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Friday, February 24, 2012

Psammophobia


I need to set the record straight. Why? Because upon hearing about our live-aboard lifestyle, some folks seem to immediately envision us as inveterate beach bums, soaking up the Caribbean sunshine without a care in the world. Of course, if you read our blog, you know that this isn’t true…we have many cares and concerns about Equinox, from the weather to maintenance to safety, from the trivial to the fun to the important. Indeed, there are many, many things we are vigilant about, but one thing probably has never entered your mind as something that we could possibly care about, something that is a constant evil with which we do battle. I refer to …. sand!

You see, sand is insidious. It is evil. It creeps aboard on tiny cat’s feet – er, our feet, actually -- and anyone else’s if they have been anywhere even remotely close to a beach! Truly, it's beautiful to behold: along a shoreline against turquoise waters, sand is lovely to admire indeed. But it needs to behave and should stay on the beach where it belongs!  While some sand is simple to brush off, we’ve discovered that Antiguan sand is, well, clingy. It refuses to be brushed off lightly, refuses to be ignored, and in some cases, it sticks like it’s glued on, becoming a sort of sand glitter decorating your legs. Not that I'm against beauty, but this kind of gilding and ornamentation I can do without.

While gorgeous adorning a seashore, sand is never pretty aboard a boat. Sand hides inside towels, in the tread of your boat shoes, between your toes, on the back of your calves, in the lining of your swimsuit, in your hair --- generally, sand hitches a ride from the beach wherever it can, in order to infiltrate, infest and attack elsewhere. Beware its destructive traits!! It clogs drains, and on floors, is gritty and abrasive  -- when underfoot, it tries to scar and ruin the beauty of our wood parquet sole aboard Equinox. Sand also has a penchant for getting in one's bedding, delighting in the ability to ruin a good night's sleep. It also has the amazing ability to multiply like rabbits, because no matter that you have just vacuumed and thought you were rid of sand, there is always more. Always!

Incredibly, there are websites devoted to sand. Why? People actually collect sand!! (Yes, on purpose -- who knew??) I found websites that catalogue all sorts of information about sand and sand collecting. One site had a list of sands from all over the world, although much to my amazement, the Caribbean was not mentioned, where there is sand aplenty! Want to know some "sand fun facts", like size? You can use the "Wentworth Article Size Classification for Sand" to determine whether your sand is very coarse or very fine, and there are distinctions as to color, composition, texture and morphology. If you're so interested, you can also find out whether your sand is mineral, biogenic or precipitated! Although, there is no classification on how annoying sand can be, which is a huge oversight, in my book. 

I learned that people who collect sand are known as psammophiles. Content to admire a gorgeous beach from aboard the boat, I'm certainly not one of them. And probably never will be, unless sand learns to behave and stay on the beach where it belongs. Psammophobes of the world, unite! 

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