Archive for the ‘Living Aboard’ Category

Life on the Hard

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Sailors love jargon. They don’t call the front of the boat “the front”, but “the bow”. They call the back of the boat the stern. The kitchen is the galley, and the toilet is the head. Sailors will tell you that the toilet is called “the head” because on old sailing ships, that’s where you went to relieve yourself- to the “head”, or front, of the boat. “Wait a minute,” the logical person protests, “You just said the front of the boat was called the bow, not the head.” The sailor will reply, “Look, I don’t care where you go, just make sure you wash it down afterwards!”

So, when your boat is hauled out on land, you don’t say “on land”, you say, “on the hard”. I asked Capn Nautologic why that is, and he said, “I don’t know,” then thought for a moment and postulated, “Because the ground is hard?” Hmmm….

I have another explanation: that life on a boat out of the water is hard. Actually, “inconvenient” would be a better description, but saying that your boat is “on the inconvenient” takes too many syllables. (more…)

Thank You, Marcus Anderson!

Friday, November 9th, 2007

Marcus Anderson is a former owner of our boat, from back when she went by the name Restless. When we were busy getting ready to leave, it was a running joke of mine to blame Marcus for everything that went wrong. If I came across a stripped screw, I’d clench my fist, wave it in the air, and yell “Curse you, Marcus!” And anytime something fell into the bay (like my iPod), I’d scream “That damn Marcus is so clumsy!”

But now that we are “out here”, I have a new appreciation for everything Marcus did to make our boat the awesome cruising craft that she is! Here is a partial list of things we have Marcus to thank for:

Glacier Bay refrigerator: With a cold plate that reaches 20 degrees F, we have the frostiest beer in the Pacific, and can even make jumbo-sized ice cubes! And the motor only needs to run for about 20 minutes, twice a day. Simply brilliant!

Solar panels: We were worried about how much energy we’d need to run the fridge, so we upgraded to bigger solar panels. But the key here is that Marcus installed the original pair, so Todd saw the whole project as a relatively easy upgrade. Marcus had blazed the trail, and all Todd had to do was follow it. This spared me weeks of pretending to listen as Todd first fretted about what a big project it was, then congratulated himself on how much he’d accomplished.
(more…)

Does living on a boat make you dumber?

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

The other day, I couldn’t find a solar lantern that I need to buy a new bulb for. I waited around for Todd to call me and tell me where it was. An hour later he called and told me where to find it. Then I took off shopping and left the bulb here!

Then last Friday, we went to West Marine to pick up the solar charger Todd had ordered. We spent over an hour shopping in the store, getting last-minute things for our trip. We headed back to the boat, and had been on the freeway more than ten minutes before Todd realized we forgot to pick up the solar charger! Here are a couple of smart guys!

Also, I can usually make it through most of the NY Times Sunday crossword puzzle, but lately I’ve noticed I give up and need to peek at the solution.

The other morning, I heard Todd chuckling to himself. “Did you see this thing Ross sent out?” he asked. “You mean the one I forwarded to you?” I replied. For a moment he tried to cover up, saying, “Well I knew you sent it to me but I didn’t know if you read it and… Okay, I didn’t know it came from you.” This man is a Vice President of Technology, but apparently determining whom an email is from is beyond him!

Todd thinks it is just that we have so much on our minds right now, but my theory is that living on a boat makes you dumber. And even if you can provide evidence to the contrary, I won’t believe it, because I won’t understand it.

Cool Non-Sailing Things About Sailing

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

The other day, Todd made a comment that I’m “not much of a day sailor”, which is true! It got me thinking about what it is about sailing that each of us enjoys. Turns out a lot of it doesn’t necessarily have to do with sailing.

In addition to the adventure, I love the idea of using the wind to go places. Just like eating vegetables grown in your own garden, there is something very satisfying about any small tidbit of self-sufficiency. One of the things I’m excited about doing on our trip is cooking in our new solar cooker. My mom is my solar cooking hero; she has been harnessing the Sacramento sun for years. So far, I’ve cooked potatoes, rice, and chili. I look forward to cooking in Mexico without using propane or heating up the cabin.

Todd loves being out on the water, especially on a warm day with a few friends (of the human and 12 oz imported variety). But he also enjoys the challenge of maintaining a boat, and learning new skills. He’s gotten really good at engine maintenance and fixing leaks.

I’m enjoying learning more about the boat and its systems. This past weekend Todd taught me how to change the oil and transmission fluid. We also installed a new bilge pump, which needed a 15amp fuse. Todd said it would be a good learning experience for me to buy and install the new fuse. I’m not sure what I learned by schlepping over to Home Depot and wandering the aisles for twenty minutes until I was able to find someone who could direct me to the fuses… maybe the Captain is trying to impart some Zen wisdom that I have yet to grasp.

Life on the boat

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

Well, we’re getting used to living on the boat. Todd has a system whereby he hits the shower in the morning, then leaves his towel, dopp kit and boat slippers in the car; then when he comes home, he gets those things back out of the car, and leaves his work shoes. He hits the bathroom to brush his teeth, then comes back to the boat. We’re both using the car as a sort of staging area.

I’m really enjoying working and hanging out on the boat. We have wireless internet access, so I sit below, listen to KFOG, and crank out test cases. When I need a break, I do little tasks on the boat, like washing down the decks with salt water.

Sequoia has only spent two nights with us so far. The first was a bit rough- she got to bed late and was up in the middle of the night. The second went better. Once Todd left in the morning, she came into the main berth with me, and slept until 9:15!

Check out the album of our first couple weeks! It includes pics of Todd going up to the top of the mast, an egret, a heron, and… THE SEAL! I’ve been trying to get a shot of him since day 1!

20070822LifeOnBoat