A couple weeks ago I received an email through the contact page on the blog. It was from a lovely couple on Camp Lejeune who had been following along with our journey and were also looking to make the leap to the liveaboard life. They wanted to meet us and learn more about everything we’d gone through over the past year.
My answer? “HELL YES!” I couldn’t wait to help out somebody else out. This was the entire reason I started the blog—to connect with people, encourage them, and be there to answer any questions. Transitioning to an unconventional lifestyle is an overwhelming and difficult process, and the blogs of my sailing role models were instrumental in getting us to where we are today. During the most difficult times, when we questioned if we were making the right decisions, I remember thinking, “If they can do it, we can do it, too.” Following in their footsteps helped us navigate an unfamiliar trail. Without them, we would have been lost. So, I decided that if I could help out at least one other person realize their liveaboard dream, then my blog would have served its purpose.
I excitedly showed the email to Conor and said, “Look! We have friends!” It was inevitable that we would click—Military family? Stationed on base? Interested in sailing? Wanting to live aboard while in the military? Have a cute dog? They were us, only the us from 6 months ago!
We met up this past weekend and it went great! Hopefully we were a good resource for them as we laid out our own experience and what to look out for. I can’t wait to see what boat they end up with and have my fingers crossed that they will be our neighbors soon. In the meantime, we’ve invited them to come check out our boat and sail with us anytime.
So if anyone is reading this blog and wants to hang out, please reach out! We don’t bite. We love nothing more than to make new friends, and want to meet you just as much as you want to meet us!
As I sat at my computer earlier this week, all of the sudden I felt a drop of water fall on my head. Skies were clear (but cold), and the hatches definitely weren’t leaking rainwater. I realized it wasn’t coming from outside the boat, but inside! Condensation had accumulated on all the windows, including the ones on the ceiling. Tis the season for the great battle that all boaters must face: excess moisture inside the cabin.
Temperatures have dropped significantly this past week, and instead of running the AC 24/7, we have *gasp* turned on the heat! What we didn’t realize during the summer was how much our AC helped keep the moisture level down in the boat. Add in two full grown adults, a dog, daily cooking, and bathroom usage–a lot of water vapor gets released into a very confined space.
My biggest fear is mold. I’ve taken to wiping down the walls and ceiling inside the boat with antibacterial wipes every few days just in case. Other areas I need to stay on top of are underneath cushions and mattresses, and all those nifty hidey-hole storage spaces that share a wall with the hull. These areas are the most subject to consequences of temperature fluctuations and can accumulate a lot of condensation.
I ordered a dehumidifier from Amazon and we got to use it in our bedroom for the first time last night. I think it made a difference, but I’m excited to see how much water it pulls once it has been running for 24 hours. The good news about living in such a small space is that it doesn’t take much time/power to dehumidify or heat. I’m sure we will find the right balance to get us through the winter. At least we won’t be paying an outrageous heating bill this season! One of the perks of living at our marina–they don’t charge for power usage. So while the temperature drops into the 30s outside, I’ll be toasty warm and cozy in 70 degrees on the boat!
If any other boaters have advice for our moisture problem through the winter, please give us all your tips!
I can’t pinpoint when it happened—the moment the boat stopped being just a boat and became a member of the family. Maybe it was all my fretting during hurricane season, and the thought of how devastated I would be if we lost her. Maybe it was during our first solo expedition, and how she helped guide us safely across the water as we learned together. Instead of a mode of transportation or the vessel for our minimalist lifestyle, the boat has somehow evolved to become an equal partner on this adventure. We take care of her, and she takes care of us.
Leaving the boat for an extended period of time gives me anxiety. I think about her all the time when we’re away, even though I double-triple checked everything. Conor laughs and says I’m being paranoid. “It’s a boat, it will be fine for just a week without you!” I know he’s right. Our marina is protected, the dock lines are secure, anything electric (that is unnecessary) is off. But temperature and wind speeds are always on my mind as I check the weather back home for the latest updates.
I used to roll my eyes at blogs that would refer to their boats as ‘she’ and ‘her’. I feel the same way about people naming their cars. But a boat somehow becomes more over time. A boat has quirks and a personality that you get to know intimately while living aboard. You have to be in tune with her, and the consequences of not listening to what she’s saying could be disastrous and dangerous. I think that’s why I get so nervous leaving our boat alone—she could be yelling that something is wrong, but nobody is there to hear! Thankfully, we have some awesome liveaboard neighbors that I know will step in if there is an emergency while we are away. I just need to relax!
You’d think I would have seen this obsessiveness about the boat coming—just ask Scout, who has never been away from my side for more than three nights total since we adopted her over two years ago.
I am a self-professed crazy dog lady. She travels everywhere with us (hotels, planes, cars, boats, restaurants) and it never even occurs to us to leave her with a sitter. If my boat could shrink to 15lbs, you bet I’d pack her up and take her with us, too!