An Interview With My Parents

The title says it all. Both my parents visited for a week to live on the boat and help out with the new baby. They tag-teamed it–my dad came out first (during that horrific freeze), and then basically high-fived my mom at the airport as she started her week-long shift. I am so, so grateful for all of their help. They dove right into caring for their grandchild and the boat life all at once. I thought readers might be interested to hear their perspective on the whole experience:

What was the most surprising thing about living aboard for a week?

Dad: How cozy it all is.

Mom: It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be! It was roomier than expected and light–a pleasant surprise!

What were the hardest challenges for you?

Dad: Navigating in such a small space. I’m sure it takes awhile to get into a good groove. Also, in the dead of winter, it’s too dark.

Mom: Water! Using it, conserving it, disposing it, and refilling it.

What were your major likes and dislikes about marina life?

Dad: Chilling up in the cockpit is amazing. I could stay out there all day, as there is lots of activity, critters, and craft to look at. The only thing better would be doing it from a moving boat! However, when the river is frozen, it is BAC (butt-ass cold), and since there’s nowhere to go, it is sometimes a little too cozy.

Mom: Had it been warm enough to spend a lot of time outside, it is a stunning, relaxing environment. Marina people are the best ever! It is a family that takes care of each other. However, in 28 degree temperatures and 35 mph wind, you had to walk to shower, do laundry, and even use the bathroom!

How did it feel to return to your house?

Dad: Like I was in some resort. Everything is sooooo far away. The trek from the fridge to the sink took about an hour and a half. It was also great to sleep in my own bed.

Mom: CONVENIENT!

What did you miss about the boat after returning home?

Dad: This one is easy. No Tay or Miss [W] are at home.

Mom: Miss [W]

What did you learn during your week here?

Dad: That I’m so proud of both of you. You are really forward-thinking and also way out of the box. Plus you really nailed the grandkid-o-meter.

Mom: That there is value in living with less.

Any additional thoughts?

Mom: There is something so nice about being rocked to sleep. There is something not so nice about being blown heavily around at night, lines squeaking and wind howling. Oh yeah, and never take a sleeping pill offered by your child!

 

Major kudos to my parents for embracing everything in the middle of winter. To be honest, there were a few times these past weeks where I questioned our sanity for doing this. It is SO much harder when the weather won’t cooperate. But, the other 10 months out of the year, there is nowhere else I’d rather be! I’m so happy that my family got to experience a little slice of our life. And, btw, they ROCK as grandparents! Thanks YaYa and Padre!

Love,

Taylor, Conor, and W

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The Big Chill

How are all my east coast liveaboards out there faring during this crazy cold weather? The summer humidity seems like a lifetime ago. We were not expecting it to ever get this cold in coastal North Carolina, and the past few days have been quite the experience as we scrambled to figure out how to balance heat and available power on the boat.

frozen
Anyone for a swim?

Our central air was working wonderfully until two days ago, when the river got too cold. Because our Marine Mermaid AC/heat relies on water intake, the system couldn’t extract enough heat to warm the boat above the low 60s. So, we turned that off (takes up too much power) and bought two space heaters. Thankfully our space is small! They are a big energy suck and we tripped the breakers more than once figuring out what appliances we could have running simultaneously. The balancing act includes unplugging the smaller heater in order to run the microwave, and god forbid we turn on the hot water at all!

For the past two days, we’ve just moved the heaters into whatever space we are occupying and shut off the rest of the boat. The v-berth has the worst insulation in the boat, so that door has been shut for a few days. We keep our bedroom door shut as well during the day and move everything for Baby W out into the main area. At night, the whole family goes into the aft cabin for a snuggly night’s sleep (or as much sleep as you can get with a newborn)!

I know that boaters up north have it wayyyy tougher than we do, and one frozen week out of the year isn’t too bad. Still, I’m really looking forward to Monday, when it is supposed to heat back up into the 60s and we can get back into our routine. The good news is that day-to-day challenges on the boat won’t seem nearly as tough after getting through this weather!

Hope you all are staying warm and dry.

Love,

Taylor, Conor, and W

Happy New Year!

Even though I am sleep deprived and beyond exhausted, I just couldn’t let today pass without acknowledging the New Year and what 2017 brought us. This has been the craziest adventure, and I can’t believe how much changed in just one year.

Last January 1st, we were living in a house in California, trying to figure out our next step. Conor didn’t have orders, we had no real plan, and were realllllyyyy ready to say goodbye to a difficult 2016. Since then, we’ve gotten rid of (almost) everything we owned, road-tripped across the country, embraced life on the east coast, bought a sailboat, learned how to live on it and sail it, made wonderful friends at two different marinas, Conor kicked butt at his new job, I finished my fourth novel, and we had a BABY!

So I sit here with the newest member of our family, in our own little boat, marveling how I got here. It took one year of pushing ourselves toward new things at every opportunity, and throwing fear out the window, but we did it. Gosh dang it, I’m proud of us.

2017 will be hard to top, but 2018 is already shaping up to be another incredible adventure—parenting! Baby W, Conor, Scout, and I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year. May you persevere and accomplish all your resolutions, dreams, and goals—we will be cheering you on!

Love,

Taylor, Conor, and W

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