Fresh Water or I Hate Water Hours

Fresh Water or I Hate Water Hours

By Garland Davis

Most Americans have never been in a shortage of water and probably think the never will be. Turn on the faucet, there’s water There always has been. There always will be. But I have a different viewpoint.

They have never been on water hours. Most sailors become so paranoid about wasting water that just a glimpse of Niagara Falls causes chills and palpitations.


There we were floating on the trillions of gallons of the Pacific Ocean while being threatened with the worst of horrible consequences for wasting a drop of fresh water. The showers were secured. The only people permitted to shower were the Corpsman and the Cooks. I was night baker. The procedure: I was to inform the Master at Arms and he was to supervise the shower to ensure that no water was wasted. I couldn’t find the MAA. I decided it didn’t matter and went to the shower.

MAA Badge.jpg

I was drying off when the MAA came into the head. He had been expecting me and when I hadn’t tried to find him, he found me. I had violated the rules; he wrote me up. Now the standard punishment for violating water hours rules was the perpetrator had to stand evaporator watches on the mid-watch for a week. They made an exception in my case. Since I worked at night and slept during the day. I was assigned to the twelve to sixteen hundred watches for seven days.

This was when I became better friends with the snipes. In exchange for bakery products, I was introduced to and permitted to use the clandestine shower in the lower level.

After twenty-five years afloat, I have more respect for water than any non-seagoing person I know My Navy background is obviously the reason I am this way.


I love a hotel shower with strong water pressure. Having to turn the water on and off or having someone oversee you shower and controlling your length of time under the water is now in my past. How many times have I had the water secured while I was still half soapy?

Rinsing your face with cold water in the morning tingles the skin and opens the eyes; bring on the world. A cold glass of ice water in the morning goes a long way toward putting out the fires still smoldering from the previous night.

If there was no fresh water, there would be no morning coffee. Without water, Scotch drinkers would be even more obnoxious than they already are.

What I am trying to say is we should consider just how essential and precious fresh water is. This point is often driven home by the B. O. emanating from that big dude on the bus. He was probably a deck ape in a former life


5 thoughts on “Fresh Water or I Hate Water Hours

  1. Irv Trinkle says:

    Living in La La Land we just finished a 5 year drought and water hours were not quite the same as shipboard. Could only water the lawns two days a week except in Summer we could do three days. Payment for water was based on the amount we used. More water meant the cost per gallon used increased significantly. Get caught washing you own car except when it was on your lawn at night on a water approved day you got a heavy fine. Best recommendation was from the Mayor of Los Angeles when all this started. Mayor Tom Bradley (RIP) suggested that everyone should consider flushing the toilet every other time they went. At home that might work if you were discrete when taking a dump but sure as heck did not work in public rest rooms. We are now officially out of the drought so it is okay to wash your car, water your lawn, and most importantly to flush when you take a dump and not be penalized for doing so.


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