Communal Living

Marina laundry room

I was talking with another fellow liveaboarder in the laundry room this morning. The laundry room has 2 washers, 2 dryers and 2 single-stall bathrooms.

With so many of us in this liveaboard marina, we have arranged our washing and shower schedules around so that no one has to wait too long in line. If someone suddenly changes their routine or a new person moves into the marina, the whole schedule shifts effortlessly like a flock of geese in flight. When the lead goose tires, another takes his place and all the other geese shift.

HOWEVER. This idealistic balance of compromise and living in harmony can easily be disrupted by those who abuse bathroom privileges. And believe me, it is an exquisite privilege to bathe yourself in hot water when you are surrounded by damp, sea air.

Marina bathroom and shower

My neighbour who is looking at his 8th winter on board and me my 9th, told me that the hardest thing to deal with in his eight years of living aboard was the communal bathroom.

His personal pet peeve was facial hair on the mirror. I’d like to see the razor that can splat facial hair on a bathroom mirror! My neighbour exclaimed, “What’s the guy using – a hedge trimmer?”

I settled back into reading my book while waiting for my laundry, but paused to consider what my pet peeve was about living aboard. I had to agree – the communal washroom was the centre of many of my rants.

There’s one guy, a very nice man who wears his Crocs into the shower. I assume so that he doesn’t pick up any nasties from sharing a shower with people that you’re not related to. Or maybe to protect us from him? But when he gets out of the shower, he wears his wet Crocs all over the bathroom. When he comes out of the bathroom, the floor looks like the deck of the local pool after family swim time.

Put your shower tokens here

But the worse shower I have used and used for 5 1/2 years was at our old marina. Our marina shared the government dock shower. A nice gesture, but the old wharfinger thought it was frivolous to turn the heater on in this cinder block shower stall even during the winter. I live in Canada people! Home of the polar bear, igloos and hockey!

The worse, worse time was during herring season in February when every trawler and seiner from the Pacific Northwest was at the government dock. I was quickly hopping from foot to foot on the ice-cold, concrete floor when I noticed little bits of shiny things sticking to the bottom of my feet. Fish scales scattered all across the floor and stuck to the sides of the shower stall. No shower for me that day. The Crocs-guy would have done well here.

So, yes, I agree with my neighour. The communal bathroom is just a little too much community sometimes. Can I please come to your house and have a bath?

2 thoughts on “Communal Living”

  1. Great post Tara! I will be expanding on similar topics with our blog also. This lifestyle certainly offers lots to talk about!

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