"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

June 24, 2014

Living on a Boat

I found an article on another blog and thought I would share it. I know we have friends that think they might like to buy a boat and cruise off to exotic ports or maybe just do what we're doing and explore the coastlines of the United States. This article will let you know how life might be before you purchase that boat. If you're already spending your life cruising around on a boat, you'll have a laugh at how true some of these things are. The scenarios are more accurate if you plan to live on a sailboat and travel to far off destinations, rather than our life on The Pearl, but it gives you an idea of what to expect. We actually live in luxury compared to some sailboats, but living on a boat can be a challenge and everyday activities and comforts we take for granted on land become luxuries when you’re on a boat. The daily activities we do quickly at home can take all day on a boat. Life on a boat isn’t just glamorous locations and happy hours. 

Thank you Mark Roope for letting me use your article. You can follow his blog and travels at Cygnus III.

Practical live aboard boat tests
Move everything out of your living room. I know it is bigger than a boat but we have to break you in slowly. You can bring the fridge back provided you lay it down face up and put everything you will need first right at the bottom under everything else.

You are allowed a small mattress provided it is no thicker or comfortable than a slice of burnt toast. Spray it liberally with water to simulate condensation. Fire elastic bands repeatedly at any exposed skin to simulate a mosquito attack. Do not go back to sleep until you find the offending elastic band. Men should put their prized golf clubs on view in the front yard; this will simulate your anchor. It will guarantee that you are awake all night keeping watch. Set the alarm for 3am to simulate another boat coming in and anchoring on top of you. To make it more realistic go outside into the street wearing only a head torch, wave your arms around and point. It won’t make any difference but it looks good. This can also be done naked to prevent too much conversation.

Water is your most precious commodity on a boat. If it comes to a choice between your wife or water, I am afraid she will have to go, especially if like most women she likes to wash. If she is prepared to clean herself in seawater or the condensation from the windows this may be acceptable. If for some strange reason she needs to wash her underwear rather than wear them for a month, then wait for rain.

All meals are to be cooked on a camping gas stove but turn it off half way through the meal to simulate running out of gas. Break out a tin of cold baked beans. You may eat the neighbor’s prized “Coy Carp” provided you can catch it.

You are allowed a computer provided you use it on battery only and can pick up a dodgy Internet connection from the pub a mile down the road. Curse anyone who sends you a link to a “Youtube video” or an image that is bigger than a postage stamp. If you have mobile phones turn them off, because they aren’t going to work anyway and the cost will be astronomical.

Provisions are limited to what you can carry or drag back from a petrol station 2 miles away. This includes a cylinder of gas. All purchases have to be made by sign language to simulate your total inability to speak the local language. Let 20 people go in front of you to mimic those locals who will push in front of you or have just popped in for a chat. Check all produce for anything that can crawl, jump or eat you such as cockroaches and rats.

Every time you use the toilet throw at least two rolls of toilet paper down afterwards and push them in with a plunger. You might as well get used to dismantling a toilet now, as you will be doing it in the future…a lot.

Take the car engine out and put it in the smallest cupboard it the house. It has to only just fit and the oil filter and water pump has to be impossible to get at. Change both at regular intervals and learn to curse loudly. Have a first aid kit handy.

The live aboard has got to learn how to socialize. Go to a complete stranger’s house and invite them back to your house for drinks. You will either become instant lifelong friends or they will bore you to death and drink your year’s supply of alcohol. In either case once they have gone you’ll never see them again.

Use one light at once and only when absolutely necessary. Pretend your room thermostat is your battery monitor and casually glance at it every 10 minutes. Occasionally get the neighbor to run his mower outside your window for a couple of hours to simulate a generator. At these times you can use two lights but still continually check the thermostat.

Take deck chairs and a bottle of wine down to the local car park. Watch all the cars parking and comment how differently you would have done it. Tut or snigger when they cannot park first time. If there is only one vehicle in the car park, watch out for the French. You can tell them as they will come in at 40mph not knowing where the handbrake is and get out before the vehicle has stopped. They will also park within 2mm of the other car.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for making me laugh and agree wholeheartedly.