The Duvet

And so it is. Two days of juggling scuba diving and school rolled into one enormous working Friday. With extra challenges thrown in. You know, just for fun.

For example, I lost a duvet. Lu’s duvet to be specific. For as long as we’ve been on Quest, I’ve hung duvets off Quest’s boom to air them. I’d been watching this duvet all morning from the cockpit, getting some nice breeze. Very satisfying.

Which made it distressing when a few minutes later, Lu looked up from her chemistry book. ‘What’s that floating in the water?’

Oh shit. I didn’t tie the duvet to the boom. Though Jack later disagreed with me, I still think the breeze had picked up. I don’t know why I stuck to this – it didn’t help my defence at all. Goodness knows as we are a boat, we have enough line.

Jack went off to retrieve it in the dinghy. I was busy making panicky sounds. He tried to haul it in the dinghy and shook his head at me. ‘It’s soo heavy.’

I stopped panicking and shot him a look. No way we can’t not retrieve it. With this, he hauled it into the dinghy, corpse-like.

He came back, saying, ‘We’ll never be able to hang it. It’s too heavy.’

I brought it onto the swim ladder and let it drip out for a bit. Then I draped it over the hydrovane. Most expensive duvet hanger we’ve ever had. And dinghy handhold. Eventually it dripped so much I could manoeuvre it.

Hmmm, I thought. How am I going to wash this beast out? No question. A washing machine would be needed to remove all the salt. It would take more water than we could make with our little water-maker and still shower.

Drama over, we went back to work. Delph was writing about Kensuke in Kensuke’s Kingdom for English. Lu was trying to figure mass calculations for Chemistry. Her teacher, who seems pretty wonderful, had warned the class not to be disheartened if they couldn’t understand it. ‘Please believe me,’ he maintained, ‘Chemistry is much more than just doing these calculations.’

Thank goodness, because I’d been trying to help Lu for two hours and we still weren’t getting very far. I really was a mediocre scientist. Now a mediocre ex-scientist with a salty, sodden duvet. I can’t even pin down boat wife.

Jack came back upstairs. Lu and I had just given up. Delph still had Maths to do. Lu had her Sonnet 116 essay to plan. Jack was nailing Apple for their Skype service. I don’t know the exact details, but Apple Customer Service had refunded him for something.

Jack looked out into Admiralty Bay. ‘I see the laundry boat. Shall we do it?’

A tenner I thought, to wash the duvet? Oh yeah, yellow laundry boat – here we come. We were always supposed to meet.

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