Peeing On A Sailboat

| by Aracely | 12 Comments » | Central America, Reflections

Sailboat Bathroms

Aracely on Sailboat

The flushing mechanism of our sailboat bathroom was much too complicated for our crew to manage.  First, to flush the toilet two valves need to be opened by switching them from a 90 degree angle to a 45.  Then, a third valve needed to be changed from an upright position to a downward position depending on whether you wanted to fill the toilet bowl or drain it.  Once these three handles were correctly put in place, there was a lever that needed to be pumped at a consistent pace to flush the waste out to sea.  After the bowl was empty, all the three levers needed to be returned to their original position.  If they were not, the dirty water flowed back in and filled the toilet.

Sailing from Panama to Colombia

El Tango Sailboat

Thus far traveling has been great, but unfortunately I have been cursed with a pea sized bladder.  This makes long trips very inconvenient and many times uncomfortable for me.  That said, this was our first night on the boat and our crew celebrated with after dinner drinks, which for me meant at least one midnight pee.  Good thing we were anchored near one of the islands in San Blas and not yet sailing open seas.  When I woke up from my sleep at around 2am and made my way to the bathroom the toilet was nearly full to the rim.  Someone had left the valves open.  I tried draining it but couldn’t figure it out.  I woke up Jason and he gave it a go without any luck.  “I really have to go,” I told him, but it was impossible for me to pee in an almost full toilet bowl.  What was I to do?

Inside Our Sailboat

My desperate light bulb went on.  I decided to pee off the back of the boat.  That is easier said than done, especially for a girl.  Here’s what I did.  First, I removed my underwear.  Then, I climbed down the ladder located at the back of the boat that led to the ocean water below.  I made my way down the latter far enough to not touch the water with my feet.  Then I lunged back while holding tightly the side bar of the latter and squatted.  The moon lit sky provided just enough light for me to manage this task.  I felt a great relief.

This wasn’t the end of my sailboat bathroom troubles.  If you’ve never been on a sailboat perhaps you don’t know this, but when the sails are up the boat sails at an angle of almost 45 degrees.  Aside from the angle, the boat rocks both side to side and jumps up and down as it makes its way over

Best San Blas Island

Island of Chichime

sea swells.  Now, imagine trying to maneuver all those levers, get yourself situated to do your business, while the floor beneath you is moving like a wild amusement park ride.  Men have it so easy!

The toilet experience made my already eventful sail journey that much more interesting.

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Tags: peeing on a boat, sailing to colombia, sailing to panama

Written by Aracely

Co-founder of Aracely has been traveling, writing and taking photos since 2024, when she departed on his first year long travel backpacking journey. When she isn't seeking new adventures, Aracely is usually building Excel models as a financial analyst professional. Visit my website

12 Responses to “Peeing On A Sailboat”

  1. Great experience, I wish I could do same thing too. No matter I experience trouble in the middle of the sea as long as I enjoy it’s just fine.
    .-= Transfer Smart´s last blog ..Simple Timeshare Secrets Revealed Smartly =-.

  2. Melvin says:

    I would say… a typical backpacker/traveler story. And with many traveler stories, some parts stay unsaid. :)
    But I must still say, I’m jealous! I would also love to be on that sailing boat. Now I will check out your new videos!
    .-= Melvin´s last undefined ..If you register your site for free at =-.

    • Aracely says:

      Melvin, the experience was great but I get motion sickness and the days that we were in open sea I did nothing buy lay in bed. So you don’t have to be too jealous :)

  3. Shawn says:

    You’re a trooper, Aracely :) At least I didn’t call you a pee trooper.

    That sailboat looks great! Clearly that’s the way to travel.
    .-= Shawn´s last blog ..Appease Your Book Collecting Urges With Shelfari =-.

  4. Kirsty says:

    Ah I love a good toilet story! Sounds like an interesting time in the loo/hanging from the back of the boat.

    Where are you sailing to/from?

    It looks like your trip is going well, I have a lot to catch up on after being out of touch for months in the jungle.
    .-= Kirsty´s last blog ..Disaster in Haiti =-.

  5. Dave says:

    Now that I’ve been on a sailboat for 3 days (Australia), I can totally relate to how challenging it must’ve been to pee off the back end of one!

    Kudos, and definitely one of the strangest backpacker stories I’ve ever seen on a blog. :)
    .-= Dave´s last blog ..Coming February 1: Travel Blog Success =-.

  6. Thank you for such an insightful tale.
    *Cue the sarcasm*

    .-= Andy Hayes | Sharing Travel Experiences´s last blog ..One Happy Island in Aruba =-.

  7. Oh my god, I am your bathroom twin. My bladder is infamously small. I’ve had to release in many a weird spot. One was in middle of a barren field beside my tour bus, and the other? Totally embarrassing, a deserted parking lot. I was SO desperate.
    .-= Nomadic Chick´s last blog ..Decluttering Update =-.

    • Aracely says:

      Lol, I’ve also had to ask our bus driver to stop the bus for me a couple of times. The most memorable was in Ecuador on our way to Isinlivi (highlands of Ecuador, in the middle of nowhere.) It was probably the best view I ever had while peeing.

  8. Aly says:

    We spent almost 8months on a sailboat so I definitely understand how you feel! I was trying to think of a girl friendly off-the-side-of-a-boat toilet design but so far I haven’t solved the problem yet. We have friends on sailboats in the San Blas, it is supposed to be some of the most beautiful parts of the Caribbean so enjoy!!
    .-= Aly´s last blog ..Perros and Plazas of Cartagena =-.

  9. kim says:

    Sounds like you need a “pee funnel” – will definitely put one in my pack when I’m off on my travels (oh, and it is possible for ladies to learn to pee standing up (although it is a messy process)

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