Life on a boat...

12:10 PM

So what's it like to live for a month or more on a boat??
  • Cooking - imagine you are standing on a bucking bronco. Now try to cook your family  a meal. Keep in mind, there is no microwave, you may have to stand on your head to reach something in the bottom of the fridge, and your water supply is limited. Bon apetit! 
  • Showers and Bathroom - The good news is there is a shower, and hot water! The bad news is there is limited water, so a shower is: squirt, squirt, soap - squirt, squirt, rinse. Nothing goes in the toilet that you haven't eaten. So tp has to be bagged. Isn't this lovely!  And you flush with a manual pump.
  • What do you do all day? Same as you would at home. I knit, read, cook, relax, listen to good music, play games, enjoy the scenery, watch movies, along with lots of boat maintenance and cleaning. After we anchor we love to explore on the kayak or paddle board. We don't go to shore all that often. On our last week-long trip, we went to the beach for a few hours one day, and then went to a town to have lunch one day. We can easily stay on the boat a week to 10 days without going to shore. We prefer to anchor rather than dock at a marina.  A little akin to the difference between camping and staying at a hotel. We certainly like a hotel on occasion, but camping is our happy place. And here is an interesting fact...I really really don't like sand, salt water, or too much sun!  Amazingly on a sailboat you don't have to go to the beach or get in the water, and we have plenty of shade, thank goodness!
  • Provisioning - No cars on a boat, so you have to find a grocery store within walking distance of a dock, and then you can only buy what you can carry!  Once in Fort Lauderdale we took our dinghy through a little canal to a Publix that had a dinghy dock.  I had to crawl over 4 or 5 dinghies, climb up the dock that didn't have a ladder, and make several trips back and forth to the store based on what I could carry.  It wasn't hard, it was an experience. As with much of sailing, it just takes time.  And that is one of the best parts about sailing, you have all the time in the world to slow down and enjoy life at an easier pace. Uber is also an option if you can't walk to the store. Before a trip I plan out meals for more days than we expect to be gone or in a location where we can't provision.  And then of course there are backups just in case, tuna fish  or canned chili anyone??
  • Off-Grid - I love that we make our own power. We have two solar panels that provide everything we need, but not everything we want.  So no hairdryer on board, and no AC, microwave, or electric coffee maker. But we have lights, phone chargers, a fridge, and fans. We have a stovetop percolator for coffee. We have a 90 gallon water tank, and so depending on how long we will be away, we have to limit our water use.  I was very disappointed that we were not able to live more "green" when aboard. I quickly discovered that using paper plates and storing trash was a much better option to washing dishes and using our precious water supply.
  • Perfect but not perfect - It isn't always rainbows and dolphins.  Yes there are a million awesome things about sailing. But there is a lot of hard work to maintaining a boat, and a lot of stress with weather, making passages, anchoring, docking, etc. Many before me have said with sailing/cruising, there are very high highs and very low lows. I wouldn't disagree. And again, I count all of our sailing experiences as a blessing, I just don't want to paint a picture that is is all perfect.
 Cotton just hanging out!  Emily loves to draw on the boat.
Emily blows the conch horn at sunset - a fun tradition that she sometimes does at home on land. I'm sure our land lubber neighbors love it :)

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2 comments

  1. Sounds wonderful. We are camping right now at Fort Desoto on the shore below St Pete Beach. No sewer but we are blessed w all amenities.
    Loving your adventure.

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    1. We sailed by Top Sail when you were there I believe!! It was night and we were 6 miles or so off shore! We love Grayton Beach State Park if you get a chance to camp there you should! Where will you head next? - Dianne

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