In part three of Marina Life ( see part one here and part two here), I look at what it is actually like to live on the boat instead of in a house or apartment. Being a catamaran, we have quite a bit of square footage of living space, so we don’t feel cramped or in each other’s space. We also have a nice living area outside the cabin in the cockpit with a dining table that comfortably sits eight, but the cockpit as a whole can seat 14 or more. This makes catamarans very popular as hang outs in the anchorages and we expect to host our share of cocktail hours.
We drove the Prius C from California to Florida and we still have the car. Fortunately, there is ample parking, as it has been very convenient to have the car to do our errands and provisioning. The walk from the car to the boat doesn’t get much further, though. The boat is at the far end of the marina – and I mean far! The marina addresses this issue by supplying wheelbarrows the boaters can borrow to shuttle their purchases to their boats. Thank goodness! Otherwise, I’d send Dave for the dinghy, load it, and haul everything by dinghy – which is what we will be doing in the islands. Our dinghy will be our “car” or island transportation. In the meantime, it is nice to still have the car. The Prius was leased and we will turn it in before we shove off.
While aboard we are not exactly suffering either. We have satellite radio for music. There is a TV that can be watched from the dining area and one we can watch in bed. We opted not to pay for TV service, so Dave downloads movies, TV series’, and documentaries for us to watch. We have games aboard that we play – including some new ones we just received that were recommended on one of our Facebook posts. Thank you! We will let you know how those work out.
I can cook almost anything we want to eat in the galley. The main limitations are the oven size, which will not hold a whole chicken without burning it, and I can only use two burners at one time. My pots are too big to be able to use all three burners at once. I’ve made things like jambalaya, tacos, spaghetti, cinnamon rolls, fresh bread, apple crisp… Dave does the grilling on a propane grill and makes delicious BBQ chicken quarters, shish kabobs, hamburgers, Texas toast… We have two boat-sized refrigerators and a huge freezer, so we can store a lot of food. I bought an industrial strength vacuum sealer to keep our meats nice and fresh – especially when we start catching our own fish! We even have a bread machine, rice cooker, and blender. Microwaves are power hogs, so we opted out of that. I didn’t bring my crockpot, since I heard anything creating heat uses a lot of power. However, I was told there are some very low wattage crockpots on the market, so I may have to pick one up. Does cooking get any more convenient than a slow cooker?
So what is the downside? Cleaning the boat! Household chores are bad enough, but on a boat you have all the household chores and the whole exterior of the boat to clean – and we have a lot of boat exterior. Migrating birds have been wreaking havoc on the boats lately and anytime you go sailing, you will end up with salt all over the boat. Ugh! Washing the boat is a big job! Now add the bottom of the boat. Yep, it has to be washed too. If you don’t, then all kinds of sea life attach to your boat. If you stay on top of it, the algae and barnacles and such wipe off easily with a sponge and that’s the trick. Stay on top of it! Dave and I will use the hookah dive system to wash the bottom of the boat. I’ll try to take a video of that with the GoPro later. I’m sure it will be comical. Right now, the water in the marina is (gross!) 62 degrees, so we have a diver take care of it. Anyone sold on living on a boat yet? Did I mention you can just take off and go if you get tired of being at the marina? Well, you can if your boat isn’t being painted. Speaking of which, if they finish painting in time, our next weather window to start our journey is on New Year’s Eve day. Cross your fingers for us! Now that the paper has been removed (temporarily) we hope to run out for a quick overnight trip. Anything to leave the dock for a bit! And to get Dave and John’s heads out of the bilge.