03 January 2021 | Hotel California, Airport anchorage Tahiti
Russ Whitford | Nice
And you think laundry is a pain in the ….
Today we spent seven hours “doing” five small loads of laundry and it cost us more than $250!
There is more to the story.
Last week we were in Moorea and took our laundry to a “laverie” that we had used before. They always did a great job. Bet you didn't think about the laundry problems living on a boat. Well, it is either stomping your duds clean in a five gallon bucket or paying a bunch of money to have someone else do it. Especially in French Polynesia, it can be expensive.
We dropped off five small grocery bags of laundry along with two bags from our friends, Kjell and Kaia on 2K.This was five days ago. The lady at the laverie said it wouldn't be done until Saturday. She had a lot of hotel business and we would have to wait. Sailors have learned patience, our boats are slow. So we said, “Pas de problem, see you Saturday.”
We sailed from Cooks Bay to Haapiti Bay to be more protected from strong easterly winds. Haapiti Bay was a nice spot. But after a few days there we decided to sail to Vaiare Bay in Moorea where the ferry boats dock. From there we could get a bus to the laverie and pick up our laundry. On the way out of Haapiti, we had fantastic wind for a perfect beat...but winds favored the sail to Tahiti instead of Vaiare. We radioed 2K and they agreed, “Let's just enjoy this sail to Tahiti, we can take the ferry back to Moorea to pick up our laundry.
Today is Saturday, laundry pick-up day. Lisa and I dinghied the four miles to Papeete from our Hotel California anchorage at 10:30. We bought tickets for the noon ferry, $23 for the two of us. The ferry ride was a short 20 minutes. We then rented a car to get to Maharipa. That cost us $90!!! Cab fare is about $40 each way so even this exorbitant amount made sense. With the freedom of a rental car, we drove to our favorite pizza restaurant. Outside tables were full. Good thing, we sat inside just before a huge squall hit and drove everyone inside. Pizza was great and filling as usual.
With time to kill before the next ferry, we drove the long way around the 37 mile perimeter of Moorea to Maharepa. Indeed, our laundry was done. Each of our small bags of laundry cost $15 for a total of $60. I think a standard, US washing machine could have done all our laundry in two loads. Oh well, it was clean and nicely folded.
We drove back to the ferry dock, put $5 of gas in the car and bought tickets back to Papeete for another $35. After another short ride, we were back in Papeete. We toted our laundry and 2Ks the ½ mile back to where we had locked our dinghy, loaded everything and dinghied back to Hotel California where we delivered 2K's bags.
Back on Uproar, it was 5:30, cocktail time. Simple math, Ferry rides $60, rental car and gas $95, laundry $60. But wait, lunch was $35, ice cream along the way $9, and Lisa bought outfits for the two grandchildren for $75. I'm pretty sure my clothes were not worth what we paid to get them clean! Lisa's, perhaps and we did have two sets of sheets and pillow cases which are expensive.
I'm not complaining. We had a fun day and adventure. We met a nice family on vacation from Alaska and told them our favorite highlights on Moorea. Weather cooperated for our dinghy rides. If rough, those four miles can be a saltwater-soaked ride! Lisa did bring contractor bags so at least our laundry arrived in perfect condition.
Next time, I'll just get out the five gallon bucket and my (hopefully) clean feet!