Showers! Not the Rain Kind…

Journey’s showering situation is far from ideal mainly because showering uses a lot of water which is no bueno for us because we only carry 50 gallons! Also, if we shower in the head (bathroom) we immediately start growing mildew on the walls, also no bueno!

When we have no other options, we generally take a cockpit shower. JR installed a transom shower back in January, which has come in handy for many things including showering. We usually sit on the starboard side of the cockpit, in our bathing suit, rinse off, soap up, and rinse again. It sounds WAY easier than it is, and it’s WAY easier for JR than it is for me with all this hair and various places to shave. Also keep in mind that although it’s been warm outside, it’s still breezy and can be chilly! And of course there are various boats driving by looking at you while you bathe. My favorite example was when we were anchored in Calabash Creek, SC. I took a quick cockpit shower to get all dolled up for a night on the town. As I’m lathering up my hair, here comes a big old tour boat bringing about 50 people from Myrtle Beach to the town of Calabash. The anchorage is really close to the channel, so they were right there, watching me shower. It was so embarrassing, all I could do was wave!

Needless to say, when the opportunity presents itself, we shower elsewhere. This has led to lots of interesting places to wash up! Here are some of our favorites!

Marinas are obviously the most common as showers come with a night’s slip rental. Some marina showers are awesome! If there is a large transient population stopping through, chances are the showers will be decent. The best facilities we’ve seen were a toss up between Zahniser’s in Solomons Island and Lady’s Island Marina in South Carolina. Both places have private bathrooms and showers. Many marinas have swimming pool type showers with lots of stalls and showers in one big room, which can be fine as well, just not as private.  Vero Beach is a good example. The absolute worst facilities we’ve seen by far were at Dinner Key Marina in Coconut Grove, FL. I don’t know what was up with that place but I felt like I was in jail. The building was falling apart, the showerhead was a non-moveable institutional like thing, the walls were cinder block, it was terrible and yucky! I did not like that place at all!  JR said they put the same types of showerheads in jails!

Nice big shower in Solomon's Island, MD!

Nice big shower in Solomons Island, MD!

The Bahamas had my favorite showers by far, saltwater! In the Bahamas, we would jump off the back of the boat, lather up, rinse off, then climb into the cockpit to do a freshwater rinse. My hair has been a pain in the booty just because it takes so much water to rinse, so shampooing and conditioning in the saltwater was ideal. Rinsing off didn’t use up too much of our precious water (and in the Bahamas we were still using our watermaker so we didn’t have to conserve as much)! I could also sit on our “sugar scoop” in the back and do all my shaving and exfoliating with a killer view. Not as tempting to jump in and clean up here on the ICW!

Bathing in the Bahamas!

Bathing in the Bahamas!

JR has been known to grab the soap during a little rain storm too! No sense in wasting the fresh water!

After a squall in Rat Cay, Bahamas!

After a squall in Rat Cay, Bahamas!

I’ve come to love, love, love outdoor showers. My favorite was at Bruno’s place in Ft. Lauderdale. Probably one of our favorite spots because it was a private residence that was in a great location. Bruno had an old beat up outdoor shower that I kinda’ fell in love with. The first time I used it, it was scalding hot! The next time I used it, not hot at all. But it was so cottagey and cute, with palm trees shading you and a rickety old fence for privacy. I loved it.

At Bruno's <3

At Bruno’s <3

Cumberland Island had outdoor showers too. They were near the campground with no hot water, but they were lovely as well. Open to the sky and airy. Very fun except the day we chose to shower, was overcast and rainy, so it was a little cold!

Open and airy in Cumberland Island!

Open and airy in Cumberland Island!

Ocracoke gave us a new experience recently. Outdoor showers at the public beach! They have this great little comfort station that has bathrooms, changing rooms, outdoor showers, water fountains, and water bottle fill-ups. The showers are right out in the open, meant for rinsing sand off of stuff before you load it into your car. But the cruiser in us saw FREE SHOWERS! So we brought our shampoo to the beach and did a quick hair wash right out in public. It was kinda’ funny!

That's right, y'all!  I'm washing my hair!

That’s right, y’all! I’m washing my hair!

Some places are cruiser friendly and have a system in place even if they don’t have showers. Elizabeth City, NC, for example, used to encourage you to walk to the town gym and they’d let you shower for $5. That was pretty cool. This spring they opened up a new comfort station and let you shower in there for $5.  We used ’em a few days back and they were lovely but be sure to use the one on the right because it is nice and big with a great bench for shaving your legs!  Just sayin’!  The Long Island Breeze in Salt Pond, Long Island, Bahamas will let you shower for $5 and that’s the going rate in Black Point, Bahamas as well, although Ida will limit your time to 8 minutes, I think!

THE BEST shower we had, for sure, was at Peace ‘n Plenty Hotel when my mom and Flavia came to visit us in George Town, Bahamas. We were so glad they decided to get a hotel room for a few nights because we totally invaded their shower! I’m pretty sure they were amused at how happy a warm, never-ending shower made us. It’s the little things, people!

Here are some things we learned about showering from this adventure:

1. You really don’t have to take a shower every day!  For real, you don’t.

2. Lever 2000 bar soap does not lather in salt water, but Joy dish soap does.

3. Shave gel is unnecessary, use conditioner.  Shave gel was one more thing for me to lug, the bottom got rusty, and it doesn’t wash down our scuppers very nicely.  Conditioner works well and feels a little nicer on that sensitive skin!

4. JR says, “Who needs a shower when there is a giant bath tub right outside your house?”

5. Razors rust.  Be sure to rinse them in fresh water often!

6. Have a “his and hers” shower bag.  It just makes life easier.

7. Your hair doesn’t get less oily if you wash it less.  I’ve had stylists that say that hair is oily because it gets washed too often and if I went without washing, it would get less oily.  False.  Seriously, false.  Trust me, this is false.

8. Some marinas will let you use their facility for a few bucks.  But not in Cocoa Village, FL.  They were not cruiser friendly!

9. We met a few folks that swore by garden sprayers with a sink sprayer contraption attached for cockpit showers.  You can measure the amount of water used (3 gallons seemed to be common,) add hot water if desired, and pump for pressure.  If you have the space for one, we think it’s a great idea!

Hope you’ve enjoyed this random post about showering!


    1. Ha ha! Good question and what careful reading, Frank! I wish there was some cool answer to this question like JR used to be a bank robber, but alas, he knows because he’s a plumbing engineer and has designed some jails and courthouses! See you soon!

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