Postcard From Holly
Holly Martin, 29, is sailing around the world in her 27-foot-long Grinde sailboat, which she christened the SV Gecko. She left Maine in the fall of 2019, from Round Pond Harbor on the Pemaquid Peninsula. Holly sent this “postcard” by satellite from the South Pacific, to the readers of Maine Women Magazine.
Doing laundry aboard is always an adventure. Where I’m located right now in the Tuamotus, getting fresh water is a challenge all on its own. I collect it when it rains. Sometimes towns have a communal water tap that they allow sailors to fill up from. They usually allow for 5 to 15 gallons a day. Filling up on shore means carrying 5-gallon jugs of water from the tap to the dinghy, and then up onto my boat.
Once I have the water, I fill two 5-gallon buckets. One of the buckets gets soap and the dirty clothes. I agitate the clothes for about 20 minutes, wring them out, then rinse them in the second bucket. I wring
them again, then hang them on the lifelines.
However, some days start sunny and end with squalls. If it starts raining, I have to turn my entire cabin into a giant clothes rack. I string one of my jib sheets back and forth across the cabin and load it down with clothes. Even though it makes life cramped, my whole boat smells like clean, delicious laundry. Luckily, I don’t have to wash my clothes more than once every two or three weeks. I mostly live in a swimsuit, and the clothes I do have are light and summery. But I will say that I’ll never take a washer and dryer for granted again!