Why is it Dross?

Editor's Note:  Here's a debut from Alison, our resident fourteen year old.  Her radio name is RedFox.  The word 'dross' is pronounced like gross, but with a 'd'.  It comes from this video.

Sailing in the Caribbean sounds so dreamy.  So I’m going to do the thoughtful thing and tell you some of the gross things that have happened to us or that we have done so that you guys don’t get TOO jealous. Really, I’m just trying to help you guys out. But if you’ve just eaten you might want to wait a few hours before you read this post.

So lets start with the boat itself and work our way out, shall we?

The bathrooms.  (Their boat name is the heads and I have no idea why someone thought it was a good idea to call them that)  A tiny closet with a window in the top where we bathe and do other things.  The steps to just using the bathroom could be a whole post but the idea is that you fill it with water, which you pump by hand, do your stuff and then pump it out, again by hand, up a tube and into the holding tanks.  BUT if you do not pump it enough times your stuff will slide BACK DOWN THE TUBE and into the bowl where the next unfortunate person who has to go will find it.  Then they will have to pump it out before they can do what they went there to do.  And as I said, it’s a tiny space so it fills up with smell really fast, even when the windows are open.  Those who step on the window while playing on deck so that it closes are looked down upon with ‘the stink eye’.  But sometimes when we empty our holding tanks you can see all the brown water coming out and drifting away.


Another thing that I think is gross is anything that has to do with motors or engines.  The smell of passing motor boats or dinghies in not pleasant. I'm from the City, so I'm used to cars and stuff, but diesel engines? Definitely gross.  Especially when the wind is behind you and blowing it into your face.  The oil and smoke that they spit out is not that awesome either.

The smell actually made my Dad’s seasickness worse. 

Now throwing up is never fun, and some people on board have done quiet a bit of it.  Thankfully, I’m not one of those people, but there’s been puke in our sink,  on our table, our kitchen floor, the deck and of course, overboard into the big blue.  

We’re just feeding the fish!

I am so glad I’m not a fish.

But the things in the Ocean that really makes me cringe are the Sea Bogies.  These are large snot-like things that float around in the water that look like they have (stringy twisted bogey-branches hanging down) stuff growing on them.  Sometimes these things have two layers and can be as long as S.J. or sometimes even longer. They are slimy to the touch, and unfortunately I have touched one.  It was on the rope that attached the dinghy to the boat. I don’t know what they really are or what they’re called and frankly, I don’t really want to know.


Okay, time for some gross things on the island!

I know you just can’t wait.

Okay, so on St Marten there are almost no side walks.  I’ve seen, like, one that lasted for 5 seconds.  So everyone has to walk on the side of the road, and usually you would think ‘no big deal’.  But they still have to have a way to drain the water when it rains.  Which it happens quite a lot here.  And so since they have no real curb to be their drain they have these little trenches, that are on the sides of the roads.  Unfortunately the water in the drains gets mixed with dirt and whatever else finds it’s way in there, so when you walk somewhere you are at risk of falling into the sludge, and some of us have.  Again I am not one of those people.  But flip-flops are easy to rinse off so that’s good.


But now for the rat.

There are so many gross things to talk about but I decided to talk about the one that died last.

On Sundays we go to church. We dinghy from our boat to shore and then walk the rest of the way. One day in the entrance to the church drive way S.J. and I saw a rat.  Rats are just down right gross no matter what so I started to walk faster and went into the church building. But SJ stayed back for some weird reason, and she said that it stuck it’s little head out into the road for a minute and then BAM! got run it’s head run over by a car.  I saw the scene on the walk home from church and it was really nasty.  But nobody cleaned the rat up so every time we go to the church, lucky me gets to see how much it’s decayed since the last time I was there. Yay.

Well, I hope that helped, I’m sorry if you lost your lunch.  But to be honest there have been a lot of amazing things that have happened to us as well and this trip HAS been pretty awesome.  (I still want you guys to be a little bit jealous)

Red Fox out.