Friday, March 14, 2014

Living Aboard: the good

Last week I griped about some daily inconveniences we put up with as part of our living aboard and boating lifestyle. I also mentioned that the good outweighs the bad. Why do we live aboard? What's the best part of living on a boat? Hint: It's not the irregular shaped bunks (beds) that require custom fitted sheets.

Community. I love the boating community. From our neighbors at the marina to boaters in far flung harbors in Mexico and Australia, if you live, cruise, or spend time on a boat, you belong to a larger community.

Within the first two days of our arrival in Philadelphia we were on the receiving end of the following neighborly gestures: 
  • someone dropped off some subway tokens and a subway map
  • fresh flowers were delivered
  • we were invited over to another boat for a barbecue dinner
  •  people stopped by our boat to introduce themselves and offer assistance
  • a big bag of fresh veggies were dropped off, fresh from the farm
I doubt this would have happened if we had moved into an apartment building in the city. Five years later and we know all our marina neighbors by name and we've shared dinners, happy hours, Christmas parties, countless barbecues, regattas, and boat trips. 
An impromptu birthday party for our Harbor Master, Chuck.

The marina community even threw a baby shower for us before Freja was born. 
Kristen & Pattie at Freja's baby shower.
Our neighbors love our girls: they chat with them, they drop off little gifts, and they always ask after them. Everyone knows that Hans works a lot; we haven't been able to help out with shoveling the docks at all this winter (well, maybe once), but the finger pier where I park the stroller and the steps up to the boat are always shoveled. And a few weeks ago, when winter (still) had its icy grip on us, one of our space heaters broke and two marina neighbors quickly brought over spares for us to use.

It is a wonderful feeling to live in the center of the city yet be surrounded by so many people who care about us and look out for us.
Pattie, Freja, and Kristen when Freja was a few days old.
Freja goes trick-or-treating for the first time.

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