Toilet Tales in Wonderland

South Pacific, South Pacific Sailing, The Good - The Bad - The Funny, Tonga — By on June 10, 2011 10:40 AM

She wee

I had anxiety about the toilet situation aboard Wonderland after the captain showed me a large mason jar she uses to pee inside and dump overboard. She also had an assortment of “she wees” a portable urinary device advertised to allow women to “stand up and take control.” There was a toilet onboard but she assured me I would not be able to use it during the passage because  I would get very sea sick inside the confined space of the bathroom in rough seas. I would later wonder if she was testing my ability to rough it a out at sea.

It’s a dirty job and Kelly and to do it


I was able to use the actual toilet!  Mason jars and she wees were still available for use if I had preferred, but I never felt sea sick when below deck, so it was no problem for me to be inside the confined space where the toilet lived.


I BROKE THE TOILET!!! One night  I accidently broke law #5 of Wonderland – nothing goes into the toilet that didn’t come out of you. It was dark and I didn’t realize I had flushed a baby wipe down the toilet until after it had disappeared down the drain and as I would later learn, got stuck somewhere between the sea cock and the three way valve.

THE FUNNY – Kelly the plumber

Kelly the Plumber

In the morning the captain announced that the toilet no longer worked and from now on we will be all be forced mason jars and buckets to do our business. We were anchored at Minerva Reef at the time so holding your ass off the front of the boat was another option she suggested. Or if you preferred you could go while in the ocean but she warned that poo has a tendency to always float your way!

I confessed to my crime and my punishment was to fix the toilet. For the next 6 hours I would learn the ins and outs (the grim and goo) that make up a toilet head. I called upon Thomas to help me as he owed me a favor from a few days earlier when he had a toilet crisis of his own. In his attempts to flush down his stuff the toilet exploded all over him, spilling its contents onto the floor. Of course he was way to sea sick at the time to do anything to remedy the situation. Being the sweet gf I am, I literally cleaned up his shit. He definitely owed me one and I intended to cash in my favor.

But the captain overruled my request and insisted that I would be the one to fix the toilet so I could be rehabilitated from my terrible crime and become a more law abiding citizen of the nation of Wonderland. It was a dirty job and Kelly would have to do it.

Lucky for me, my toilet crisis happened when we were anchored making a toilet repair more feasible in calm waters. I thought about how terrible it had been for all of us if I had clogged the toilet during the passage. Not only would shitting in a bucket really suck, but Maurius informed me that I would be responsible for dumping all shit buckets overboard if I could not fix the toilet.

The captain handed me a bunch of wrenches and told me  take apart the toilet until I found the “handi wipe”. I found it very annoying every time she said handi wipe as it was a baby wipe. I heard her later on the radio announcing to the other boats that she was busy for the day as Kelly flushed a handi wipe down the toilet and she was forcing me to remove it.

She seized the opportunity as a good time for me to also clean all the calcium carbonate from the valves and pipes that accumulates as a result of urine mixing with sea water.  The buildup in the pipes was so thick that a hole smaller in diameter than a penny was left open for waste to pass through. The crud inside the pipes was hard and no matter how hard I scrubbed it never was clean enough per her standards. After I cleaned each part to what I thought was satisfactory condition, she would inspect and send me back to the cockpit to clean it better. I was given a butter knife (that would be cleaned and returned to the cutlery drawer) as a tool to help scrap off more of the crud. Needless to say I avoided butter and jam the rest of the trip for fear of using that knife. I knew where it had been and it wasn’t pretty!  The stinch from the toilet was nauseating, combined with the heat inside the bathroom where no air flowed I feared I might pass out. SIX very disqusting hours later I finally found the baby wipe and began the task of reassembling the toilet head.

Then the moment of truth came … would the toilet flush again? I reached for the handle and pulled toward me but was met with resistance.  To my horror, it still wouldn’t pump. After the captain inspected my work she confirmed I had indeed put all the parts back the right way. We were all perplexed as to what else was clogging the toilet? The captain eyed me suspiciously asking me just how many “handi wipes” went down the drain? I swore only one to my knowledge but also wondered why it was still broken?

Tom the plumber

Thankfully my very handy and engineering minded boyfriend stepped in to offer help and the captain allowed his assistance and she also became involved in the toilet repair. He suggested we do a test to confirm whether the clog was in a pipe somewhere after the toilet head which meant taking apart and investigating the hoses that run from the toilet to the bottom of the boat. He squeezed himself into the tiny cabinet under the sink where the pipes ran through to have a better look.

He took apart and cleaned out two more valves, finding yet another baby wipe (seriously no idea where that came from???) in the clogged hose between the 3 way valve and the thru-hull. Finally, the toilet was fixed and I have a new skill to add to my resume.

I looked down at my dirty hands, black crud had accumulated under my nails. With a smile I asked, “Does anyone have a baby wipe?”

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  1. Linda S says:

    was this unexpected or a risk?

  2. Beth says:

    I knew there would be a good story behind your toilet issues. I can just picture you taking the toilet apart! I am still laughing!!

  3. Lisa says:

    Evi sounds like an evil witch! I’m glad your toilet nightmares turned out to be not so bad. I’m happy for you but I was expecting much worse. Love you but I was looking forward to laughing at you having to use the bucket. lol

  4. Brett says:

    Thanks for the toilet tales, Kell. I have some tt’s myself at the moment, but I’ll keep it to myself. Miss you. – Your Dawg

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