We’ve been away from shore power and a water supply for three days. When we explained to some seasoned cruisers that we’ve used over 120 litres of fresh water in this time, they were horrified. They explained they use 400 litres in more than a month.
One of the many lessons we’re learning is how to conserve. To be conscious of exactly what we consume and just how precious and rare both power and water really are.
And we really thought we were ‘being good’. We have been showering off the back of the boat, first rinsing and lathering up with salt water, then rinsing off with the fresh water. I’ve been only washing dishes once a day and we’ve been washing just the clothes we wore the day before, each morning. This was apparently a big mistake. In hindsight, I’m sure that we’ve gone through 20 litres of water for each shower and another 20 for each clothes wash. Daily. At this rate, we’d never be able to stay away from shore, or be dependent on amenities on land for more than a couple weeks. Though we have two 400 litre tanks aboard Shiloh, and that seems like a lot, we will have to completely curtail our water usage.
It is wonderful to meet people who have been living aboard for years. I sometimes wish I could take out a pad and pen to capture all their knowledge. Last night, standing around with rum punches in hand, we got the insiders’ scoop about the importance of wind generators, about rigging up a tarp to catch rain water, and the need for large jerry cans, to gather water with the dinghy to avoid heading into a marina with the boat.
We also found out why all the cruisers make use of onshore laundry facilities – it doesn’t deplete your water supply!
It really brings to light just how many hundreds of litres of water we spill, waste, pour away every day on land!! It seems almost obscene from this perspective.
Water is a scarce commodity when at sea – I now truly understand the saying, “there’s water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink.”