Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I'm on a boat

We've been living aboard boats for a long time. We first moved aboard our sailboat, Whisper, in the fall of 2006. We sold her in the summer of 2009 and bought our current floating home, m/v Rhumb Line
Our first night as full-time liveaboards.
I wonder if we ever imagined we'd still be living aboard 7 1/2 years later.

The day we moved aboard Whisper back in 2006. Where does everything go?

Home sweet home, July 2009. The day we bought m/v Rhumb Line.

 A lot of people want to know what it's like to liveaboard. They're amazed that we can live in a such a small space and remain married. And now we have kids? How do we do it?!

Of course we love the lifestyle, otherwise we'd be living in an apartment or a house or in one of these awesome tents, but, there are times. There are times.... In the winter, especially, there are times when I groan in frustration: "Why do we live on this boat?" Or "boats aren't made for full-time living." Or "You're not supposed to liveaboard in Philadelphia in the winter."

For example:

Laundry. We have a small washer onboard which is a luxury for boat living and is perfect for washing cloth diapers and baby clothes. But it's small and all sheets, towels, and adult clothing has to be done at the marina. No big deal. It's a short walk and it's cheap. But. But. I have twinges of envy when I think of how easy it would be if we had a full-size washer and a large clothesline in a sunny backyard.
Our little washing machine. Before Hans installed it up a little higher and permanently plumbed the hoses.

Showers. Again, we're lucky to be liveaboards and have a dedicated shower onboard. We didn't have one on our sailboat and spent nearly three years showering in the cockpit with a 2.5 gallon solar shower. Bigger boats have a handheld shower head attached to the bathroom sink, thus making the whole bathroom a shower. Wet. Very wet. So, relative to other boats, our dedicated shower is indeed a luxury. But boy is it small. I don't know the measurements but stand up and put your elbows out to the side. If you were standing in our shower, one elbow would be hitting a wall and the other elbow would be hanging outside of the shower stall.

Leaks. Hans has much more right to complain about leaks than I do since he's always the one squeezing his body into tight spaces with a headlamp and a pair of pliers. But it's fair to say that a dry floor at the galley sink is more of an exception than the rule these days.

Okay. What's leaking under here now?

So, yeah. I'm on a boat, but it doesn't even come close to the glamour depicted in the satirical music video.Tonight I'm grumbling about washing machines and showers and leaks. Really, no big deal, not in the big scheme of things. There is so much more to love about living aboard than there is to complain about.

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