Cleaning the ship – from the perspective of the shower – by Melanie

schueler.melanieHello, I am the shower port and I will tell you about our daily action: Cleaning the ship.

In the morning at 7.30 a.m. I hear the bell ringing for breakfast and Ruth tells the program of the day. It always starts with cleaning the ship. Therefore I know that my sleeping time is over after breakfast, because at 8.30 a.m. all KUSis join their watch and get their tasks assigned. This week watch one has to clean the messroom and the companionway, watch two the sanitary, watch three the deck and watch four the cargo-hold.
At first a few people come in my direction with a green and a red bucket but they do not enter me. Hence I wonder if they want to fill in the water in the galley. This is the reason why Fidi a few seconds later shouts: “Do not enter the galley with a red or green bucket!”. That is right, I think, because on the Thor Heyerdahl we have a ‚colour system‘ for cleaning the ship. That’s the reason why only yellow buckets and cleaning cloths are allowed to come in the galley. The green ones are reserved for cleaning the walls, the red ones for the toilettes and the black ones for the floor. And all buckets that are not yellow have to be filled by me. That’s why the letter group has to leave the galley, opens my door and gets the fresh water from me. During this they talk about how to clean the companionways and to make sure that no person steps on the floor when it is still wet.

If I look out of my window I can see a person who polishes a ‚messing bell‘ at the top of the ship. In front of my opened door you find the galley which the person on kitchens duty have to clean at the end of the day. Therefore they do not take part in the real ‚cleaning the ship‘. Now they dance to loud music while they are peeling potatoes.
The good part of cleaning is to get a shower myself, that means the sanitary is also cleaned every day. So when nobody cries anymore: “Could I have fresh water, please?” the sanitary group can begin. At first the green bucket comes through my door and the person begins to clean the walls and the surfaces. Suddenly somebody is crying out: “Oh no, I only wanted to clean the showerhead and now I showered myself!” from a person who is now as wet as myself. Since this is not a big problem, the next step can begin. Armed with a spick and span they come to me and clean the floor squeaky clean.
After that it is the ‚bells‘ turn, which are the containers in the drain. One person lifts the draincap and notices that the bells haven’t been clean for a while: a bad smell fills the shower room. Luckily the person also does not like the smell. Hence he works very fast and performs his task. Finally they clean the mirror and I can see myself: a squeaky clean, wonderful shower.

Next to me lives another shower and the toilets who are also being cleaned at the moment. After the bathrooms are cleaned and the sanitary group is nearly finished, a new queue lines up in front of my friend the port toilet astern where they want to dispose all their dirty water. But it is closed because the floor also wants to dry. That’s the reason why everyone can talk about the new gossip in front of the deckhouse.
When the floor is finished, the buckets are empty, and the KUSis‘ hands are also clean, the last step is to talk about the cleaning day. The head of our watch is satisfied with the team and as a consequence they have a little bit of free time and are very happy to have the honourable job to clean the same section tomorrow again.