Sunday, April 22, 2012

Green Water

Monday April 16, 2012

The translucent green tidal waters have washed out the chocolate browns of the last month. I can barely remember the green waters here, there has been so much run off, sediment and debris to thicken and color the water. 

latest painting by Carrie

It is sunny again this morning, yesterday I washed three small loads in the 'Miracle Wash' rotary washing machine. One queen sized sheet is a full load in this little washer. Dawn (S/V Kudana) gave us this washer. Dawn and Bob are unloading things. They have put Kudana (a small catamaran) up for sale. Bob is 80 years old and they are done cruising.

We brought the wringer to the Laundromat and it disappeared in a day. It was getting quite rusty along the handle, around the screws and on the top. We had stopped using it about a month ago when the continuous rain and gales swept through North Island. We also didn't have good memories of using it and I was reluctant to try again. It  was screwed across an eight gallon plastic tub. Because it's attachment points were designed for a metal sink - they were too wide and we had to use wooden blocks wrapped in rubber to provide a thicker tub wall so that the wringer had something to grasp tightly. And emptying the water took all three of us. It was very heavy and there was no low drain. 

I regret not taking a picture of the three of us using it. But that is all I regret. It used too much water, yes you could do large loads, but then your entire day was committed. And of-course you did the laundry on deck with out wind, sun or rain protection. In New Zealand it is always windy so the sunny days that seem good for drying clothes are generally so windy that it is exhausting to be on deck for any length of time. 

The Miracle Wash fits on a bench in the cockpit. You load it with a large sheet for example and add warm water and a tsp of detergent, screw on the lid and begin rotating it. It is shaped like an oval sphere on a stand with a handle on one side. The handle is too small so we don't use it. It would be fine for 3 shirts, tiny loads, but we never have tiny loads. Instead of using the handle, we rotate the sphere by hand. It turns easily, the kids love turning it. To get clothes clean requires 50 rotations. We all take turns and it is done before you know it. Generally I turn it a bit more just to be sure. In the tropics, we may wash tiny loads daily where sun is predictable and rain water is readily available. 

Another reason the wringer was impractical - it required too much water per load. I used 15 gallons (three gerry cans) to wash two large loads. That's a lot of hauling for Owen. And I could only do laundry when the extra water was already on board. Because if you don't start in the morning - it won't be dry by dinner. With the Miracle Wash I only use about 6 gallons for 3 small loads and I can do it entirely by myself in the cockpit with breaks when I need them. Now I do have to wring the cloths myself, but these are small loads and it is easy on my hands. The wringer did wring out much of the water, but because I did such large loads the water left in them would settle and the bottom of the bucket of clothes would all have to be wrung again before they were hung. The wringer became more trouble than it was worth especially during the rainy month of March. 

"I want some tea, Mom", Griffyn said as he crawled into the V-berth interrupting my writing. I told him I was writing and read a couple sentences to him. "I want to write," he said.
"O.K.," I said. "What do you want to write?" And Griffyn then typed, 'Yesterday was a good day, I liked helping you with the laundry and I loved my two cups of tea that Tamsyn made me.'
"Would you like 'Toad in the Hole' for breakfast Griffyn?" I asked.
"No Mom, I want French Toast."  So off we went to make breakfast.

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