Shower, Rinse, Repeat

One aspect of island life that really surprised me is the gratuitous amount of showers we rock dwellers take on a daily basis. The islands are seemingly one big cloud of dirt, dust, and sand. We walk around in next to nothing due to the heat and thus accumulate all of this environmental debris on our person. In addition to that, seldom does an hour or two go by without our bodies becoming drenched in sweat – a mere walk outside in between errands in the humid 90°F temps can soak a clean t-shirt in no time. All you want is a shower (or to be wrapped in an extra large wet wipe whilst sticking your head in the freezer).

*click for image credit

Add to these all the regular life reasons why you generally need to shower (swimming in very salty water or chlorinated pools, basic hygiene, dirty jobs involving cars and yard work) and just like that, you find yourself taking 3 to 4 showers on the daily. And that doesn’t even cover simply showering in order to cool off because air-conditioning is extremely expensive to use on an island.

Here is an average shower schedule of this island girl by way of example:

8 am

Wake up and jump straight into the shower. It’s 85°F already, and I’m sweating as I enter. Island showers are navy showers – water on, water off, soap up, then rinse. Cold water only – start the day refreshed!

9 am

Walked into some mud on my way to the car because it rained last night and my flip flops splashed it up onto my legs and between my toes. I try to accept it, as it happens EVERY DAY. Cue first official yearning for Shower #2…

9:30 am

Sweating profusely already! Need to shower but have to work.

12:30 pm

Lunch time. Maybe enough time to shower? Jackpot! Midday refresher Shower #2, just say ahhhh…

*click for image credit

5 pm

Sweating again, but staving off Shower #3 with some beach time after work.

6 pm

Covered in a film of salt from swimming in the extremely amazing-feeling but very salty Caribbean Sea. It feels great in the water, not so much when you are out. I drive home, dreaming of a fresh water rinse…

6:15 pm

All hail Shower #3! Salt is off my body, and I’m all better again.

9:30 pm

Tired and hot. Fan is on, but feeling sticky after dinnertime prep/sweat session in the kitchen. Pre-bedtime cool down Shower #4 makes for a happy girl, relaxed and ready to sleep in peace. Added tip: stand in front of the fan while still wet after your shower for some natural air-conditioning bliss.

 –   –   –

Yes, the struggle is real. We shower a lot. I never showered quite so much back in my old life but if I didn’t here, I’d be sweaty, salty, chlorinated, and dirty all the time – and not in a sexy kind of way. All this showering may also be the reason why my very expensive new blue highlights have turned purple, but that’s a different blog post altogether.

And yes – water is precious here. The water we use during these showers comes from our cisterns that collect the rain water. When we are in a drought, I definitely don’t have the luxury of taking this many showers for lack of water. But when it rains everyday like it has been this fall on St. Croix, let’s just say I’m beyond delighted. And showering as often as my heart desires…

marina shower sunset_WWLOR

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Marina Ricci

About Marina Ricci

Marina lives on the island of St. Croix, an island she didn’t even know existed until a few months before her big move. She traded the big city life of constant email checking and snow removal for driving on the left side of the road and water shortages, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

These days, Marina spends her mornings hoping there aren’t any new friends waiting for her in the bath tub, but loving the experience of watching all the different animals and people interacting all together on the largest of the US Virgin Islands.

Life is a dream and Marina hopes she doesn’t ever have to wake up again. When she’s not sharing her stories of daily life on here, she updates her blog on her island adventures at www.stcroixbeachbum.com.

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3 thoughts on “Shower, Rinse, Repeat

  1. Absolutely, Marina! Although, I really like the salty skin feeling after a dip in the ocean. But if you want to keep your sheets dry and unsalted (just how I like my pretzels) at least a cat bath is necessary.

  2. I am also from Chicago and we are FB friends but we have not in person. But so true about showers…..I hang out west at sandcastle beach club. If you come there look me up.

  3. I used to limit myself to one shower a day to save on the HIGH cost of water but this year, I said to myself, some things, such as my one minute water on, water off, soap on, water on, water off shower is worth splurging to two times a day ( and having a pool can replace that second shower when it is really hot…),just like having dessert at a restaurant is often worth the added price. after all –life is short and values such as carpe diem are as important as admonitions to save for a rainy day.

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