Doing Laundry in the Cathouse

Doing Laundry in the Cathouse

So Greg is no longer is suspicious of the Russians.  One stopped by the other night.  He is Estonian.  Greg views him favorably, as Estonians have successfully escaped from their Soviet overlords.  Apparently, the Russians host regattas twice a year in Greece, which is cool.  Also, our new friend had excellent English.  He said he learned English in Eagan.  Yep, Minnesota.  It’s a small, small world, people.

The Burnetts are anchored out at Red Beach in Santorini at the moment.  This island is a candidate for the mythical Atlantis, as most of the terrain was destroyed when the entire island erupted and sunk into the sea in 3500 BCE.  Currently, we are enjoying watching 12 dinghy-free tourboat catamarans blast “Gangnam Style” for their swimsuited guests and then leave at sunset for a sail.  It’s a cathouse here!  It feels oddly social.  For the first time in a while, we have heard American accents wafting our way from the nearby boats.  We haven’t tried docking at the small marina yet, as apparently it is almost stuffed full with these tourist cats, and you have to fight for a space.  That is annoying, but it is pretty cool that the tourboats here are sailboats!

We have been taking a break from touristing to do our chores and get the kids back into school.  Mel has been making the kids do a lot of comparing and contrasting.  For example, “Compare Mary Shelley’s monster in Frankenstein to H.G. Wells’s The Invisible Man.”  In all fairness, Mel will do a comparison of her own.  So here is her assignment: Compare doing laundry in a house to doing laundry on a boat.

Before Boat Life: DOING LAUNDRY

  1. Sort laundry.
  2. Put in washing machine, put in detergent, start machine.
  3. Go catch up on dictations and paperwork for work, even though it’s your day off.
  4. When finished, hang up line-dry clothes on your indoor drying rack and put others in dryer.
  5. Start dryer.
  6. Go do patient phone calls.
  7. When finished, remove clothes, neatly fold or hang, and put away.
  8. Spend your whole weekend doing laundry because there is no time to do it the rest of the workweek.


  1. Sort laundry.
  2. Put in washer/dryer machine, put in detergent.
  3. Make sure the circuit breaker for the machine is on.
  4. Ask son (water boy) if we have enough water in the tanks to run a load (7 gallons, 10% of one of our two tanks.) If not, run watermaker for 4-7 hours or fill with hose if at a marina.  If one tank is full and the other is empty, make sure the fullest tank is selected by removing saloon cushion and checking the valves.
  5. Are there any swimsuits or towels with mildew? Add some vinegar to the load.
  6. Are there any bulky items, like blankets? If so, find a laundromat.
  7. Will you need hot water? If so and you are not at a marina and have not motored lately, postpone washing until the generator is on and you can run the water heater.  Make sure the port water heater circuit breaker is on. If you have recently run the engines a lot, there is no need to run the heaters.  If at a marina, turn on the water heater and wait at least 15 minutes for it to work before starting the load.
  8. Check the weather. Is it going to rain? If so, set the machine on a cycle that includes drying.  Make sure it is only 2/3 full of clothes.  Hold off on starting the machine until the generator is run.  Open dryer vent.  This may mean going outside in the rain.
  9. If it’s not going to rain, make sure dry time is set to zero and start machine. If water pump makes unhappy noises in the middle of the load, you forgot to check the water and you have now used up your water; switch tanks.
  10. Go off and do whatever you want. Like snorkel, read, nap, fix things, blog, clean, reflect on humanity, talk to your kids, exercise, take pictures, or play stupid Candy Crush.  Because you can.
  11. Take out the clothes after washing. Put up clothesline under the awning, grab the clothespins, and hang to dry.  Hope it doesn’t rain; hope the wind behaves; hope you put on enough clothespins to keep things from blowing away.
  12. Remove clothes, fold, and shove anywhere they fit.
  13. Since this entire process takes about 3 hours, do one load a day or you will be swamped!

Conclusion: So much better now!


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