Alone Like a Rolling Stone

Water or When the sunglasses are still the only piece of clothing.

Thick raindrops clap onto the deck, bursting into thousands, even millions of pieces and forming a kind of spray. I'm standing on deck and only have my sunglasses on. Surely I could have done without them, but it just looks more cool. It feels like being in a car wash. The raindrops bursting on the deck, breaking down into fine dust, create the steam for the underbody cleaning. The pigeon egg-sized drops slap mercilessly on my skin. I look into a gray wall of rain, which let one only dimly guess the other boats at the buoys.

Thunderstorm atmosphere

Water without end pelts down on me. I love the rain that comes almost every day at the same time. It is warm, lasts for half an hour and is abundant. When it rains in French Guiana, it really rains. In the past, we were used to taking the water from the tap. Rarely if ever did we think about where the water actually came from. At the end of the year there was a sewage and water bill that you paid and that was it most of the time. Since we have been living on the boat, we have been thinking more about this. In the meantime we distinguish between drinkable water, water we use for cooking and other service water. With a watermaker on board, we are largely self-sufficient and freed from hauling water. But only as far as possible. If we are in a marina we don't use our watermaker, because the filters clog up too quickly. The quality of the water from the tap is mostly unknown to us, so we use it only for cooking and as service water. If we stay longer in a marina we buy water from the supermarket. 

Rain front over the Maroni River

Here in St. Laurent du Maroni we have discovered another source. We collect the rainwater and use it for virtually everything. While Germany gets an average of 50mm of precipitation in December, French Guiana gets 360mm. That's a whole lot more and completely redefines the term rainstorm for us. In principle, it rains once a day here and we collect about 30 liters per day in buckets and fill 10 liter balloons with it. I look up at the sky. The raindrops fall so densely that it looks like I'm standing in a blizzard, only the blizzard has 28°C. A great feeling and stands in the ranking meanwhile with us briefly after the sunsets, of which we cannot see ourselves also enough. So we showered in the rain, which even me as a warm showerer from the temperature is completely sufficient. One experiences among other things a certain rejuvenation cure. My skin feels, through the daily rain shower, like a baby's bottom. Well, now I do not necessarily have a clue how a baby butt feels, but Gaby has confirmed this to me, only she always grins so funny. Now I don't really know what to think about it. Anyway, the thick drops rub everything down the skin and within five minutes you're actually done, but I give myself another five minutes. By then, the buckets are usually full, so we can decant them for the first time. The air temperature doesn't drop much in the process. And we notice another pleasant weather phenomenon. The rain is brought by a strong gust. Slowly the wind builds up until it reaches about 15 knots. Then, when it starts to rain, the wind stops abruptly and the rain falls vertically from above. After half an hour, the drops become lighter and smaller until it finally stops raining altogether. In any case, we have learned that water is an important commodity and that we may sometimes underestimate it. We also realize this when we order a bottle of water in a restaurant, which then tastes penetratingly of chlorine. We are always glad to be able to fall back on our water supplies. 

We wish everyone always enough water and for all those who now think: "I do not drink water, I drink beer", it should be said that in the production of one liter of beer, about 300 liters of water are needed. In this sense cheers! And keep a stiff upper lip.