******** Warning! This post is for the ladies only….*******
Yes thats right guys, you can just delete this email, look away, click the little X in the corner. Look away now…
Hey! I said no guys! Well don’t say I didn’t warn you…
OK picture this:
It is a dark night, the sea is rough and rolly, but not too bad. It’s cold, so you are wearing warm gear – thermals, wet weather pants, jacket, life jacket etc. It is your turn on watch. Your lovely crew has woken you from your slumber with a nice cup of tea, which you drink outside as your eyes adjust to the darkness and you slowly wake up.
You get your bearings, and settle in for the next couple of hours on watch. The nice cup of tea has warmed you up on the inside. The stars are twinkling over head, the sails are filling nicely and you are trucking along downwind at a pleasant 6 knots…
Ahh this is what night time sailing is all about.
You need to pee.
So you check the horizon, no hazards to avoid in the immediate future, and head below, attempting to be quiet so as not to awake the snoozing crew. It is rough, and the boat is heeling over, so you clamber about on an odd angle and eventually make it to the head. (which for you land lubbers still reading this is boat-speak for toilet)
Thankfully you are wearing your especially designed ladies wet weather pants, with a handy back flap on the butt. This means that you don’t have to completely disrobe to get your pants down.
You sit on the toilet on a precarious angle, with the waves the boat is bucking up and down like a wild horse, you feel like you are on a rollercoaster ride with your trousers down. You are holding on for dear life to avoid either slipping off the loo all together or flying off the seat in the next big wave.
Now try to relax enough to do a wee…
You are worried that on this odd angle the liquid in the bowl is going to slosh out and either all down your legs or all over the floor. Thankfully this doesn’t happen, and you are able to do your business.
But the fun isn’t over yet! No! Now you have to get your trousers up again. Getting them off was ok, but trying to pull up your knickers and thermal leggings is quite difficult. You are using one arm to hold yourself steady and the other arm is round behind your back – remember those back flap pants? With the nice high bib front to keep you warm and cosy? – well you have to put your arm round behind you to pull your undergarments on.
But – you are a bit hot from all that struggling around so your knickers bunch up – just like they do when you are getting changed in a swimming pool changing room. This tangle is impossible to unravel with just one hand. So you let go of the wall or whatever you were holding on to and put both hands behind your back in an attempt to untangle the knickers and leggings and get them back on.
While struggling with both arms behind your back and down your pants, you go over a large wave and unable to stop yourself you fly like a torpedo through the cabin and on top of your sleeping crew member.
Needless to say – they are not impressed, you are still unable to move as your hands are practically tied behind your back, you wriggle around like a seal until you are able to get your arms free – apologising and attempting to come up with some plausible explanation for being there.
Eventually you manage to get your clothing straight again, get your back flap zipped up, jersey tucked in and you are back up on watch again.
The whole process has taken far too long. You are now really thirsty from all the effort required to go to the loo. This is ridiculous. It is almost enough to make you want to give up on drinking liquids ever again…
There MUST be an easier way!?
So I was mooching around Oddies Marine Supply Store in Picton the other day. This shop literally stocks everything one would need on a boat. I stumble upon an item that might just be a life changer.
The packet promised things like “A perfect solution for needing to go, whilst on the go, The Shewee is an award winning portable urinating device for ladies, allowing you to urinate whilst standing and without removing any clothes.”
Aha! Could this be the answer to my problems? I had to find out. So I bought one. In hot pink to match my jacket. It cost about NZD$25.00. It comes in a discreet case too – about the size of a sunglasses case, so unsuspecting people seeing it laying around would not know what it was.
I couldn’t wait to try it out. I am not sure if Andrew was disturbed at my excitement or not, he looked perplexed – too bad, this was a dream come true! Being able to pee standing up! It would be like being like a man, but without the hassles of being like a man – like for example – shaving… and ummm, (I am struggling to think of the hassles men have being men…!?)
The Shewee is a specially shaped funnel and a longer tube extension. You simply place it between your legs and voila – the world is your toilet!
No more squatting behind bushes with mosquitos biting your bum when out hiking! No more splashes on your trouser legs! No more hovering over public toilet seats! No more struggling down below on a sailing rollercoaster toilet.
OK – granted there are still some hassles there. Those expensive back flap wet weather pants I mentioned? Nope they will not work with a Shewee, unless you fancy trying it backwards -perhaps? No that would not be good.
Also it is a well known fact that many Man Overboard situations have been caused by men weeing off the back of boats, and falling overboard in the process. Don’t lets go adding any Shewee using ladies in to that category.
Also you will learn general male life skills like peeing upwind is not good, and yes you should wear shoes if peeing uphill etc. All just simple trial and error stuff.
It does take a bit of practise and the first few times you are sure that you are going to wet your pants, but by the third go I was a pro! I now carry the Shewee in my daypack for use during any adventures. When you get home it just needs a quick wash off and then back in the pack!
I believe that there are other ‘devices’ out there doing a similar thing. I haven’t tried them. I would love to know how the Volvo Ocean Racing ladies manage with things like this too.
Do you have any great toilet tips for ladies at sea? It can’t only be me who has this problem. I would love to hear your suggestions.