Those of you enduring the endless North American winter this year won’t empathize, but we are sweltering out here in the South Pacific. One day I expect to wake up to find my bones have melted, and I’ll just have to flow around the boat like Barbarmama.
Indy has a simple solution: go to the beach. If she had her way, we would pitch a tent and live there, drifting between the water and the sand. Stylish, who is starting to show her age, is less keen for the simple reason that getting to the beach is a pain. We can either walk 45 minutes in the blazing heat to get there, or we can take the dinghy, which would be fine, except the motor needs a tune-up and I don’t entirely trust it right now. I know – excuses. Family life is an exercise in compromise. The truth is, I don’t want to hike all the way over there every time it gets hot, which is always.
So how to help the kids cool down?
I can’t bear to let them just turn the hose on each other – just because we are in the marina doesn’t mean it’s okay to be that wasteful. They collect water in our 5-gallon pails when it rains, but the days when they could swim in a bucket are long behind us. Three years behind us, in fact.
|February 2011. Were they really that small when we set out?|
But maybe, I thought, a kiddie pool might work out. Just a little something for them to splash around in. (Plus, an inflatable pool is called a piscine gonflable in French, which has such a delightfully ridiculous ring to it that I couldn’t wait to use the term at every opportunity.)
Off to our favorite bargain store. Sure enough, they had inflatable pools. I compared the boxes, and tried to decide what would fit on deck. There was a cute rainbow pool; nice, but with nearly a 2 meter diameter, way too big. I picked up one with a dragon on it that seemed more reasonable. I turned over the box to look at the capacity. And then I had a heart attack and died, because this pool took more than 800 L of water – that’s well over 200 gallons. To compare, our water tanks, which we have always considered huge, hold 1000 L and generally last us about six weeks.
So, forget it, cute pool. We can do better. I moved on to bargain store #2. There, like Corduroy Bear, alone on a dusty shelf at the back of the store, was a solitary kiddy pool. It was little. Really little. But it was this, or 800 L. And it wasn’t like anyone was going to swim in this pool – this was strictly a cooling-off mechanism. So, no contest. The little pool it was.
The girls discovered the pool waiting in the cockpit when they got home from school. Before I had time to unlock the boat, they had already ripped off their clothes, pulled on bathing suits, and were rooting through the lazarette for the pump. Five minutes later, the pool was ready to go, and the girls were in heaven.
I’ll admit, it is a little snug. If I’d found one with a slightly larger diameter, even 20 cm or so, I would have taken it. This pool is going to require the ladies get along, or it will quickly get destroyed.
Inevitably, it started to rain a few minutes later. And since everyone knows you can’t get wet while you’re in the pool, Stylish co-opted some jugs, the boogie boards and an umbrella to make a rain shelter. Ahh, now the girls could swim in peace.
The next day, the girls decided that the back deck was a superior location, and off went the pool to its new home.
Hmm, I thought to myself, that pool is holding up pretty well. Considering the number of times they jumped in and out of it, I was sure the no-skid would have gotten it by now.
“Mo-om!” chorused the girls. “The pool has a hole in it!”
And there we go. The laws of the universe continue unchallenged.
If you’ll excuse me, I’d better go patch the pool.