Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Decking the Halls (ah, Decks?)

One thing that I was worried about missing moving onto a boat was the feeling of a warm, toasty home decorated for the holidays. Our old Duplex had a fireplace and every year Tim would scavenge for greenery to decorate the mantel. Last year we did the whole cut your own Christmas tree and strung big, bright colored lights on the tree out front. I made a "spray" for the front door and a dried fruit garland. The fire would roar, the Christmas lights would twinkle and we'd cozy up on the couch. I was worried that being on a boat would mean all of this would go away...but like everything throughout this experience, it's not gone away, it's changed form. 

This past weekend we made it our mission to outfit the boat for Christmas. Our boat neighbor Trolf (tee-rolf) had strung lights up his mast, then our neighbor Justin did the mast plus his lifelines, there was beginning to be a 'light war' at Badger's Island. We were inspired, especially since we own the only ketch in the marina we thought, we "have string lights from the mizzen mast to the main mast and highlight our girl's attributes!". So off we went to Walmart to buy 7 strands of LED white lights, 4 strands of LED colored bulbs and a little, mini Christmas tree. 

Bringing the Christmas tree down the docks in the
dock cart - the wood was used to build a front door
for our shrinkwrapping which is happening
this week - and yes, it was snowing. 

Our girl has her support beams up for her shrinkwrap, loving the snow! 
As Tim built the frame for our new 'front door' out in the snow I dug through our boxes of decorations trying to see what could fit on our little Charlie Brown tree. Back when I lived on Cape Cod I had no money and so I made all my ornaments out of shells, those simple ornaments were PERFECT for our little sailor tree. Add to that the fantastic stockings made out of sailcloth I bought from my friend Alex at Nautical Notions and we had the best little nautical Christmas display I could ever have imagined. 

We also strung lights all around our main salon (aka living room) and we (finally) hung our photographs & artwork (thank you Velcro, no holes in the boat), polished & hung our barometer and boat clock and our living room is now so peaceful, cozy and yes, VERY warm - thanks to West Marine box furnaces. We love coming home to this peaceful scene. 
Yes, Toby especially loves it! Notice his gray coat? It's his "Thunder Shirt" - look it up, it's a game changer for nervous puppies!

After Tim successfully installed the door, frame and sill we took to stringing the lights outside the boat. We were again reminded how much more fun doing things on boats is than in a house. As we worked, water was lapping against the boat, we were fussing with halyards and boat hooks, figuring this, engineering that and a seal popped his head up as we worked! It was a blast, a challenge and the reward was AWESOME! 
Fussing with halyards

Stringing up the mizzen

Figuring out the Main mast - Navy Yard aglow in the background 

Holding all the lights so they don't end up in the drink with the seal! 

Badger's Island Light Wars - Ours is on the left & our neighbors are on the right 

All aglow - above and below deck -- you can see the new "front door" Tim mounted! 
So like I said, the experience of decking our decks was different but no less full of cheer and joy. This week (maybe today) the boat will be getting shrink wrapped and a whole new phase of life aboard will begin - life in the bubble. 

A Boaty Carol...for us Live Aboards
Sing to the tune of 

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Gone away
are the bat rays
Here to stay
is a nutcase
In slip 34
He’s the sloop next door
Livin’ on a dock by the bay

Seagulls open fire
Bombadiers here for hire
Hey do me a favor and
Poop on my neighbor
Livin’ on a dock by the bay

Who says every liveaboard is crazy
On the lam or maybe on the dole
Not all of us are whackamoles or lazy
Or psychopaths out briefly on parole

Later on we will have some
Margaritas or buttered hot rum
Pretend we are cruisers ‘stead of
Slip-bound losers
Livin on a dock by the bay


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