Creative photos and essays from the San Juan Islands

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The case of the up and down throne

Floating Restroom

The Port of Friday Harbor, despite my rant in the post below this one, runs a great marina and I’d like to showcase their best idea yet, a floating restroom! What looks like a houseboat is actually a men’s room, women’s room, a handicap uni-sex restroom, and a porta-potty dumping station, along with a utility room for cleaning equipment and hot water heaters. And then imagine all of this plumbing, electrical, and what-not on a huge elevator, for with the tide coming and going, that’s just how this building functions. Up and down, up and down, and all the “stuff” that we, the public, put in there goes where it is supposed to go.

As a liveaboard, I appreciate the Port putting this building where they did, for in the past I, like everyone else, had to hike up the pier to the facilities under the Port office, and while the exercise was good for me, the nearly quarter mile round trip from my original slip on H dock was time consuming. Under certain circumstances, well…..let’s just say it was a looooong way.

I also appreciate the porta-potty dump. A full one of those handy-dandy gadgets is heavy, and hauling them up to the old dump ashore was quite a chore. Now, with this clean and efficient setup so near my boat, I don’t think twice when it’s time to lug my jug.

There’s one attribute to this floating facility that most wouldn’t associate with a restroom – The view of the marina ambiance is great from the walk-around deck, AND in a drizzle or worse, the overhanging roof makes for a dry harbor haven where I’ve been known to wait out a shower or even duck out of a hail storm. During that storm, I was safe and dry on this deck while I watched the roaring tumult of ice pellets make the otherwise calm sea surface so rough that it strangely appeared as if a huge, dark sheet of A’a lava.

I’ll never be able to afford one of those fancy houseboats as featured in the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan film “Sleepless in Seattle”, but just taking a detour around the outside deck of this building gives me the feeling of being on a swanky houseboat. So kudos to the Port potty, it’s perfect!

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