A ship full of outdoor-loving individuals with keen eyes for patterns in nature resulted early realization (0710) that today feels a little Fibonacci! Another pattern revealed itself today: a decrescendo in the hourly recorded Beaufort Force winds. The gale has lifted! Today we got to see the sun after 3 days of our shared energy factor hiding behind curtains of clouds.
We are on latitude with central Florida and experienced our first zephyr of the south. The Caribbean feels closer than ever! Which, it is. We’re about 600nm from St. Croix, sailing under the mains’l, the fore and main staysl’s, just set the fisherman’s stays’l, and still no Ds’l (diesel. I learned this joke yesterday). Grace, David, Nate, Katherine, Shel and Dalton were singing Dancing Queen by Abba while perched atop the lab preparing the fish. Standing on deck just a few feet below, the chorus fueled my manual laundry machine (thanks Mom for the biodegradable laundry detergent!).
The first load of shipboard laundry is a new chapter in clothed living. Sure, your clothes may get wet from the ocean and dirty from everything else, but it’s your first wash where you level up on the scale of salty. I mean this both literally and figuratively. To conserve water, we wash our sweat- and wave-streaked clothes in a 5-gallon bucket with a saltwater hose.
Then, one final rinse with freshwater before stringing the clothing to air dry. However, your clothes will always cling to some ppt, or percentage, of seawater that a single rinse just can’t relieve (ppt being parts per thousand, a unit of measure for salinity). All this is to say, after the first ocean laundry day, you are one fathom closer to becoming one with the sea. From this day forth, until I rejoin the technological advances of laundry machines on land, there will ever be a small crunch in the folds of my clothing. One step closer to which we all came. Who thought laundry could be so poetic? On a tallship, romance is sewed into every salty seam and fold.