Poop!  That’s what I promised in our last post, right?  Well, let’s get right into it…

We woke up a little later than usual after a great night’s sleep at Harbour Towne Marina, and were thrilled that we could just take our time that morning.  As we’d be at anchor for at least two weeks, there were a few boat tasks we had to get taken care of, namely, pumping out our holding tanks.

We didn’t think they were too full, as when we’d sailed down from Palm Beach, we emptied them out once past the three nautical mile line.  However, we’re a little suspicious about our port aft head and if it is properly draining out when we open the tanks, and a good freshwater rinse of all the tanks would be a good thing.  Normally, I’m on Poop Patrol – I do the pump outs (we’ve found that most marinas will only give you the hose but you have to control it, not a big deal in my mind as I think I’ve got it down now), but I was down the dock getting the hose out when the dock hand gave Brian the pump out hose.  As I’m walking back, I hear a yelp, followed by expletives and see Brian rushing into the cabin.  As I get closer, I see lovely brown stinky splatter all over the deck.  Something, clearly, went haywire.

“Well, he doesn’t normally do it, he must have done something wrong”, I think, so I pick up the hose, insert the fitting into the tank opening, and turn the valve to Open.  Suddenly the hose jumps out of my hand and I, too, am completely covered in a fine misting of poopy water.

I’m guessing this probably hasn’t happened to you.  If you asked me a year ago if I thought it would happen to me, I’d say, um, no.  However, after living aboard for 9 months now, I figured it was only a matter of time before we’d have a pump out disaster.  Therefore, although I was totally grossed out about having poop on my face and body, I was surprisingly calm about it.  I stood there hollering for Brian (I couldn’t really open my eyes, you see, so I knew I’d need him to bring me a paper towel at least).  Finally he emerged and saw his beautiful wife covered in poop, and, of course, started cackling…”happened to you too?”

At this point the dock hand came back and was absolutely mortified.  “You closed the valve?  No, you should have just left it open!”  I’m sure he told Brian this, and even if I’d been receiving the instructions, since closing the valve to build up pressure then reopening is the trick to get the last dregs out of the tanks in every other pump out environment, I’d probably have forgotten what he said too.  So neither of us place any of the blame on him – it resides squarely on our shoulders for not paying attention.

Want to know how little poop fazes me anymore?  Once I was able to wipe off my face so I could see, I immediately took care of the other two holding tanks (following instructions this time!), and jumped into action and pulled out the deck brush, boat soap, and bucket and got started scrubbing down the deck.  There was brown spray everywhere, and I knew the longer it sat, the harder it would be to wash off.  After about 5 minutes, Brian basically ripped the brush out of my hands and told me to go get cleaned up.  “Um, sweetie, it’s, um…like still all over your face and arms…”  And once I looked in the mirror I saw he was right.  Eww!  Massive amounts of soap later, I felt moderately clean and came back up to see that my sweet husband had finished the job of getting the deck nice and white again.

So, we were reminded of one of life’s most important rules…always follow instructions or you’ll find yourself knee deep in sh*t.

Footnote:  Before you even ask, there are no pictures of this.  I couldn’t even touch my phone until I was properly disinfected.  Instead, I give you a pretty picture of Summer at anchor!

At anchor in Pompano Beach, December 2013

At anchor in Pompano Beach, December 2013

  1. You know it’s a good story when you recall it with, “remember that time I got sprayed in the face with sh*t…” Haha, way to be a trooper! We have yet to do our own pumpout…maybe I should invest in some gear just in case…I’m not sure I’d be as strong as you 😉

  2. How did THIS story not come up while having drinks the other night?! I give you serious credit for this, I think I would have cried.

  3. Pingback: Stories From Other Cruisers: We’re In Deep Sh*t | Matt & Jessica's Sailing Page

Leave a Reply