There are two issues that dominate any conversation among cruisers like politics during the US primaries, or the weather after a late April snowstorm; anchors and heads. Rational thought or personal sensitivities need not moderate the discussion and views are as polarized and entrenched as any topic not allowed in polite company.
Anchors, that mundane hunk of steel hung from our bows which we dump into the depths each night, is only as good as the last time it dragged. A bit like when you were babies and we were asked if you two woke up during the night. I, of course replied that you slept soundly through the night from the first day you came home from the hospital to which your mother replied, “usually two or three times a night.” My point is that your anchor is positively the strongest, overweight, best designed one on the market…until the first night that it drags and then it is a piece of junk taking up valuable space on the boat until you can purchase the positively strongest, overweight, best on the market replacement!
The Kraken is a horrible mythical creature, kept imprisoned by Hades at the bottom of the ocean and unleashed onto mankind during a clash of the Titans. It is a foul brown sea serpent creature with enormous teeth, presumably a horrible smell, and a penchant for wreaking havoc wherever it goes (if Hollywood can be trusted to be historically accurate).
Ah those heads….a necessary evil if you wish to evolve from the bucket, chuck it, level of civility. We of course have the latest in electric flushing heads (which means that with a simple electrical failure we are back to the bucket, chuck it method) and besides the ridiculous cost and frequency of replacement of the macerators and pumps needed to discharge, all sailors fight the ever present odour of the heads. Bleach, cleaners, frequent pump outs, new hoses, and clean tanks, still don’t prevent everyone from entering the heads and wrinkling their noses in the inevitable sniff test.
I have changed all the plumbing hoses on three heads and spent the better part of two weeks covered in undesirable and unmentionable by-products of last nights meal, (to which Alex once remarked when I arose from an especially unpleasant job…”whew Daddy you stink!”…) and yet we continue to do the sniff test and not always with positive results.
Now sewage is a delicate subject amongst cruisers and no one is really comfortable discussing when and if, they ever drain their tanks. Realize that, until recently, no boats even carried holding tanks and everything went straight into the ocean, not that there is much of an environmental impact beyond bio-diversity. That being said, we endeavour to close the tanks when in harbour which leads to the inevitable requirement to discharge when we reach open water. Now dumping 50 gallons of sewage is not a very discrete affair and we have even discussed integrating it into our defensive action plan, however, there is no disguising the eye watering effects. Hence, The Kraken. Once clear of shore and following boats, the cry will go up…”Release the Kraken” to which someone will throw both valves and we will grimace and try to decide whose washroom was worse! Perhaps not the preferred approach in charm school but it does break the tension when faced with the very normal, although potentially embarrassing, daily event.