02 August 2012 | Epidavros
It's Raft Up time again. This month's topic is all about clothing and laundry - a subject dear to most cruisers, if only for the fact that it can take up so much of our time.
If you want to read other cruisers' takes on clothing and laundry the links are at the end of this text.
When I moved on board Norna I pretty much just lifted my clothes and shoes from my two bedroom house and deposited them on the boat. We're very lucky, we have two hanging lockers (one full length), two deep drawers and shelving each to store our clothes.
Initially I was still working at the local college so needed smart clothes for work. I vowed to Andy that once we had been away for a year and I was convinced that I wouldn't need work clothes again, I would dispose of them - I still haven't done that four years on! I have jeans ranging from a tiny size 8 to a normal size 12. I can't part with any of them as I half-heartedly start a diet and lose a stone every now and then in the hope that the smaller half of my wardrobe will fit me again one day.
When it comes to shoes I was a real Ivana Trump with so many pairs it was unreal. I did whittle some down but I still have two pairs of boots, 6 pairs of flip-flops, 1 pair of walking boots, 1 pair of walking shoes, 3 pairs of trainers (I can't run any more so what do I need them for?), 4 pairs of evening sandals/shoes and two pairs of everyday shoes. I can't bring myself to get rid of them, I might need them one day!
When I look in my wardrobes I'm struck by the amount of clothing that doesn't ever get worn - the two cocktail dresses, 8 pairs of jeans, numerous shirts, coats, skirts etc. My normal attire now is t-shirt, shorts and bikini in the summer and jeans and t-shirt in the winter. I really think I need to do something with my clothes!
The most impractical item I brought with us when we left was my wedding dress with wrap, handbag and shoes. It's such a lovely dress that I couldn't leave it behind. The plan was to have it dyed so that I could wear it again but after several enquiries the general response was that modern fabrics don't take dye well. Eventually I took the dress and wrap back to the UK where it is now in my Mum's wardrobe, I can look at it when I go back - still have the handbag and shoes though!
Andy is more minimalist than me. One of his hanging lockers has been converted to store paint and other boaty bits. The other wardrobe contains a few clothes and shoes and anything else that we can squish in there. He lives in shorts and t-shirts (year round if he can get away with it). His lounge suit has been worn once but the DJ hasn't come out of its bag yet.
We did all our laundry by hand when we first left the UK, a miserable day for me. I clearly remember Charlie (Andy's eldest son) asking me where I'd rather be - work in the UK or Nazare in Portugal up to my elbows in soapy water in 40 degrees, washing everyone's bedding, towels and clothes by hand. The answer was a resounding 'work now b....r off'! From that day on I refused to wash bedding and towels by hand and so began the regular hunt for laundries on our way into the Med. That meant that we had a pile of laundry that grew and grew stashed in the bath until we were able to load it all into our granny trolley and trundle it off the laundry for a day out!
This continued until we'd been in Greece for a couple of months. We went to Lefkas with Tony and Gill of Nimbus to meet Paul and Mo of Ti Gitu. Mo had just had a normal, domestic washing machine delivered to the boat and Paul was busy plumbing it in. My jealousy increased when Gill piped up that she too had a washing machine, nothing as fancy as Mo's but still a washing machine. I turned to Andy and said 'how come we have the biggest boat but no washing machine?' The next Monday we were up early, on our bikes scouring Preveza for a washing machine that we could fit onto Norna. Within five hours we were the proud owners of a plastic automatic washing machine. It takes a 3kg load, fills, heats and empties automatically but it doesn't spin - who cares! It fits perfectly into the starboard deck box and can be run off the inverter (using the generator only during the heating phase). It doesn't use any more water than washing the same quantity of laundry by hand and wash day is no longer a chore. I love my washing machine!
1 Dana http://svnorthfork.blogspot.com
2 Steph www.sailblogs.com/member/nornabiron
3 Diane http://maiaaboard.blogspot.com
4 Lynn www.sailcelebration.com
5 Jane http://morejoyeverywhere.blogspot.com
6 Jessica http://mv-felicity.blogspot.com
7 Behan http://sv-totem.blogspot.com
8 Jaye http://lifeafloatarchives.blogspot.com
9 Tammy http://ploddinginparadise.com
10 Stacey http://sv-bellavita.blogspot.com
11 Verena www.pacificsailors.com
12 Toast http://blog.toastfloats.com
13 Dana http://svnorthfork.blogspot.com