Thoughts on Living Aboard: One Year!

June 7, 2015 Leaving the dock

June 7, 2015 Leaving the dock

We left the dock one year ago today to begin our adventure of living aboard our 37’ Tartan sailboat.  I couldn’t let today pass without posting some thoughts about this past year.

First, because I hardly ever post blogs that show a bad day, I need to mention this isn’t life perfect, some Jimmy Buffet song and picturesque sunsets every day. Some days have been hard. Things break down, new installations need to be done, inclement weather happens and you don’t have time to get away from it, or, you have to wait someplace safe for it to come and then pass. This is home now and if it breaks we have to fix it with the resources on board, or those available to us in the location we are.

We have both had to adjust from living on dirt, as our friend Lori so aptly puts it, to living in a much smaller space, 24/7 with our partner. This alone is a huge adjustment after so many years of working. I can tell you, I’m messy and set things down and forget them, and the Captain picks up after me, when I was going to get it in just a minute. I haven’t found all of the Captains annoying habits yet, but I’m willing to get to the bottom of each one of them. There may have been just a few sparks flying around here every once in a while.

This living aboard is a little harder than living on dirt. I just hauled 30-40 pounds of laundry from the boat, to the dingy, to a dock, up the dock to a laundry, and back…weighing much more on the return, because I refuse to pay $5 per load to dry it after paying that much to wash it. Then I hung it all over the boat’s life lines to dry. I still have to take it down and fold it. The good news is we use way less cloths or wear them more or something, because I don’t have as much laundry as I did at home, but when I do…

Cooking is different, thinking and planning about meals and storage has  been an interesting challenge, think, I want to cook spaghetti, which locker or what part of the bilge did I store those jars? And finding stuff in the refrigerator is a real pain in the ***! I am learning to do without some things I didn’t have to at home, because of cost or inability to store certain items, and I’m learning to enjoy a lot of some things, when they come our way, think a big fish or an entire stalk of bananas, before they go bad.

Cleaning has to be done more often. With two animals and two people, one people is sure she will be bald by next year, our little space gets yucky quickly, but, it doesn’t take as long as it did at home to clean.

And, now that we are out of the country, phone calls and messages, aren’t as easy or as affordable as when we were home.

Before you tell me to go home because it looks like a miserable existence, I have to say.


I LOVE LIVING ABOARD, even on bad days.

I will gladly haul loads of laundry and look at the gorgeous view while it spins. I will do without, space, cold cokes, and five course meals, to have conch salad until I don’t want any more. I will take the dog to shore in the rain, again today, because tomorrow will be beautiful once more. I will get sea sick to cross the ocean too.


I am making new friends and life-long relationships with people I might have never met, had I stayed at home.

I am exploring and learning about new things every day, not just new places, but how things work, how to make living aboard more comfortable and stuff I never new I needed to know.

I am learning anew how to improve my relationship with my husband. And, get to the bottom of any annoying habits he may still have. Then, remind myself that I don’t have to fix them.

I am learning more about what I am capable of.

I don’t miss the stuff at home as much as I thought I would, except for people. But, fortunately I live in the time of Face Book, Messenger, Face Time, and Wi-Fi, so I am able to keep in touch better than I might have years ago, and of course going home can always be added to the agenda.

So my summary for our first year, let’s do a second year, Captain.

June 7, 2016, Hope Town, Bahamas

June 7, 2016, Hope Town, Bahamas