Friday, September 9, 2016

What is it like to live on a boat?

My daughter Frances visited my old friend Dick in Aspen a few years ago. She had met Dick when she was a teenager and I had taken her skiing there where we stayed at their house. Her most recent visit was there for a performance at the Opera House downtown. She relayed to me after she had told Dick I was living on my sailboat, Dick's message was "I always wanted to live on a boat, it was my dream." Dick was a remarkable person and I always though highly of him. Now I not sure if he would have been really that happy with "living on a boat".

Things that can go wrong

Lots of people drool over the fancy pictures of power and sail boats featured in the slick magazines. Well it is not always cocktails at sunset with a beautiful woman or a golden sunrise with fresh lobsters for breakfast.

Earlier Catalina at Dana Point

My experience is you are most likely to have a blue heron shit on your boat or have a visit from a raccoon that leaves behind his message.

There are several different experience that seem to be very appealing to the novice. Blue Water cruising sailing from port to port seeing the world from your cockpit. Well that experience has missed me so far. My boat is capable but lacks lots of hardware and electronics that are beyond by pocket book and its slim budget.

My sailing is more of a day sailor and that becomes less and less as more items are added to the boat to make it comfortable for living aboard.

My boat was purchased after I sold my house and retired. Previously three sailboats had know me as their owner. And when this Ericson was maybe available I became a two boat owner, Boats are a hole in the water that you pour money into so why not have several?

Planning to live on a boat was not in the early plans. In fact planning has never been one of my strong suits. In reality if I needed a suit I would have to drive across the county to find it at my daughters place.

Homeless people live out of shopping carts and used boxes. There isn't any room for a shopping cart on my boat. My closets (two) lack space for things that are not needed at the time. Living on a boat forces the issue: Do you want something or do you really need it? That is also true about pots and pans, dishes (not sure why I have several coffee cups

Seven days a week is not a weekend. Many of my weekend visitors haul dock carts from the parking lot to their boat and when it time to go home they haul the stuff back home. My hauling is a one way project and it is done with one of my trusty bicycles.

The bicycles that I didn't sell and kept are not the kind you can leave outside a grocery store. Fortune was kind to me and I rescued an old Raleigh from rusting and installed two racks on it. This became my Ghetto bike and was always secured with locks and with enough rust I thought it was a keeper until one night some bastard cut the locks and took it.

Being anal retentive I can speak with veracity that I paddle my stand up board more than I drive my Nissan. A Garmin watch with GPS records paddling daily and this year I have not missed a day so my Nissan  is driven in the marina parking lot only to keep the battery fresh.

For me a bicycle is really necessary as while on the boat reading or using the internet I am just sitting and driving a car is just more sitting.

Wilmington with 09 sticker
Using wheel with DIY self steering
Since I purchased my boat it has been in 4 different marinas. Each location has a different view, some good, some bad.

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