Saturday, October 20, 2012

Other Projects: Pool Time

When we made the decision to move to Belize, we knew we would be dealing with hot weather. At least, mentally we knew that, because we would be in the tropics…duh! What we didn’t expect was how it would affect us physically. Back in the States, we would frequently start whatever projects we were working on, including home remodeling, first thing in the morning and keep at it for several hours. Sure we took breaks, and we often felt tired at the end of the day. But after a decent sleep, we would be back at it the next day, full of energy.

Here we’ve had to learn a completely different pace, which is called s-l-o-w. Without a word of a lie, there have been days that by 7:30 a.m., we’re both drenched in sweat. I mean, you wouldn’t think you would be dripping wet from just sweeping the floor or puttering in the workshop, but it happens…often. We learned the hard way that it’s critical to take lots of breaks, drink lots of fluids, and not be overly maniacal to try and finish whatever we’re working on that very same day. We felt like such wussie babies at first, but realized that unless we wanted to keel over from heat stroke we needed to adjust.

We also learned that if you have friends, like Dave and Dianna Rider, who have a pool and are incredibly generous for how many times they invite you over for a dip, well, it’s a godsend. It’s not like any of us who go in their pool are doing laps, mostly we all just bob around trying to get our body temperatures back down to normal.

After realizing what a measure of sanity cool(ish) water is for your mental and physical well-being, we started to think about having a pool of our own. We didn’t want anything overly big and it didn’t have to be in the ground. We checked out our options at A & R, which is a great store that carries a little bit of everything, including above ground pools. The models they happened to have in stock were either too small or too large. 

After brainstorming things for a bit, we realized what we really wanted was something like big hot tub, except without the heated water and jets. We checked online for what might be available, but nothing struck our fancy. Then one day we were sitting on our porch and looked out at the palapa in the side yard and it dawned on us…

…Why not have something built above ground and have it on the pad under the palapa? No digging would be involved and the water would stay cool in the shaded area. Hmmm, maybe…

So David, using his trusty laptop, came up with this preliminary design:

Overhead and side view of possible pool design

The length of the pool would be about 10 feet, be about six feet wide, and around 4 feet deep. With a built-in bench around the perimeter, we could sit with water up to our shoulders. It would be long enough and wide enough that if wanted to bob around in a floaty thing, we could do that too. 

Now all of these ideas and plans are still on the drawing board. We need to find a contractor, figure out what it would cost, see if the cement pad under the palapa can handle the load, not to mention relocating all the wood shavings and sand that currently reside under the palapa to even begin the project. 

But knowing there’s the possibility of liquid sanity down the road (other than cold beer and vodka & tonics) makes coping with the heat a bit easier, especially on those days that even your eyeballs sweat. We’ll be sure to post updates as this project unfolds. In the meantime, we plan to do whatever we can to stay in Dave and Dianna’s good graces ;)

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