Cleanliness is a State of Mind

October 30, 2019

Katherine H. Webber, B Watch, Best Watch!, The University of Virginia

Ship's Log

Current Position
26°10.763’S X 171°56.799’E

Ship’s Heading & Speed
230° at 4.7 kn

Sunny skies with fluffy cumulus clouds. Windy with raging seas!

Souls on Board

Hi there! While the fore deck has become a waterpark ride, I am here to talk to you about something very important but not at all glamorous: being clean! Having left Suva on the 24th, we have been at sea for almost a week and will be at sea for about one more. I don’t know about my shipmates, but I ran out of clean laundry yesterday, which meant the adventure of hand washing your laundry on the deck!

To do laundry, you grab two buckets, and start by giving them a really good scrub with a deck brush and some dish soap because these buckets also get used for slops (yuck!). After that, fill them both
with fresh water, grab your detergent (there’s extra on the ship if you forgot to pack some!) and get scrubbing away with that washboard! You can hang your laundry on lines on the starboard side, but make sure it’s secured tight so it doesn’t get blown away! While trying to fit laundry into your schedule is difficult, it’s important to get it done early because you have to take it in at laundry twilight!

But what does clean laundry matter if you aren’t clean yourself! We are allowed to shower every other day and, while I actually haven’t felt that dirty and gross on this trip, I know that I need to stick to the schedule (and my shipmates do too!) to stay healthy and to minimize any unpleasant odors. Showering, however, can be difficult when Our Lady Robert is cruising at eight knots through six foot waves. Combine that with slippery shower soles, I’m surprised I haven’t fallen on my face or fallen out of the shower so far on this trip (knock on wood!)!

On this topic of cleanliness, we had our second to last field day today. It’s important for us to get into all the nitty-gritty spaces. As our steward Sabrina says, a clean ship is a healthy ship, and being on a tall ship at sea is one of the last places I would want to be unwell.

In the meantime, while cleanliness may be a state of mind on days on shore when you think, ‘this tee-shirt I’ve been worn five times this week doesn’t smell that bad. I can totally wear it again,” cleanliness is not a state of mind on a tall ship, for your sake and the sake of your shipmates’ noses. Stay clean folks!

- Katherine H. Webber, B Watch, Best Watch!, The University of Virginia

P.S. Happy Birthday Nana! <3 Jennie

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