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Monday, October 8, 2012

Grapes of Bath: Manual Laundry

The setup:  one fine for
soapy water, one for
an agitated rinse, one
for a clean rinse.  All use
fresh not sea water, currently.

Back in the days of yore, when Wayne went cruising in Mexico, laundry services were only a buck or two, almost as good as going to Mom’s. We whined when we sold our high efficiency washer and dryer two years ago, and used the coin-op washer and dryer, for $1.50 for the mediocre washer and $1.00 for dryer.  “Oh, we’re paying so much for laundry!”  We also thought it was so expensive to pay $4.50 for the washer and $3.00 for the laundromat washer and dryer on our Desolation Sound trip.  Little did we know how spoiled we were.

Amazing how quickly the
water gets dirty even if our
clothes aren't that dirty!
Rodney Bay, like most places in the Caribbean, laundromats are not an option.  Laundry service (they wash, dry, fold and deliver) here cost $16 / load USD ($90 EC for 2 loads).  We did that our first 2 loads, but given our intended total daily expense budget is $50 / day, there’s other things I’d rather spend the money on, like food.

The "agitated rinse" and wash bins
water may need a rinse and
refresh themselves before a  "load"
is done.
We're still sussing out the best places for our
laundry lines.  Regardless, we love the fresh scent
and feel of line-dried laundry.
Gone are the days of “set it and forget it.” Welcome to the world of hand, or in my case, foot, washed (some cruisers use toilet plungers) and line dried laundry. It’s the nature of budget boating, where time is more plentiful than money, and our energy footprint is smaller, though it did take a little extra creativity when the first load was 36 items and I had only 13 clothespins. Most days a sunny 87 degrees Fahrenheit makes it pretty do-able, watching out for the occasional rain shower, or an extra freshwater rinse, but longer dry cycle.