Sarah Sedman writes a story for our GoGirl writing competition.
GoGirl lets a woman pee standing up!
My husband and I have done a lot of sailing together (North Sea, Atlantic, Caribbean, Central America). Although I enjoy sailing, the one thing that really annoys me is when a man needs ‘to go’ he only has to stand downwind, lean over the side, whip it out, and just go.
But as a female, I have to step down below decks and make my way up forward to use the toilet (heads) onboard. Many readers make think – no big deal. However, it can be a very big deal in bad weather! Not only do you put yourself at risk of vomiting as the motion of the boat below decks is far worse than above decks – you also have to get to the heads without being thrown against some sharp corner or other.
Then, when you manage to shut the heads door, you have to wrestle to remove half your bad weather gear in a confined space with just one hand. The other hand is needed to hang on to the side of the sink to help you stay upright (and get yourself into a state of readiness should there be a sudden wind shift or rogue wave to put the boat off-course and throw you off the toilet and head-first into the heads door). Be mindful that I have also had to tear off a piece of toilet roll, wipe, and pull all that gear back on – still with one hand!.
Let’s say I end up with a few more bruises each time I return from using the heads in bad weather.
On one voyage the weather was so bad I felt so seasick that I just couldn’t face going down below decks at all – even to go pee. Finally, when I couldn’t hold myself any longer I asked my husband to quickly get me a bucket to pee in. First making my husband promise to look the other way, I pulled down my bad weather gear and squatted above the bucket. All good so far. But alas, with a foggy seasick brain and in my hurry to dispose of the contents of the bucket, I wasn’t thinking straight. I threw the contents upwind. The wind blew it all right back over me. Not only did I vomit because I was so grossed out, I also had to go below decks after all to get into clean clothes.
Worse still, I still had to clean my pee-covered bad weather gear!