Water, water everywhere but not ...

Reply Fri 24 Nov, 2006 09:43 am
Some distressed mariner of yore is quoted as saying: "Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink."

Maybe not to drink, but can't salt water be used to bathe and wash clothes? I've been poking around on the net but can't find anything very definitive.

I was watching the History Channel about those English pilgrims and their crossing on the Mayflower. According to the History Channel all those smelly people on the Mayflower were delighted to make land so they could bathe and do all their backlog of loathesome laundry. Why couldn't they just use sea water to bathe and wash clothes during the long voyage? I know salt water is a hard water and probably doesn't produce much lather (or make good tea), but it would seem that it would be better than no water at all.

People swim in the ocean and suffer no ill effects and probably get cleaner than they were before they got into the surf. And I've read that military troop ships, when they got low on fresh water, switched over to pumping sea water for showering.

I think the History Channel is all wet.
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Reply Fri 24 Nov, 2006 09:50 am
There are bacteria and pollutants in the surf

When I served aboard a destroyer, too many days at sea meant we soon had only enough fresh water for drinking and cooking. Showers were drawn from the ocean. Anybody who has had to bathe in that kind of water knows how sticky and uncomfortable one feels afterward. Clothes come out the same way.
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Reply Fri 24 Nov, 2006 10:16 am
as kids we used to swim in the north-sea and the baltic sea during the summer quite often .
as edgar said , you come out all sticky ; so when we got back home a shower or bath was in order . one of the worst things is to have the saltwater residue in your hair - you don't need any hair-oil :wink: .
even when you are out on the ocean , the salt in the air will stick to your skin and clothes . when you lick your lips after being out on the ocean (or even just walking the beach for a few hours) , they'll be nicely salted .
from what i've read , the sailors sailing the windjammers would always hope for some rain , so they'd be able to wash their clothes .
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Reply Fri 24 Nov, 2006 11:45 am
Man, if you've ever been freestyling in blue jeans and got them surf-soaked and then had them dry into a salty mess, you'd know this is a bad idea.
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Reply Fri 24 Nov, 2006 12:40 pm
Toddlers come home from tide pools sandy and salty. If you don't wash the toddler--and the toddler's swim gear--in fresh water you'll have very nasty cases of diaper rash.

Salt can be a disinfectant, but when people rubbed salt into wounds they weren't always being kind and thoughtful.
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