Water, Water – Nowhere!

Barbados used to be a place where the water almost never went off. As a girl in Trinidad, water outages were a regular part of my experience, but when I moved to Barbados that became a thing of the past.

Barbados - waterThings have changed.

In the last couple of years there have been regular water outages, and they seem to have stepped up recently.

This week was the worst in a while, with the water off for a full two days, and with virtually no warning. You never know how much you use water till it’s gone.

So, if you’re living in Barbados, it’s best to be alert to the signs.

1. Learn what your regular water pressure is so you will realise when it’s getting low.

2. Keep a few clean, empty bottles you can use for storing drinking water and water for ablutions if necessary.

3. If you notice low water pressure, start filling those bottles. If you have other bottles that aren’t clean, fill those too, as you can use them for flushing the loo.

4. Fill your kettle and any other large containers.

5. If cool water is a must, put one of the bottles in the fridge (because if your water dispenser is linked to your taps, you won’t get any).

6. Disinfect the water from your storage tank by adding a few drops of Dettol – that should make it safe for showering and washing up. [Disclaimer: I’m neither a doctor nor an expert on tropical bugs – do this at your own risk (though my mother, who used the same method in Guyana in her youth, is alive and well)].

One lucky thing is that most houses in Barbados have solar water heaters, with accompanying tanks, so you will be able to get water from the hot tap for a while after it goes off. Use it sparingly, though; it doesn’t last long.

Usually, on the first day, you can operate almost as normal, though perhaps drinking slightly less water than usual. If the water outage goes on much longer, you might be forced to seek a new way of getting clean. A dip in the sea followed by a rinse at the beach facility’s shower can be tremendously refreshing.

Top Tips For Scrubbing Your Boat Up Until It’s Good As New!

If you’re in the Caribbean, you might sail regularly. Here are some tips for keeping your boat in good condition.

Your boat is your pride and joy, but it takes a lot of abuse too! It’s hard to give it a good clean, but once a year it’s good practice to lift it out of the water and give it a proper clean, inside and out. Not only will it look a whole lot more attractive in the water, cleaning it will draw your attention to any maintenance jobs that need to be carried out. Some people choose to hire a company to clean their boat for them, but it’s really easy to do it yourself (and much more satisfying!). Regular maintenance and cleaning is the key to prolonging the life of your boat, and it’s pretty easy to do if you follow our simple steps:

Hose it Down!

The first step, once your boat is out of the water, is to hose it down. This takes off any loose dirt and grime, as well as any saltwater which can corrode the paint over time. Work methodically across the boat, starting at the top and working your way down. Use a soft broom to loosen any firmly stuck dirt, and use boat soap for the superstructure. Dry it off with a soft cloth, stand back and admire your work! Once it’s looking a little more presentable, it’s time to move on.

Pressure Wash it!

The next step, once it is fully hosed down, is to get the pressure washer out. Give it a really good blast from bow to stern, making sure you get right into all the little nooks and crannies. Beware that any loose paint will probably be stripped off too – pressure washers are pretty hardcore! But this is great because it means that when you come to give it a fresh coat of paint, the surface will already be smooth so you probably won’t even have to sand it.

Look at the Inside Next

Pull out any cushions and give them a really good wash. You might be able to take the covers off and put them in an industrial washing machine. Give all the seats a really good wash, and clean out the deck boxes making sure everything goes back in an orderly fashion. Clean the deck with a soap that is designed for the job (anything too abrasive will cause a lot of damage). Scrub all the fixtures and fittings, making sure you use the correct polish for the material in question. Check the outboard engine and the hull and make sure they are gleaming. Finally, give all the windows a thorough wash using a mild detergent (or you can use hot water mixed with vinegar instead). Buff up the windows to dry them so that no streaks remain.

The Finishing Touches

Give your beloved boat a much-needed fresh coat of paint, and when it’s dry, polish everything up so it looks shiny and new. Then it’s just a question of launching it and enjoying a relaxing day out on it. Your boat will be sparkling so much that anybody watching you head off will think it’s her maiden voyage!

Featured images: Library of Congressellenm1Port of San DiegoBruno GirinLazslo Ilyes 

Nancy Campbell, the author of today’s guest post, works at Power Vac, a cleaning equipment supplier company. She enjoys blogging to share her views and opinions with readers about cleanliness.

Things to do in Barbados #46 – Drink Coconut Water (from your own tree)

For some, coconut water is an acquired taste – I happen to love it. You can find coconut water sellers all over the island, mostly along the ABC Highway. But nothing beats drinking coconut water from your own tree. Here’s our very first coconut, which fell off the tree two days ago.
Things to do in Barbados #46 - Drink Coconut Water Things to do in Barbados #46 - Drink Coconut Water