Everyone has to do it at some point and today is one of my days. Laundry on a boat is a bit different than on shore. Mostly because of the different ways to do it and the effort and resources involved with each way. Some boats throw the dirty clothes in a bucket or cooler and let the action of sailing agitate the clothes clean and then rinse them off and hang them out to dry. Other boats have small washing machines aboard. The idea is fantastic but the problem is the multiple gallons of water used per load, which is a big deal when you have to carry or make your own water.
I personally just go to the Laundromat like you would on shore…kinda. For me I have to pack everything up and then load the bags into the bow of the dinghy. After a week long charter with six guests I can have so many bags piled on the bow I look like Santa Claus delivering gifts as I arrive at the dinghy dock. At some docks I may be the only boat making it easy to unload the bags, but here in Charlotte Amalie the dock is usually two to three dinghies deep. So now I have to play a game combining leap frog, throwing a medicine ball, and dodge ball to get the bags of dirty clothes from my dinghy into the next dinghy to get to the next one to get on the dock. Ahhhh, made it. Now it is a simple matter of walking to the Laundromat, which I have found anywhere from right at the marina to over a mile away. Of course I am not smart enough to bring a cart and too cheap to pay the taxi the ridiculous amount to go such a short distance, so I put bags on my back like backpacks one on top of another while carrying a few also. I’m sure I look like a camel or about to start a long distance trek, but I make it no problem. Here in the USVI a regular washer is only $2 (double and triple loaders are comparable at $4 and $6), but some locations in The Bahamas I saw up to $8 a load for a regular size washer (needless to say I skipped those). After the hour and a half to four hours and everything is washed, dried, and folded I get to reverse the process. Of course this time I want to be very careful not to splash salt water on my clean clothes. Wait a minute is that rain? Well that is timing for you. Hurry and get back to the boat!
It sounds like a lot of effort and I do miss having the machines in my basement so I can do other things at the same time, but it is all worth it when I am able to put my clothes away and crawl into bed between clean, crisp, dry sheets and drift off to sleep for the night, plus the Milwaukee basement repair contractors have to repair my basement first!!!
PS – On Wed the 2nd to last USA travel video will air. It is titled New England and will focus on Mystic, CT, Newport, RI, and Nantucket, MA. I hope you make time to watch it.