Living on a boat is not the norm and we knew going into it that we would be tested. We knew our love was strong enough to set out on this adventure, so hand in hand we jumped right in.We thought we were ready for the challenges, the ways in which we'd need to compromise, bend and redirect ourselves when little things (or not so little things) popped up. It's been a wild ride of extreme highs and extreme lows and we have in fact been tested. While I think there are times when we both question whether or not we'll make it as liveaboards, I think overall we're happy in knowing that even if we eventually fail and don't make this our way of life forever, we tried, and we're making the best of it while we are here.
About a year ago, the day before a major hurricane, we picked up our new house-a 36' Catalina sailboat-christened her and sailed for four hours to our current home. It was literally the calm before the storm and was a beautifully crisp, fall day. It was my first time sailing outside of the harbor and the excitment was building...
I remember sitting down and thinking, "What the hell did we do?" The boat reeked from being closed up for so long, and also from the fact that prior owners sold it to us with an overflowing holding tank. That means that old urine and feces were sitting in a closed up boat for a really, really long time. And it stunk. It was also really dirty. There was junk crammed into every little nook you can imagine. The lockers were all full, the drawers overflowing-it was literally a Mess. Before we could even load any of our own belongings into our new home, we had to pull their old crap OUT. This was the first pull-6 FULL garbage bags. We did that about 3 more times before we could clean.
And then there was this strange fact that we lived on a boat. None of our overnight sleepovers on our smaller boat could have ever prepared us for the simple fact that we could not go back home to our very large, very rented apartment. We were home, and our home was unlike anything we've ever experienced before. For instance, like many apartments I've moved into, there were no window coverings on the windows. But, unlike those apartments were the shape and size of the windows (large rectangles), the material of the walls (fiberglass) and the cost associated with buying window covers (too expensive!). Not to mention that you can't just walk into Home Depot to buy a shade to cover your portholes or use push pins and a bed sheet to hide yourself at night. Nope. We had to use black garbage bags and duct tape. Yes, we technically live on a yacht, but we certainly were NOT classy.
We were pretty financially strapped after buying the boat, too, so anything pretty had to wait a while until we could get back on our feet again. Especially when crazy things like our toilet stopped working right (the joker valve was worn out) or the fuel tank cracked and leaked into the bilge. It just seemed like one thing after another. And it was getting cold, and we did not know how to shrink wrap our own boat yet. So we had to wait for new friends to help teach us. (And to be honest, when I say us in this matter, I mean my wonderfully talented, patient and amazing husband.)
But it got done, and soon we were snug in a rug. Or wrapped in a boat.
And we started making friends, and getting to know our new community. And we got used to hopping off of the boat onto the thin finger dock when they were slick with last night's snow and ice.
We went to pool parties every Friday night in the marina's heated, outdoor pool and laughed with new friends, and took comfort in knowing that whatever problems we were having with our boat, they had at some point or another too. And that not only meant that we weren't alone, but that our new friends knew exactly how to help. And they did.
Slowly we took on projects to make our place feel more like home. I painted the counters a vibrant turquoise blue:
Brian and my father-in-law installed my shiny new oven so that I could saute, bake and broil my little heart out.
And then I made curtains!
Add in a few plants, rope lights and a few throw pillows, and the place really started feeling homey.
We were settling in well, and though there were still days when we were baffled by our way of life ("We ran out of water AGAIN!?", "I am already late and I have to pull 4 bins out to get my sweater?!?", "Would you rather pee in a jug or tuperware?") we were getting the hang of it.
Before we knew it, 2013 was here...
...and the weather got warmer, and we finally officially renamed our boat-pirate ceremony and all!
We went into this whole adventure saying right away that we weren't going to be the people who live on their boat but who don't actually sail their boat. It's more common than you think and we just did not want to be those people. So we made a point of drifting away as often as we could this summer-and managed to get away almost every weekend we were free. To counter the "what the hell did we do?" feeling from earlier in the year, there were many times when we both just loved our life. LOVED it. And how could you blame us with the summer we had:
|The best city, and it's ours...|
|If love were water, I'd give you the sea...|