How long does it take to do two loads of laundry? It takes however long it needs to.
Our dear friend, Rhoda, heard a bit about the following two tales, laughed, and said that perhaps the Universe believes that I need to learn to go with the flow.
Rhoda is a gentle teacher. Anyone who knows me well, most assuredly including Rhoda, knows that I need to learn to go with the flow. The week before Christmas provided the opportunity for me to practice.
The first lesson involved getting diesel and pumping out in Fort Lauderdale. If you’re eating. save this post for another time. I hate hearing the words “pumping out” when I am eating. EW seems to like to bring up the subject during breakfast when I don’t want to hear the term much less discuss the timing and particulars. You have been warned.
We slept in and got a late start the day we planned to leave Fort Lauderdale for Key Biscayne. The boat was not ready on deck or below and we needed to get diesel and water and pump out the holding tank. The Bahia Mar hotel and marina were just outside the anchorage at Lake Sylvia so after an hour and half of boat work, we decided to tie on to their dock to accomplish all missions. We like to purchase diesel where we pump out and get water because we think it’s just plain rude to get the free stuff without being patrons of an establishment.
Unfortunately, after we had tied up and started the flow of diesel we found out that, yes we could get fuel and potable water but we could not pump out as that is only available to “guests” (those who keep their boats on the docks). I think that’s wrong but it is their business decision and one which is quite prevalent at the more posh marinas. We should have called area marinas before lifting the anchor to find out their policy.
So EW filled the tanks with appropriate liquid and I called the main office of the Fort Lauderdale municipal marinas. None of them provide fuel at the docks, but all have pump outs. We were put in touch with the Los Olas Marina and the person on duty told me that slip B-T was open and we were welcome to head over to pump out.
B-T is a fixed (not floating with the tide) concrete dock for yachts. Big ones. The tide (only 2 feet or so) was on it’s way out so as the afternoon progressed we had to step (climb) up 3-4 feet to get onto the dock. We tied on and called the office. No one was in. Evidently only one person was on duty and he was frequently on the other docks helping folks (paying customers) land and sign in. Pump out is a do it yourself kind of process in most marinas. In the south they offer it at the slips by having stations along the dock where you attach the marina’s pump out hose.
First item: Where was the hose? It took us about fifteen minutes to find it in a dock box near shore.
At this point I did talk very briefly with the staff person and he mentioned that some of the on/off switches weren’t working and we would have to “try a few to get it to go”. Not being familiar with their set-up I didn’t quite get what few we’d have to try but I gamely expressed a cheery thanks and went back to the boat.
Second item: There was no nozzle on the hose. You want the appropriate nozzle for pumping out. Trust me. When extracting s… – stuff from your boat you want a very tight nozzle. There was no nozzle in the dock box and the staff person had disappeared again.
We paused and ate lunch. I know – that is totally against my pump out protocol regarding food. Lunch and pump out should not occur that close together in time. As Rhoda and the Universe have decreed I need to learn to go with the flow. So we washed up, I put our goal out of my mind and enjoyed lunch.
Refueled, we again went in search of the staff person and/or nozzles. EW found a bucket of nozzles of various sizes, then he found the staff person and told him we had the bucket. No problem. So we were off and running. Well .. we were off. EW found the correct nozzle and attached it securely to our deck fitting. I attached the other end of the hose to the fitting on the dock, and EW told me to start her up.
Third item: Where was the start button? It wasn’t anywhere near the fitting. After about 10 minutes I finally found a post with two holes where buttons used to be and a red and green button next to them. Well, I though they were buttons, until I pushed the green “button” repeatedly with force and broke the green cover to the “on” indicator light. So I checked for witnesses and seeing none I moseyed to the next post. And to the next, and so on up the dock until I found a post with a working “on” button. We were truly in business getting rid of business.
We completed our tasks, cleaned the hose and nozzle and returned all gear to its appropriate location. We did not mention the broken light. This half hour process had taken about two and a half hours. We had known even before reaching the marina that we were going to be too late to leave Fort Lauderdale, so we had relaxed on that account as we knew we were simply going back to Lake Sylvia for the night. On the way to the anchorage we ran aground. No big deal. We got to look at some nice homes up close and personal for about 45 minutes.
I hope the Universe is happy.
Oh – and why did it take six hours to wash and dry two loads of laundry a few days later at No Name Harbor?
Because I …
1. Had to walk 1.5 miles to get five dollars worth of quarters.
2. Most of them were the newer state quarters and the machines didn’t like them enough to run but liked them too much to give them back.
3. I walked a mile to get to the ranger’s office for help and was told that the ranger in charge of the laundry had just gone to lunch. The ranger offered to call him, but “No problem” I said, “it’s Christmas Even let him enjoy his lunch. Please ask him to go the laundry room when he returns.”
4. He must have had a nice lunch. An hour and a half later he showed up, very apologetic on two counts. Seems they don’t even handle the laundry machines. Those are the responsibility of the restaurant. No problem. The restaurant is right next to where La Luna is anchored. I walked over there and got my money back in quarters with eagles on them. I had found that if I unplugged the stuck machine it would eat the eagle-less quarters but let me start over. I washed and dried my clothes.
Two lessons in going with the flow in a week. As I write this, we are on the way to the Bahamas and Caribbean where folks move in “Island Time, Mon”. In a few months I’ll either be a basket case or totally going with the flow. I’m going to work on flowing.