Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Week Ashore

We are back aboard after a week house sitting for some friends in New Castle, our old 'hood. This was first time since we moved aboard in September that we'd spent longer than an overnight off the boat. Jill was just coming off of some the most stressful, busy weeks at work she's ever had and Tim had just finished a BIG project deadline so needless to say it was a welcome respite. Not to mention over the course of the week we both got colds and were sick so having a big couch, a pellet stove and a big TV was nice. We also had 6 chickens to tend to, homemade egg nog to shake and a fish to feed. We decided we would blog about what it is we missed about land life and also what it is we missed about boat life while on shore. 

What we missed about Land Life:

  • Toast/Having a Toaster: on the boat a toaster is just too much counter space and eventually when we're cruising or on anchor it will also be too much power. So we do without. But it sure was nice to have a toasted English Muffin or slice of bread on the way out the door in the morning. 
  • A shower in the next room: it was quite nice to be able to fall out of our bed and stumble into the next room for a shower. At the marina we choose to use the showers up at the marina building to conserve water aboard and to keep the moisture introduced in the boat to a minimum to reduce condensation. So it was nice to be able to shower in the next room rather than get all dressed in clothes, jackets and hats and trudge up the dock. 
  • A full kitchen: The boat's galley is small, it's workable, but it is small, including the oven. It was nice to have a full sized oven to roast a chicken in. We liked the front loading fridge with french doors, rather than the 'bottomless pit' fridge we have aboard. It was nice to have counters to put things on and a dishwasher! That was a real treat! 
  • A couch: It was nice to have full sized, wide couch to lay out across, especially being sick. The boat's main salon has 2 benches or 'settees' and they are OK. They are meant to serve as 'couches' and as 'berths' while at sea. The current set up is something that is on our list to fix because the cushions are really stiff and the general flow of the salon is overall cramped. Tim's woodworking brain is scheming all the time for our plans. 

We want to push back the couch to flush up against the shelf to allow wider sit space. 
And though these few things seem so trivial, we love that life aboard a boat has allowed us to appreciate these trivial things and to be grateful for them. That's probably the best part of this whole experiment - it reminds us daily to appreciate life and most of all to be thankful for it.

What we missed about Being on the Boat:
This is mid-tide, the ramp is sort of steep

  • Rocking to sleep: Our aft cabin bed is so cozy and the gentle rocking of the boat in the water with the sound lapping against the hull is so soothing it lulls you right to sleep. 
  • Knowing what the tides are doing: Every time we come home to the boat you can't help but notice what phase the tide is at. The ramp that leads from the shore to the docks is either flat when it's high tide or STEEP when it's low tide or somewhere in between. We didn't even realize what the tide was when we were ashore and we missed that. 
  • Knowing what the weather is doing all the time: Same as the tides, we live in the weather, from the sound of rain on the hatch, to wind wooshing through the stays, to ice crystals coating the deck in the morning - we always know what the weather is up to. In the house we often found ourselves hardly ever looking outside to see what the weather was doing. We truly missed being connected to the environment around us. 
  •  Being surrounded by our dreams: The boat is the physical manifestation of our shared dreams of travel, adventure and freedom. We love sitting aboard and thinking about the places we'll go, the things we'll see, the projects we'll do to get ready. Living aboard the boat intimately connects us to our dreams and never allows us to lose sight of them. Being in the house we were disconnected, we felt less inspired, less excited. 
  • Living a life less ordinary: Though the boat comes with it's fair share of challenges (as I type this Tim's struggling with a drinking water faucet installation that is testing his perseverance and patience - another blog will have more detail, minus the expletives) we (almost) always love the challenges, we love the feeling of conquering the challenges, whether its learning how to cook dinner or how to stop a coolant leak, and in turn learning something new. While most folks write Christmas lists full of stuff, we can't. We don't have space for stuff. Our lists are full of the practical, the utilitarian, and experiences, rather than stuff. 
We don't doubt that some day maybe we'll move back ashore and be land dwellers once again but we'll have a  new sense of gratitude and until then we love living out a life less ordinary out here in the Piscataqua River. 

The chickens were a constant source of entertainment for Toby 


  1. We have a new Topic in Development on The Monkey's Fist - I used this post as an example - check it out: