Cleaning the ship

As you know, there are 50 people on board and maybe you can imagine that they produce a lot of chaos and dirt on a daily basis. That is why we have to clean our beautiful ship every day. But what does this actually mean? If we did not clean on a regular basis, it would become really really disgusting on board. So, every watch gets to clean a certain area of the ship. There are the messroom, the cargo hold, the deck and, of course, the bathrooms. There is the galley too, but it gets cleaned by students on galley duty every day after dinner. Now that I think about it, I guess you can say that we clean pretty much every part of the ship every day. This week, me and my watch have to clean the bathrooms. That can get a bit nasty because of some unpleasant smells. However, I really like the feeling of being finished with the cleaning because then I get to enjoy the rest of my day. After one week, we rotate and are responsible for cleaning a different part of the ship. I think the messroom and deck are the best areas to clean, because if you have to clean the cargo hold it feels like there is no progress. It seems like there is always something dirty. Moreover, the movement of the ship is usually more intense in the front of the ship and that makes cleaning even harder.

Furthermore, every Saturday there is a bigger version of our cleaning routine. Then you can hear loud music from every corner of the Thor Heyerdahl and to this sound we clean EVERYTHING on board. On this day, you will always find a long queue of KUSis in the corner where we store all the cleaning products because all of us need them at the same time. You need to pay attention to the different colours of the products, since they are used for different areas or appliances, for example, blue cloths for surfaces, yellow for the galley, white rags for floors and red strictly for toilets. When you return the cloths and rags you have to make sure that they are clean and dry. The person in charge of the cleaning materials is always very strict if they are still wet. At the same time, we all have to clean our cabins too, so that they look like in a painting, or even better, like a hotel room. Finally, once all the cleaning is done, our captain Detlef and the ship’s council check all rooms and if they are not tidy enough we have to clean again. I always try to avoid this, because it is a nice feeling to be finally done and ready for ‘Besanschot-An’, a nice sailing tradition that follows the cleaning every Saturday. It refers to the lowering of the mizzen sail, which is usually the last sail to take in and which again means that work is done for the day and the beginning of the weekend can be celebrated. The main idea is to cheer on our trip, but we also include the auction of the lost and found items in the ceremony and there is usually some live music or a little performance by the theatre group.

So all in all, cleaning the ship can be quite exhausting and difficult, but at the end of the day everyone is very happy to be living on a clean, tidy and well organized ship and we get to enjoy our weekend (at least before it all gets dirty again).