Will Someone change the Cats Litterbox? Please! 37:54.55N 031:33.67W
The Return of Irene III - 2018
Fri 8 Jun 2018 02:18
The average person may not appreciate the required effort and dexterity at
having to go for a "whizz" when on-board a trans-Atlantic sailing yacht.
Planning is everything. Rhythm is essential and multi-point contact an
absolute necessity. I am strictly talking about a male approach to this
daunting exercise. I have no idea how our female colleagues manage it. Maybe
someday we might get an alternative gender view on this subject!
Let me explain what we encounter; Prior to embarking on your quest to use
the loo, a degree of fore-thought is required to ensure a smooth completion
of operation. It can take several minutes to unhook your life-jacket, remove
oil-skin jackets, top-drop your salopettes and fold back the multiple layers
of long-johns and T-shirts Et Al. It should be noted that much of this garb
is often wet, stinking of rancid salt-water and horrendously difficult to
peel-off. All this, prior to entering the Head!
The use of the Head at sea is governed by the oceans you are traversing.
Atlantic winds can kick-up some lively rollers and choppy seas resulting in
the boat being tossed about like an angry child with a rattle. This
continuous pitching can make getting about below decks cumbersome and
generally bloody difficult!
Once inside, you realise that those early years of gymnastics forced upon
you by the Priests had a purpose. How did they know?
To create a stable platform, you must firstly jam your feet as far apart as
possible to the floor, one hand on the window railing, the other stuck to
the wall and your head jammed into the towel radiator. This is called a
"multi-contact" foundation. It's only then that you must negotiate the
proverbial "hidden fly-opening" to your boxer-shorts which has somehow
worked itself around to the rear of your arse with the opening secretly
concealed in between your cheeks so that no amount of effort can release it.
Every man will attest that once you have initiated your "whizz", you can't
stop until it's over. As the boat is heeled to a 45 degree pitch you realise
that your pee shoots out on a curve into the bowl. It is essential that you
master your curvature, angle and speed right from the outset. Otherwise it
can be a messy affair!
Another element to a successful "whizz", is your innate ability to maintain
your balance while the boat glides up the rollers, hangs at the top of the
wave for a second or two before coming down with an almighty crash. As the
boat descends the wave, you are suspended mid-air for a fraction of a
second. You know what is coming, the adrenalin shoots through your body,
your mind goes into hyper-mode, panic sets-in as the boat lands with an
almighty "BANG" and you hit the floor of the jacks! This is where the Rhythm
comes in to play . coordinating your movements with the roll of the waves
and the pitch of the boat. It must all come together unison like
well-rehearsed ballroom dancing.
While I am not practised in alternative "whizz" methods, I have been
reliably informed that there are several optional approaches to this
activity. The first is the "Genuflecting Position". This requires the
individual to strip below the knees, bend down on one knee before the bowl
and make a reverential Sign of the Cross prior to embarking on your
The other method is the "Unisex Position". This position dictates the
dropping of all hosiery and negotiating your bottom onto the pot. Jamming
both legs akimbo, with your arms gripping any immovable surface for positive
stability. Finally, complete a "Decade of the Rosary" in the hope that you
and your arse don't end-up in a mid-air squat and resulting splash.
It is common for Ocean Racing boats to have limited facilities aboard.
Racers are renowned for unzipping in the cockpit and facing down-wind,
normally off the transom for a quick pee. Splashes or oversights were
ignored as the ocean waves would soon clean any miss-directed accidents.
However, to meet ROC racing rules a yacht must have at least two heads for
the twenty odd crew members. This requirement is a contradiction of the
principals to a "smooth hulled racing skin". So many yacht designers
specified the required WC's to be fitted, but they were never plumbed into
the hull - avoiding any hull breach. The crew would use standard sea-buckets
balanced in the unfinished WC's. After completion of the
"business-of-the-day", the victim was required to complete the infamous
"Walk of Shame" . to carry the bucket with its pongy deposits through the
length of the crowded boat and discard its contents over the rear of the
transom. A quick sea-rinse of the bucket and returned to its original
position for use by the next occupant. It was essential that great care was
taken to avoid any spillage when completing the Walk of Shame. Not an easy
task when a boat is tearing up-wind at a blinding speed while the bow is
smashing onto every wave.
So, there you have it. A simple everyday task made difficult and only
likened to trying to relieve yourself while riding the steroid infused Bull
at a State Rodeo - One hand on the strap and the other behind your back,
arse in the air and a worried bead of sweat on your brow! Who needs
fair-ground roller coasters for a rush?
|BTW ... The term "Ships Head", historically refers to a plank with suitable
hole in it, located at the bow of traditional, old galleons. These ships
often carried a figure "head" just below the bow-sprit. The positioning of
the Head is such as to always be down-wind and away from the ship.