I'm pretty sure I'm making up a word with this title, but I bet many of our sailing friends already know what I'm talking about. I don't remember now what book it is but somebody wrote in a cruising book that some boats have so much crap on the stern of the boat it is reminiscent of the car that ma and pa Clampett were driving on The Beverly Hillbillies. Cruising boats tend to accumulate stuff, and sooner or later we run out of storage room and stuff just stays out on deck. When we left Seattle several years ago we had boxes and bags of crap inside and outside the boat, the side effect of selling two vehicles and emptying a storage unit days before leaving on an open-ended trip. We did a decent job of sorting through stuff, getting rid of things, finding hiding places for some of it, and dumping some stuff with friends silly enough to visit us before we disappeared. We spent the summer of 2011 making our way to Alaska with a big Rubbermaid container taking up a bunch of space in the cockpit. It wasn't even all that noticeable, with the outboard motor, life ring, two fishing poles, solar panels, wind generator, and various buckets and bins on the stern deck as well. Every few days I would swear I was going to get to sorting through that container so we could clear up some room on the seat, but when we tied up in Sitka for the winter it was still there. Over the next year and a half we got jobs, got knocked-up (Nicole anyways), got comfortable living at the dock, had a baby, bought or borrowed five different vehicles, all the while accumulating more stuff. When we decided we would take off and travel again this summer, we had to get rid of a bunch of stuff, and as I looked around for things to sell, give away or throw out, I noticed the Rubbermaid container still sat in the cockpit. It is still surrounded by other stuff, some the same as when we left, some different but just as annoying.
Our galley sink is nice and big and now doubles as a bath tub for Madeline, but bathing doesn't work with a sink full of dishes. A simple solution might be to do the dishes, but it also works to load all the dirty dishes into a bucket and put them in the cockpit. As we made our way from Sitka to Wrangell for the 4th of July I found my limit. We still had the Rubbermaid container on the seat, the outboard motor on the stern rail, the life ring, the fishing rods, the solar panels.....but I refused to pull up to the dock in Wrangell until we had hidden the bucket full of dirty dishes that was sitting in the cockpit. Everyone has standards.