Laundry without Machines

We're at our first marina that doesn't have washing machines. Turns out there are no public washing machines in the little town of La Cruz! You wash things at home or send your laundry out. Most cruising sailors in Mexico send their laundry out, and it comes back clean, neatly folded, and provides decent work for local women. I'm allergic to most laundry detergent and the Mexican ones are so heavily perfumed even James had a sneezing fit walking past a laundry place the other day. I'm also a bit of a fiend in my love for textiles and even for caring for them, so six months into cruising was the time to whip out the hand-washing kit I made a couple years ago when we still had a land home. It's FANTASTIC! I was surprised to find that I actually get our textiles cleaner than marina washing machines. I enjoy the work: it's moderate exercise, meditative, and grounding.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

I have very very fond memories from watching my Grandmother using a washboard, boiling water, and heavy sticks to twist the hot water out. Then over the lines they’d go. A magical whisper of wind would always develop so the sheets could billow and I would pretend to be sailing… full circle. Spectacular journies.


Ohhh, how lovely! I thought about making that cover image a video instead; watching the things you love flapping the breeze is so sweet! But it seemed nicer for the top, and you can’t have video there. I haven’t boiled the laundry yet! I hope to be okay with room temp… we shall see. Thanks for this lovely gift, Auntie!