Sunday, December 5, 2010

Laundry day

It's taken me a while to get into the groove of laundry on our boat.

We hold 140 gallons of water, and we try to make it last a couple weeks, but haven't gotten past 11 days yet.

I remember when my friend, Elaine, inquired about how I would do laundry on the boat. "By hand," I casually responded. But I was expecting to be able to fall back on the occasional laundromat that I've become accustomed to frequenting in small towns in western Canada.

A "laundromat," as they are called here, in our experience so far, is a place one takes their laundry to be done for them, for a fee. And it isn't cheap. $25-35 EC per load. For us (a family of five who try to get as much mileage out of our clothing as possible), a typical 2-week accumulation will run us up to $80 EC (including delivery charges to the boat - also unavoidable in some locations).

I actually don't mind doing laundry by hand, though it takes over an hour for a small load, then I'm faced with all the other logistics of timing the sun and the wind, navigating the deck with a pile of heavy, wet sheets, towels and t-shirts, and doing my best to avoid losing a clothes peg overboard.

I'm getting better at this.
  • I fill the big sink about 1/3 with water, mix in the Breeze laundry powder (if I don't do this well enough, our white clothes will turn blue), and fill the small sink halfway
  • I usually need to change the rinse water twice
  • I "wear" the clothes pegs (very pretty!)
  • I make sure I'm hanging out the laundry by 10am
  • at the first drops of a rain squall, I'm back out on deck, collecting what's been drying.
  • the lifeline netting has been great - it keeps bigger items on board and relieves the wind's strain on the clothes pegs
And when everything's dry, you just can't beat the smell of clothes and bed linens that have hung to dry on an ocean breeze! Bounce (tm), there's no competition!!

My reward at the end of laundry day, is a deep inhalation of my labours, and a fresh sheet on our berth.

PS: if any cruisers are reading this, and can point me to a good self-serve laundromat in the region of the Grenadines, please leave a comment.

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