Laundry 1, Laundry 1 are you there?

I think we have been living in the marina for too long … Medina has a nickname – “Laundry 1”. I only found out our nickname the other day when a fellow live aboard called out “Laundry 1, Laundry 1, are you there?”

Medina on wash day, every day is wash day

Medina on wash day, every day is wash day

Why are we called Laundry 1? Because I always seem to have laundry drying. One of our neighbours, who isn’t a live aboard but is regularly on his boat made the comment that I am always doing the laundry when he sees me. Other live aboards have said “are you doing to washing again?” when they come over for coffee and a chat. It never really sunk in how much laundry I did, until we were called Laundry 1.

I am not sure if I do anymore laundry than anyone else (I am a wash the sheets and towels once a week kind of girl), it is just that our laundry is more obvious (I do keep our ‘smalls’ out of the public eye though).

So why all the laundry? There are a few reasons …

Firstly, having an 18 month baby helps to generate the amount of laundry – particularly now he has decided that he wants to feed himself and loves to play in sand and dirt.

Our little washing machine

Our little washing machine

The secondly, and probably the most valid reason is our washing machine. It’s a small version of the old school twin tub that our mum’s may have had or our grandmothers definitely had prior to the automatic machines. It only holds 20 litres of water on the washing side, which in practical terms means two large towels or one queen size sheet. This is about one quarter of the size of an average size washing machine.

It’s extremely water efficient (great when we are reliant on our tank water, i.e. not in a marina) and the spinner is something of a miracle worker – everything comes out nearly dry. The washing machine sits quite nicely in the cockpit (when we are in the marina) and offers Orbit many opportunities for entertainment, from ‘helping me’ load the machine, turning the dials and emptying the spinner. This does mean I need to check the machine prior to popping a load on, I have found many wonderful things in the machine that he has decided to ‘wash’, everything from pegs to food and winch handles.

The Skipper was so proud the day he presented me with the washing machine. To his credit he did alleviate my requirement to lug our washing to the marina laundry – which was a timing challenge between Orbit’s sleeps and machine availability. Other’s using the marina laundry were extremely generous knowing my predicament and would often pop our laundry in the machine, transfer it to the dryer or even fold it for me – god bless them!

My internal clothes line

My internal clothes line

These days, to stay on top of the laundry, I do at least one load a day – which is why there is always washing ‘on the line’. I would rather do this than a week’s worth of washing – which can take a full day.

I’ve had a few people ask how are we going to do our washing when we are not in a marina. The first challenge is going to be limiting the amount of washing we create. The second challenge is finding the opportunity to wash. It will only be when Medina is flat and we can plug the washing machine into the inverter (basically when we are at anchor), we have enough water and we have the best drying conditions. In the interim, it will be a case of hand washing. Oh the joys!

I know I am going to have to relax my usual laundry routine of washing at least once a day and I am looking forward to it. As much as there is a sense of achievement with having the washing basket empty and everything put away, I would rather be out and about exploring the world than doing the laundry any day!