat three miles away from land and empty it all into the ocean.

The holding tank for the poop toilet is not in a readily accessible location and it is nearly impossible to tell how full it is.

I’m just realizing that this is maybe a really long post about poop and that maybe most/all of you really don’t want to read about that… but I’ve typed too much to let this go.

So back to the holding tank. They always have a vent that goes from the tank to the outside of the boat to allow for the tank to be filled without exploding. The air has to go somewhere when the flushed stuff goes into the tank. If you can imagine, when the flush happens, the escaping air isn’t the most pleasant thing you’ve ever smelled. I’m really not trying to discourage people from visiting, but sometimes it just smells poopy. That’s the hard truth.

Well this time, when it smelled poopy, it was because the tank had been over filled and it had overfilled into the engine room. All over the battery box and the start battery and on a bunch of wires and hoses and somehow managed to find a way into the engine bilge. I immediately started gagging and trying to mouth breath while keeping my mouth shut (solid advice – thank you, Emmy). Captain Iron Stomach Craig tried to start cleaning the mess, but it just kept spilling out. We had to get to a pump out dock. But that also meant that we would be heating up the room that was covered in poopy salt water. Can you see why people are traumatized?

The first dock we tried to get onto was occupied so we had to drive to another one, just trying to avoid thinking about what was sloshing around in the engine room. We camped out at the next dock for a while. The 20 minute limit was just never going to cut it.

Craig doused a mask with some essential oils and started to clean. I lit candles, turned on fans, opened every hatch, and sprayed air freshener at regular intervals. My clothes already smell like diesel – I didn’t need to add another fragrance.

I’m happy to report that the spill has been contained and cleaned and there is no lingering smell.  We now use a temperature gun to try and determine how full that holding tank is in an attempt to avoid this in the future.

So now you know. And now I probably can’t run for any public office.

Who’s ready to visit?

Beer Bulletin with Captain Craig

Brew: Shipwrecked Double IPA, 9.25% ABV, 75 IBU

Brewery: Mission Bay Brewery in San Diego, CA

Summary: Shipwrecked? More like shit-wrecked. Thankfully this beer came in the largest quantity I have ever seen in a can. An entire quart. The bitterness of dealing with a poop-splosion was neutralized with this dark amber, malty, smooth IPA. Miss K, who is not an IPA fan, informed me that I would not be consuming the entire quart alone, and even had seconds. Nice job, Mission Brewmasters! Thanks to our friend Nicole who got this beer for us and saved the day from being a complete nightmare.

Bottom line: Can recommend as a reward for a hard day’s work – but hopefully after dealing with something less terrible than a poop-splosion.

12 thoughts on “Wrecked

  1. Brutal! Beth and I are converting over to a composting head this year. We bought a Nature’s Head and have been using it while “camping” in the house we are working on. So far so good. We are going to empty it for the first time tomorrow…fingers crossed.


  2. We love our composting toilet!! We previously experienced the explosion before installing our airhead, although only when pumping out – on deck. Can’t imagine having that below 😩
    The house is going on the market next week! Getting closer to the dream!


  3. If you take a stainless steel bucket, wrap it up with exhaust pipe insulation, and mount a hinged toilet seat on it, you’re half way there. When you are done spooging, lift the seat, and a 10 inch magnifying glass swings into place over the top of the bucket, with rack and pinioned precision. Leave it in the sun for an hour, and you have SHISKITS!
    Wiring Whisperer


  4. That was a disturbing account of your situation. As a person who considers “boating” to be Washington State Ferries or an occasional canoe ride…thank you for both the explanation and for not providing any photos. I will admit to laughing quite hard at your misery…sorry.


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About Krystle