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Old 18-12-2008, 16:02   #31
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And the macerator will help you get away with emptying your tank in harbour - nothing will expose your dirty little secret faster than that corn-eyed trout floating by your boot-top
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Old 18-12-2008, 16:08   #32
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Originally Posted by s/v 'Faith' View Post
WRT the Bahamas,

In spite of the majority of the posts thus far, you will have trouble finding any place to pump out unless you are doing a tour of the most expensive marinas (even then, some that advertise may not have working facilities).

Funny, on internet chat boards most folks are against at the idea of overboard discharge... when you are out cruising most folks don't seem quite so passionate. Might be a bit of a 'do as I say, not as I do' issue.
Which is where a good holding tank system that is not dependent on pump outs work. Some of us, when in places like the Bahamas, pump our sewage into the water and don't care. Some of us in the Bahamas pump our sewage only when it does not affect others and do care. We each live with the choice and we do not all try and force it on others. I will repeat, change starts with one person at a time. We have never followed the herd and did things just because everyone else did. we do things because we care and because we feel it is best for our cruising experience and we have lived by the philosophy of the SSCA which we were members for many years. We always leave a clean wake and always leave a place better than we found it if at all within our power. If others chose to do otherwise that is their choice. Unfortunately many cruisers chose to do otherwise. That does not make it right.
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Old 18-12-2008, 16:23   #33
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Well put Chuck!
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Old 18-12-2008, 17:36   #34
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Regardless of what the regulations may be, and in consideration of all the environmental pressures on the worlds oceans and water ways, the more important question should be "Is the discharge of my waste overboard morally the correct thing to do?"
I know that people are generally sheep and believe what they are told to by society but on a forum with such seemingly intelligent members I really expected some better reactions.

I always have to play the bad guy because I refuse to accept the political/moral standard that is most often established/publicised by those who would like to make more money by making us feel guilty or afraid.

OK, if your in a marina with 100 other active boats, in a quiet cove with little current, yes, it could be an issue if everyone is pumping sewage. In almost all other situations it is NOT a health issue. People just think its gross. I think sticking your arm up a cows arse is gross but people do it every day.

Individuals are NOT destroying the Earth! How about the guy who posted about the pipe break in FL. 20 million gallons of raw sewage. 20,000,000 GALLONS! This is somehow seen as an unfortunate accident instead of a crime against the Earth. If I flush a turd into the water then I'm an irresponsible human who wants to ruin the environment. It's all BS.

I'm surprised Pampers or Huggies haven't decided for us that our dogs should wear diapers because it so gross when they crap on the grass. Think about it, its not that far-fetched. Some ad time on TV showing how evil dog poop is. It has bacteria, you can slip and fall and injure yourself, plus its just GROSS !! Boom. Its a law. Break out the checkbook and buy some doggie diapers, which will of course need to be disposed of in an approved sanitation station where it will magically dissapear and no longer be a threat to the environment.

My solution is simple. Obey the law or pay the price. You can pee over the side, but you can't pee in the toilet and then pump it over the side. I can only assume the same applies to #2. So replace one of your stern rail seats with a toilet seat. Problem solved.

The poop deck should be grandfathered in anyway.

So, to those who think a turd in the water is gross, how would you like to enjoy your morning coffee while watching me hang it off the back of the boat and 'drop the kids off at the pool'?

This was fun!
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Old 18-12-2008, 17:40   #35
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That was a great rant but didn't add much to the discussion.
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Old 18-12-2008, 17:49   #36
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Yeah, I know. I was just blowing off a little steam. Don't get me started on the evils of recycling !!
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Old 18-12-2008, 17:52   #37
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it always amazes me how much passion and discussion a little crap can stir up
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Old 18-12-2008, 18:14   #38
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Originally Posted by Chuck Baier View Post
it always amazes me how much passion and discussion a little crap can stir up
I have a theory, its all psychological and deep seated.

Little kids like to play with their poop until they are old enough to understand what "No" means. Then they move on to playing with mud pies and play dough, squishing that between their fingers instead.

The same desires remain, but hidden, in the psyche of adults - Subconscous down deep says "Mmmm, got a holding tank full of poop down there, wish I could play with it. Oh goody, I'm going to get to play with it at the pumpout station or when I dump it at sea". Or, among the storing used paper instead of flushing it crowd "Mmmm, got a bag of used toilet paper hanging in the bathroom, wish I could play with it. Oh goody, I'm going to get to live with it for a while then carry it to the dumpster."

No, am not making it up.

A macerator or a toilet that pretty much mashes stuff up (as many do if have a joker valve, or black water goes through a pump) avoids "floaters" and "submarines" and is fine for most (but not all) places, dissipates in seconds. The sea's a big place and is much better than 1 ton of whale poop in the bay or coming across the slick from someones putrid tank pump out.
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Old 18-12-2008, 18:17   #39
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Reality as it is vs. Reality as we wish it were.

Chuck,

While your position is admirable (and I do not doubt that YOU do this), my point is that the numbers of folks who actually do what you advocate differs greatly between internet discussions and discussions with folks out cruising.

I believe it would be great if everyone were to practice a zero discharge policy. I do not believe however it is practical to do so, and I believe that internet discussions do not always suggest realistic approaches to such things as waste discharge and fuel spills. If the motto of this place is to be "Cruising boat, Cruising People, Cruising Answers" I believe that reality ought to be portrayed along side of the high standards some set, and those others advocate but do not practice.

Peace,
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Old 18-12-2008, 18:18   #40
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Please note, in the US waters of the Gulf of Mexico you cannot legally discharge unless you are nine miles out. West side of the Fl. Keys included.
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Old 18-12-2008, 18:33   #41
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Faith, First, no one here suggests zero discharge since this is not possible. What I am suggesting is using practices that accomplish a reasonable way to dispose of your waste with minimal impact. As you say many cruisers out there do not and will not practice this kind of consideration, therefore you can do as they do and don't have to feel bad about that. Yes we should discuss the realities of cruising alongside other options and opinions whether from actual cruisers or wanabees. In Guatemala the practices of remote tribes living in the jungle is a complete lack of sanitary conditions in cooking and many daily practices. This is just how they have always done it and how everyone does it. A couple of small organizations went into these remote villages and brought in cooking stoves, dug wells and put in latrines and wash areas. They helped the villagers learn good habits as simple as washing hands after going to the bathroom and before cooking. The illness and medical problems in these villages dropped dramatically. We could say there was nothing wrong with the way it was done before because that is the way everyone did it. But that is the wrong answer and with a little change it made a large difference. You can keep dumping your sewage and I can hope I don't find myself in the same harbor. Unfortunately if you are not there than one of your real cruisers will be there dumping their sewage. That is one large reason we try very hard to avoid the cruising highways most traveled and spend much of our cruising in remote areas on the road less traveled.
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Old 18-12-2008, 19:00   #42
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Clarification.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Baier View Post
You can keep dumping your sewage and I can hope I don't find myself in the same harbor. Unfortunately if you are not there than one of your real cruisers will be there dumping their sewage.
Chuck,

In my post I did not seek to misrepresent you position. I would appreciate the same consideration. While you do strengthen your position by making mine seem unreasonable I do not believe it adds to the discussion.

I do not advocate unrestrained open discharge, especally in marinas or areas with limited flow. I do believe it is unrealistic for a discussion on the internet to pretend this does not happen. I think that for a discussion to be productive it must be realistic.

FWIW, I DO believe a zero discharge position is tenable (at least zero discharge of waste into the water). I am looking at a natures way composting head and once I figure out how to make it fit I will share all I can learn about it.

The law says one thing, the practice of the majority says another. There is a difference between what is done, and what we aspire to.

Again, I commend you for your practice. I hope we can all do as well, and hope to do better myself.

Peace.
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Old 18-12-2008, 19:03   #43
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It would be interesting for someone with a waste treatment background to weigh in with some numbers and some facts. This is an issue of passion, clearly.

First of all, I follow rules. So if there is a pump out policy I follow it. That's just me. I respect local authority's right to make rules.

Here is what I observe from the many cruisers I have met transiting Singapore and Malaysia.

Most will admit that they hang it off the poop deck. Both number 1 and number 2. Probably not at ancorage with other boats around but they do when no one is looking.

At Marinas they generally use the marina facilities.

People do discharge on our moorings and at marinas here.

We have a discharge head as does everyone else around here. The guys generally pee over the side and the girls use the head. Number 2s happen and they go over the side.

99% of number 2s go to the bottom, which no one has seen near Singapore for at least 100 years - if not get more roughage. I personally reckon it's bio-degradable and when diluted with billions of gallons of sea water is not a big deal.

Although chemically treated everyone who has ever swam in a public pool has swum in pee.

I also don't buy in that human feces is any worse than shark, whale or dolphin feces. And there are a heck of a lot of fish pooping in the water.
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Old 18-12-2008, 20:23   #44
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I also don't buy in that human feces is any worse than shark, whale or dolphin feces. And there are a heck of a lot of fish pooping in the water.
Two things; I really don't care what others have done with their poop. I lived aboard cruising for a year and a half, and NEVER discharged illegally. Secondly, human have been known to take drugs (illegal and legal) and , from what I understand, our waste can be quite toxic because of it.
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Old 18-12-2008, 20:27   #45
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In terms of the ethics of discharge:

I believe there are areas, especially enclosed areas with many boats where dumping is clearly a problem. However, when one considers the all the areas in U.S. waters, these areas are really a minority.

An issue I have however, is I believe the attitudes and laws towards boat discharge are not inline with other practices.

Consider the great lakes for example. These are fresh water bodies and source of drinking water, and they are systems that are more closed than ocean systems. It makes sense that regulations would be tougher here and discharge less tolerated. However, also consider there are many cities with antiquated systems like Milwaukee that have sewage discharge into the lake when ever it rains. Simple math tells one that equates to more sewage than could ever be discharged by every boat on the lake in an entire season. Also consider that trying to find a pump out facility can be nearly impossible.

I also do other outdoor trips, and remember when it became illegal for rafters to throw the contents of their portable toilet systems into landfills for supposed environmental reasons. This causes huge logistical issues and expenses for river users and more cheat as a result. Yet at the same time, one of the biggest items thrown into landfills are disposable diapers which account for so much more volume than a handful or rafters. There's no comparison. However, no politician is going to tell every mother in America she needs to go to the same extremes as boaters or river rafters.

When it comes to discharge we should be sensative to other users and the carrying capacity of the local environment, but should also keep regulations and practices in line with other sources of discharge, and consider the realities of pump out facilities and other related issues.

I agree with Dan in his above post: It would be very interesting to hear an unbiased waste expert weight in on how discharge fits into both cruising areas and the larger picture.
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