The lack of fresh water and detergent made keeping a family's clothes clean challenging. Almira Gibbs, wife of Captain Richard Gibbs of the Nantucket, wrote in her journal: "I should like some clean rainwater very much...It is not easy to wash here [on board] as it is at home..."
Nearly five months into the voyage, Laura's journal entries became more detailed, but she was always encouraged to improve. Her pride in finishing work well was evident. She mentioned studying geography and sums in division. The books she and Prescott enjoyed included Little Prudy by Sophie May and Beauty and the Beast. It is evident that Laura was learning how to look, listen and record her experiences in an organized manner more each day.