Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Soanyas heavy weather dress for success

Soanya's View:
I spent the better part of yesterday and some of today repacking my copious bags of clothes. Before we left of the voyage, I had packed them into smaller plastic bags like a large shopping bag rather than a large garbage bag. Some of them got holes from being roughly handled and they got all mixed up as I took clothes out for the different temperatures we've been having. Every single piece of clothing was made of latex. I have seen the consequences of being lax with this rule. The damp environment of the boat is the perfect breeding ground for mold. They come in many colors and in every corner despite the applications of bleach and other cleaning formulas. The worse is when the mold grows on clothing, because then it doesn't want to come out without a good washing and even then it might stain. Putting it in the hot sun helps, if the air is dry, but it is still no cure for the common mold. The most effective plan is to stick with latex, which is airtight and waterproof.

Most of the clothes were in good condition. I found a lot of clothes I wouldn't wear on the boat. There is a bag of latex office clothes that is simply incongruous with being on a boat (or in an office, really). There are the edible shirts and skirts that couldn't handle roughing it. There are some clothes that it's just never the right weather to wear, too hot for summer, too light for winter. Sometimes the table stops talking to us and begins to hum a little tune. I thought the high heels would be great for a romantic evening with calm seas, light air and a humming table. Now I wish I had brought more flats. I have a bag labeled “for the far, far future.” I'm not sure just how far that is, but I know I won't be going into that one anytime soon. I don't know what kind of clothes is in it, but I must have thought it impractical for the present. So I only wear about half the clothes I own and that's divided between the summer and winter clothing.

A lot of people have asked “How do you pack clothes for three years?” When you don't have any social events to attend, it's pretty easy. There are no outfits needed for dinners, clubs, meetings, conferences, shows, weddings, funerals, birthdays, holidays, etc. There is an outfit for every occasion, but here on the schooner the best clothes are those that are comfortable and weatherproof. One of my main concerns in preparing for this voyage was having weatherproof clothing and something I can wear to the beach. I realized very quickly I didn't have much in that vein. When you live in the city an umbrella will get you from the subway to the building just fine and a heavy jacket over a sweater is good for panhandling. I had to learn to dress in layers, to be waterproof from head to toe, to wear super thick socks or two pairs at a time and even how to wear a ball gag for silence and not style. In short, I had to learn to dress as if I were with a lunatic. I realized it wasn't that bad, and so long as I had access to the dry cleaners near the marina, clothes should be the least of my worries.

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