“Clear ship” – Clean the ship, quickly!

Date: 10.11.2020
Position: 44°40.5’ N, 007°40.049’ W
Author: Mats Mesch

The term “clear ship” doesn’t really need to be explained. But for all those who don’t understand, it means “clean up the ship, quickly and thoroughly”.

Generally one can say that this command is the last request you want to receive. But once you have realized, that there is no way out, you have to find a way to make the best of it. For this reason, our solution and motto is to make this job as funny as possible.

After we had fetched some rubber gloves, buckets and rags, we started our highly motivated cleaning job. But it took us only a couple of minutes before the situation escalated. All our sincere efforts to do a good job were not crowned with success.

Our initial attempts to finish the cleaning task in a minimum of time and as good as possible went overboard just like all the water that we tried to pour upon our fellow sufferers. A true water battle took its course.

But at some point, the mind gained the upper hand. It became clear that we had not really achieved much until then and that we were expected to finish the job properly.

We really tried to clean the Thor at the highest level possible. But whenever a hallway or stairwell was flawlessly clean and neatly wiped, someone else walked or ran there – of course with wet or dirty shoes. Cleaning a ship is a sisyphean work, a bottomless pit.

But nevertheless, we finally made it.

We would never have thought, that there are so many nooks and cracks in which crumbs and dirt can disappear. But even less we had expected, that it is so time consuming and troublesome to clean for such a “big family” as we are on board. But even the smartest wool mouse had no chance against our cleaning team. The funniest and best cleaning team ever! Maybe not the fastest….

On board of the Thor Heyerdahl we have four cleaning-stations with a rotation system… The deck, the messroom, the cargohold and finally the sanitary station. All our four watches have one station they have to clear every day. The messroom station described above is my favorite (we are responsible for the companionway, the corridor and of course the messroom) although it is a lot of work.

We really need to thank our parents who have cleaned our rooms and houses for so many years with uncomplaining patience. Here, we learn how to clean up our own mess and keep our “home” clean… Our mums would be proud and would have liked such a great commitment in our rooms at home! Now we firstly realize how much work it is to clean up a whole house. Maybe we come back home with a little bit more cleaning commitment…