I really cannot say enough bad things about living “on the hard” or for you nonsailors, living in the boatyard. The boatyard in Nanny Cay BVI, where we pulled out for our first bottom painting, wasn’t bad. It was hot, dirty, and we were smart enough not to sleep on the boat. We were only there about 3 days so it wasn’t bad.

The Curacao boatyard was cleaner, with paved areas instead of all dirt as in Nanny Cay. The bathrooms were within 15 feet of us but the mosquitoes were horrible, and the boat took on black dust from the refinery. We stayed on the boat and all in all, it wasn’t that bad.

The boatyard at Aruba, however, is horrible. Really, it’s not the place to live onboard. On the positive side, the people here are friendly. Jenny, (a he) the manager is nice, if not a bit distracted. The rates are great, and there is a small bar/restaurant here. That is about the end of the positives. The wind is constant, and our boat is forever buried in dust. No matter how diligent you are, and I’ll admit I’m not, you can’t keep it clean. But you pray for the wind, because when it dies, the mosquitoes are vicious. And if the mosquitoes don’t drive you mad, the constant inundation of flies absolutely will. And bathrooms? Well, you are on your own. There are no bathrooms or showers. If the bar is open, as it is most nights, you can use their bathrooms, discretely, as I think they frown on that. When we first were hauled, Tessa and I had to use a bucket. Then when Dan was coming back to Aruba from our visit to our parents, we went to Walmart and found a port a potty. Well, not actually a port a potty. They had one but it was too big and heavy for Dan to bring back on the plane. Instead, we purchased the Fold to Go, a unique product which is like a small lawn chair with a toilet seat. A replaceable bag attaches to the seat for the waste.

Who thought of this? Was someone sitting in a lawn chair at their kids soccer game, realizing they had to go to the bathroom, but where? Idea! “What if I could just go where I sit?” Ding! Ding! The Fold to Go was born!!!

The waste bags are expensive and of course sold separately, and knowing we would go broke buying enough bags for our stay, we opted to use garbage bags. Such is my life. Emptying the bags is our worse nightmare. I am responsible for removing the bag, but the carrying to the dumpster job falls to whoever has irritated me the most that day. Our boat motto is “Stay on Mom’s good side!”