Mildew and the Frog

Ah, spring boat chores. Putting up sails, changing fluids in the diesel engine, airing out the boat and getting rid of green slime everywhere. Over the years that we have owned our boat, I can’t tell you how many hours of our lives we have spent removing mildew and mould from the boat’s  surfaces and finery. One of the more difficult places to get rid of mildew is the Sunbrella canvas.

Sunbrella fabric has a protective coating on it so if you use harsh chemicals and scouring pads you also remove the protective coating. We are conscious of the cleaning products that we use on the boat and use environmentally friendly products whenever possible.  The problem is that many environmentally friendly products do not have the ‘umph’ to get rid of mildew.

A fellow boater told me that he soaks his sail covers overnight  in the tub with bleach to remove mildew. I really try to stay away from bleach because it is so harsh on the environment. I’ve tried vinegar, vinegar + baking soda, baking soda + Blue Dawn with poor results. Out of desperation, I tried a mold and mildew product but the results were mediocre at best.

Enter on the stage – FrogWash. I bought this cleaner for our condo because it was environmentally friendly and could be used for multiple cleaning jobs. Take a look at the label!

Multiple uses for FrogWash | www.holisticsailor.com
Check out all the great uses for FrogWash

Not only could I use one product, I would also have more room in my cupboard and can refill the bottle with a concentrate so less garbage.

After experiencing great results at home, I decide to try it on the boat. Oh my gosh. It is terrific on stainless steel and gives a nice shine to the teak floors. But more importantly it works on mildew. Take a look at the before and after photos of my motor cover.

Before and after using FrogWash | www.holisticsailor.com
I used FrogWash to clean the Sunbrella cover for our outboard motor.

The trick is to follow the instructions. Imagine that! The product works best if you let it sit for a few minutes. You do have to scrub with a soft cloth but it is worth it.

Ah, spring boat chores. Putting up sails, changing fluids in the diesel engine, airing out the boat and getting rid of green slime everywhere. Over the years that we have owned our boat, I can't tell you how many hours of our lives we have spent removing mildew and mould from the boat's surfaces and finery. One of the more difficult places to get rid of mildew is the Sunbrella canvas. Sunbrella fabric has a protective coating on it so if you use harsh chemicals and scouring pads you also remove the protective coating. We are conscious of the cleaning products that we use on the boat and use environmentally friendly products whenever possible. The problem is that many environmentally friendly products do not have the 'umph' to get rid of mildew. A fellow boater told me that he soaks his sail covers overnight in the tub with bleach to remove mildew. I really try to stay away from bleach because it is so harsh on the environment. I've tried vinegar, vinegar + baking soda, baking soda + Blue Dawn with poor results. Out of desperation, I tried a mold and mildew product but the results were mediocre at best. Enter on the stage - Frog. I bought this cleaner for our condo because it was environmentally friendly and could be used for multiple cleaning jobs. Take a look at the label! Not only could I use one product, I would also have more room in my cupboard and can refill the bottle with a concentrate so less garbage. After experiencing great results at home, I decide to try it on the boat. Oh my gosh. It is terrific on stainless steel and gives a nice shine to the teak floors. But more importantly it works on mildew. Take a look at the before and after photos of my motor cover. The trick is to follow the instructions. Imagine that! The product works best if you let it sit for a few minutes. You do have to scrub with a soft cloth but it is worth it. In Victoria, I buy Frog at Capitol Iron on 1900 Store Street. Note to self: don't Google "frog cleaning". Gross! Instead, Google "frog cleaning product" or check out their website here: http://www.frogwash.ca/. Frog Wash is made by Zen FarmZ Environmental Solutions Inc. in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
FrogWash – a great cleaner to get rid of mildew

In Victoria, I buy Frog at Capitol Iron on 1900 Store Street. Note to self: don’t Google “frog cleaning”. Gross! Instead, Google “frog cleaning product” or check out their website.  Frog Wash is made by Zen FarmZ Environmental Solutions Inc. in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

 

Good Enough

You’re moving along nicely in your life and out of the recesses of your mind comes this little voice that starts whispering terrible things about you. “Who do you think you are?” “You’re not smart enough” “Pretty enough.” “You’re not good enough.”

Where the hell does this voice come from?  It can’t be ego; it’s too busy walking around like a peacock in full feathers. Is there such a thing as the anti-ego who’s sole purpose is to destroy any sense of accomplishment that you have felt?

Is it perhaps a crueler version of imposter syndrome? It’ s one thing to think you are not as good as your colleagues and that someone is going to find you out, but it’s an entirely different game when your inner self – the self that you rely on to make big decisions – is telling you that you are a  loser.

Amy Poehler in her book, “Yes Please” refers to it as the “demon voice”. I don’t think we are born with it otherwise we would see toddlers running around wondering if their diapers made them look fat. They don’t seem to have a care in the world as long as their fed, loved and have warm, dry clothes on. And sleep. Those suckers need a lot of sleep. Hmmm, I could be speaking about my 55-year old self come to think of it. I like those things too but luckily – no diapers yet.

So it safe to assume that we learn this somewhere along the way because I am having a hard time believing that we are possessed by demonic voices. But Amy is correct in that it is a voice of some origin and it talks to you like a best friend but make no mistake, it is not your friend. This voice can turn your day around in an instant with self-doubt, fear and loathing even when you are not in Las Vegas.

Through competition we learn that in order for someone to win, someone else must lose.  I am not an overly competitive person.  I was never interested in board games where there was a winner and several losers. I was much more interested in games or activities where everyone was able to participate equally. I like to compete with myself and have expectations that with practice I will improve. I think this is confusing to people because when they see a person going after something with focus, they automatically assume that they are competitive.

So we still haven’t answered the question. Who is telling us that we are not good enough? Could it be from our desire to be liked and to fit in? Do we learn that it is safer to keep our thoughts to ourselves in order to avoid ridicule or exclusion from a group? Does this stifling of our true voice allow the negative voice to speak louder?

How can we stop the bully within? I know my internal bully can say some really nasty stuff sometimes. Does everyone have an internal bully that makes them question everything? If this is true, are we all just playing a part in an imaginary script? That seems pretty pointless and definitely not original. Should I get all bent out of shape worrying about what you may or may not think of me?

Where do I find balance between sensitivity to your feelings and the self confidence to not be influenced by your judgements of me? I know, you’re saying, “So many questions Tara, but where are the answers?”

Henri Nouwen quote | www.holisticsailor.comI think it comes down to self reflection and recognizing the spark of divine that lives inside. I like to think of it as a God spark: a little sprinkling of fairy dust if you will. When I become aware of the God spark in me, then I also have to recognize the God spark in you.

How do we get so numb and far away from this truth: anesthetized from our very existence? At some level, we know that we are missing something and try to fill this void with external things. They only leave us feeling more lost and mask the bright light within.

The way out of this cave is to find your own inner light and shine it like a big flashlight on others so that they too, might see the light within. Do not underestimate the power of your inner light in the middle of a dark room.

Spring Ahead

For liveaboard boaters, the spring equinox means longer days and the end of winter hibernation.  It is a busy time to begin boat chores in order to get the boat ready for summer cruising. During our time living aboard, winter would find us hunkered down in our boat watching movies, reading books and enjoying long sleeps as long as the marina wasn’t being battered by a winter storm. During storms, the cacophony of rigging clanging in the roaring wind would keep even the deepest of sleepers awake and would draw us out of our warm bunks to check on lines and fellow sailors.

But the change of seasons does not come without resistance often in the form of strong wind storms. We had one of these wind storms last week in which the wind peaked at 109 kms/hour. In fact, the worst storms that we have experienced on the boat came at the change of seasons in November (fall to winter) and March (winter to spring). Two separate March storms broke the finger that our boat was tied to and made for some scary moments on the dock.

The long, winter rest allows you to store energy that will be needed to complete spring chores.  The beautiful Cherry Blossom trees in my city, Victoria, BC bend with the winter storms during their deep slumber only to awaken in early February with beautiful blossoms. So too, should we rest during the winter so that our bodies have enough stored reserves to meet the energy of the spring equinox. If you overwork yourself during the winter, your immune system will  be depleted and you will be more susceptible to getting sick. This combined with too much sugar from  Easter which unfortunately has become more about sugar than rebirth, will deplete your health further.

Cherry Blossoms, Victoria, BC | www.holisticsailor.com
Cherry Blossom trees start blooming by mid February in Victoria, BC.

Some people find the strong, pre-spring winds disturbing on their bodies.  You might feel the need to wear a scarf to protect your neck from the winds even though others are wearing lighter clothes. Your neck houses the throat chakra and if you feel yourself craving protection from the wind, than listen to this message from your body and wear a scarf. I also find that my body still needs the warm, comfort foods of winter; if I switch to lighter, cooler  foods like salads too early, I will be very tired.

The change of seasons inspires me to think ahead of summer cruising plans, boat chores and walks in nature with friends.  I am filled with the energy of the season and everything seems possible. Now that we are no longer living aboard, the inside of our boat needs a good cleaning from accumulated dust and mildew growth during the winter. The exterior canvas and decks also need to be cleaned of mildew growth. The boat smells of vinegar for the first few weeks of spring cleaning but it is a small inconvenience for an effective yet environmentally friendly cleaner.

The signs of spring are everywhere from spawning herring to baby Pigeons who have already fledged from their nests.  May the energy of spring fill you with light.