When doing laundry on a boat there are basically three options. 1) Find a laundromat 2) Do it yourself 3) Find a laundry service
Finding a laundromat.
The first difficulty here is that in some countries laundromat simply are not an option. If they do exist the next issue is getting there. Is it close enough to a dinghy dock to walk to it, or is another mode of transportation needed? What are the hours? How many (working) machines do they have? How busy are they? Is it safe enough to leave our laundry or do we need to stay and stand guard during the entire process?
Do it yourself
Doing laundry on a boat usually entails a 5 gallon bucket, a plunger of some type, lots of water (a precious commodity), and some elbow grease. The amount of water needed and the size of the washing container makes this a difficult option for sheets and towels.
Finding a laundry service
Often this is the option that we choose. However, even this option has difficulties. Let me tell you about our latest adventures in laundry.
We knew that it was time to do laundry when we got to the island of Carriacou in Grenada, so we began asking people what our options were. There are no laundromats but we were given the card of a woman who does laundry with her phone number. We do not have a local phone, so while we were at dinner the people at the restaurant offered to call her for us and set up a time for us to meet her. The time and date were set, tomorrow morning between 7 and 7:30 she would meet us at the town dock.
We were up and had the laundry loaded into the dinghy by 7 and headed to the dock. The dock was a small, jagged concrete dock, not as bad as some dock we have been on, but decidedly unfriendly to dinghies. We tied up the dinghy as carefully as we could, unloaded the bags of laundry (2 large bags) carried them down the dock, up a small hill and across the street to a small restaurant (not the restaurant from the night before) where we could wait. The restaurant was not open yet, but they allowed us to sit on their veranda while they swept, mopped and prepared the restaurant all around us.
The restaurant owners knew the laundry lady and said that she had not been by yet, but she would probably be coming on the bus with her children as they headed off to school. Several buses came and went. (By buses I mean vans which serve as buses and honk at everyone on the street in search on passengers). Finally at 8:15 The restaurant owners called the laundry lady and asked if she was coming. She said- yes, she would be there soon.
Soon turned into 9:30
She arrived on foot having walked from her house.
We have two very large bags of laundry.
This is not going to work.
We agreed to get in our dinghy and transport the laundry to another dock closer to her house. (I am not sure why she didn't suggest this dock in the first place). We said that we would meet her there in half an hour to give her time to get there. We load the laundry back into the dinghy and head to the second dock, fortunately a much more dinghy friendly dock.
Her house is just up the hill from the dock. Not on the road, but literally up the slope.
Up the slope, and then along the clifftop to her house.
She tells us the laundry will be ready by 5.
It cost us $100 Eastern Caribbean Dollars (About $37 US). Not too bad for a months worth of clothes.
Back down the hill
Into the dinghy, out of the dinghy,
A laundry service, the laundry done for us, and it still takes an entire to accomplish it.
Ahh, the simple life.