Maintenance Free Toilet?
Much of the quality of life for this sailor, is to be found in the little things, the details. The big things in life, seemingly taking care of itself.
I sailed into El Milagro Marina..translated into English as “The Miracle” a very fine facility in Isla Mujeres, MX. Here found, “on this “Island of Women” beautiful sparkling water, 8 miles across from the skyline of Cancun. The half hour scheduled ferries transporting 1000's of tourists every day .
After two days at the marina, I noticed the maintenance man Rogelio was a bit distant to my morning greeting while in route to the showers.....Oh well I thought, you cannot be liked by everyone... maybe it 's my Spanish pronunciation? Buenes Rogelio..
Things reached a head one morning, when I confronted the poor man to inform him that the toilet was clogged. The cause...all fingers rightfully pointing at me..a bit embarrassed.
As I started to walk back to my boat, Rogelio shook my hand and began to explain the “Mexican facts of life” as it related to toilet procedure...One does not flush toilet paper. That..., the basket with the plastic insert was the place to dispose “this essential commodity” to modern living. Acceptance, psychologically came a bit hard. I said nothing.
Like most Americans, one cannot visit Cancun without wandering into that familiar piece of Americana...where an estimated 100 million visit weekly around the States in their respective communities...our American retail institution known as Walmart. Disappointed that I could not find Sam's instant Guacamole mix, I wandered into the Men's Room before leaving.
I immediately found it necessary to splash water on my face, not quite believing my eyes. In the middle of this “essential facility” was a big trash basket. There, one upon leaving a stall, deposits their used?...err..toilet paper..This was too much...”Sam tell me its not so”..this is supposed to be America. I didn't even check if one needed to supply their “own toilet paper”. I left mentally saying to myself...”get used to it son,” you just started to cruise out from America.
Like most, you learn to adapt, and after awhile, cruising in other hot spots around the Caribbean, this procedure began to feel perfectly normal. Wisdom, I found comes from experience..
I've adapted this system on my boat. I generally use a plastic bag that I get with my groceries
and dispose of it along with my shore side trash...At sea in areas delegated for overboard discharge..I'll put a paper bag in the head...No problem with other crew members who had inevitably came to terms with this cultural revelation. I haven't had to confront a new-be yet.
The bottom line..One never again, need consider the quality of one's own on board toilet paper. One ply, maybe for the boat? or two, like at home No more trips to West Marine to add “cruising toilet paper” to the cart.
Is it not surprising, that in over a year, over nine months on the hook, that there has not been one problem associated with my Jabsco electric toilet. As for holding tanks, or pump out stations,...I don't think that there is a direct Spanish linguistic translation in South or Central America for such devices. Remember from Marblehead to Marina Del Rey, there is no law, or Coast Guard Regulation that states “a vessel must flush their used toilet paper”..LOL.
Happy maintenance free Sailing
A Few Good Boats .Com