What to think about before living life on a boat

Howdy!  Glad you stopped by!! 

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If  this is your first time to my website WELCOME! Thanks for coming by! Hows quarantine going for you? What are you doing to build your mental health?SYou may be here because you are considering taking off on your sailboat and never looking back to the land of the infected. Well, Before you do that I have some things for you to consider! 

If your new Im going to give you a little update as to who I am and what my journey is! 

My name is Megan. I am a fire performer and coal walker instructor. I live on a 39 westerly Sea Lord with my family of three. John and I have been together for 10 years and 3 years ago we made the decision to live on a boat. We sold everything, worked hard, did everything we needed to do to live comfortably on our boat for the next 3-5 years. In March of 2020 We were ready to set sail. We were excited to get over to Florida so we could start doing awesome volunteer work, Beach Clean ups, Fire shows, Full moon ceremonies, Yoga on the beach! Margaritas during video editing days but our entire world was flipped around because of Covid. 

Everything was being shut down when we arrived in Pensacola Florida. Grocery stores looked like they were ransacked , and somehow people got the idea that hoarding toilet paper was a necessary measure to surviving this virus.. All of our plans had been cancelled till further notice but that was not going to stop us from sailing. 

We were as isolated as we can be! Our only human interaction was when we needed to hit the grocery store So we loaded up on goods and decided to keep moving. 

Here are some things I learned about living on the hook

Living on a boat with boys I have some different issues to worry about and showers can be sparce. The best way I have found for keeping the lady parts clean and honestly just good for the whole crew is to have a couple packs of baby wipes. 

Sure you can use a hand towel to wipe yourself down but with 4 people on the boat that is 4 towels that would be hung up after each use and baby wipes are easy and does the job without soap and using up the water supply. 

As I get better at this lifestyle I plan on making my own. I had saved my first baby wipe containers which came in a hard case and now I just buyt the refills and place them in there.  Im thinking about aquiring small maybe dollar store hand towels and folding them up inside one of the hard baby wipes cases and making a sanitizing solution. That way you can pull it out, wash down, rinse the hand towel and put it back in the sanitizing solution but I havent done it just yet!

 

 This might be the biggest Sailboat life hack I can give you 

Buy eggs in bulk.

You might be asking where the hell am I going to store that much eggs. Well! 

for starters meal prep!

I love making potatoes with onions and garlic and sometimes bacon in it.  If I am meal prepping for a passage I will make a giant batch of it . I will fill several ziplocks with either just he potato mixture  for bowls and then ill cook an egg over easy for the top of it

OR! Ill add 5-7 eggs into the ziplock with the mixture and lay the ziplock flat in a square tupperware I got from HEB ( I MISS YOU HEB!!) I will make 5 -7 bags like this and then place them in the freezer. Once they are frozen you can pull them out of the Tupperware and placed them uprights in a freezer and they take up almost no room ! When you are ready to eat pop one our on the counter for an hour and it should be thawed and ready to eat (depending on the season of course you can also put it in the fridge the night before.They are good in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Depending on how many I bought I will prep the rest of the eggs either in my egg container or I will hard boil them. 

For those who don’t know how to boil an egg

You add a little salt to the water, boil, Add eggs, Cook for 6-7 minutes, Remove the eggs from the hot water and into an ice bath.

Now Those who have been on a sailboat might understand how much ice is a luxery  (lol) When I boil eggs I just go ahead and buy a little bag of ice and place it in my cooler backpack ( click for a link over to amazon)  I also have 3 large water containers that can hold ice for a very long time without refrigeration. So I tend to use what I need for the eggs and take the rest of the ice and distribute them into our water jugs and fill them up with ice and water. Ill keep one or two of the jugs in the fridge  if I have enough room and leave one out for daytime consumption. You can see the water jugs we suggest here!

 

Another thing to think about

When living on the hook your transportation is limited. Some people just ride bikes, Others walk or take ubers, A lot of us just dingy to the closest store. But when planning destinations for anchoring out or choosing a marina  look for ones that are near by things! For example: Boat resale stores, home depots, Walmarts, Grocery stores, Pharmacys, UPS stores for general delivery or even marinas that allor mail! Also PUBLIC DOCKS! Sure a lot of marinas near big stores tend to have dingy docks, However right now with Covid a lot of marinas are closed to the public, and You may not have a good place to dock your dingy. We have an anchor so a lot of times we get away with being near bridges or just sneaking into a marina and putting the dingy next to a boat you know hasnt been boarded in awhile ( and yes.. you can tell ) 

Wifi Solutions

It can be such a pain to find service. Now… Im going to recommend something that businesses won’t approve of However, If you are living on the hook don’t be shy to check out your surroundings. See what has wifi and what is unlocked. A lot of times businesses will use their phone number or the name of the marina+guest  or 1 at the end as their password. Im a very social bug so Im not shy to walk into the office of a place and say hey .. The wifi isn’t connecting is there more than one server or password? and they always check it out without question if you are at the dock or not (HEHEHE) If a wifi near the boat has lots of bars and im close enough to connect to it on the boat! you know im going to go hunt down that password. Another way to have wifi undetected without having to sit in a coffee shop is to walk into hotels and ask the front desk. Once again the key is to act like your supposed to be there 🙂 

Now… If that makes you uncomfortable I understand … In America (Oddly enough) a lot of gas stations (Especially Valeros) have unprotected wifi OR sitting at a mainstream restaurants often have unprotected wifi. A lot of kid parks now aways have wifi too . Googling free wifi playgrounds is the key to finding these parks. I have yet to find a shopping center that has no unprotected wifis There is alway sa yogurt or food shop that has unprotected wifi 🙂 

Also If it werent for covid I would also suggest that sometimes your neighbor boats have wifi and All it takes is an introduction, maybe a beer , and a firm smile to work your way into having access. Now neverrr make that the reason you are there, actually make the effort to connect with someone new and then chit chat about wifi struggles 🙂 

 

 

Communication is KEY!

This does not apply to you bad ass single handed folks… But! If you are planning a trip remember that communication is VERY important. There are much better ways to communicate then yelling from stern to bow what you need. Our boat has made a series of hand signals to clarify direction, crab pots, and anchor needs. 

John being Captain of our vessel has had a hard time voicing and assigning loads to his crew. Its ok to not take on absolutely every decision aboard the ship just because your captain. Things like, Choosing anchorages, checking the weather, Tackling small projects, assigning shifts and chores is ok to offload onto someone else. I think our biggest struggle on our boat is that we had all these plans set out and 2020 covid cancelled everything and closed down the beaches amongst everything else so It made choosing where to go difficult. It wasnt a simple lets go here.. it was a … well is it open, what kind of restrictions will we face, How will we reprovision, get water or fuel, Is there anything that we can still explore. 

 

Pay attention to wind and current

When it somes to docking or anchoring its important to realize and fully understand what a difference between wind and current will do to your vessel. If you dont have a clear understanding of that you will be struggling to master and ultimately look like an idiot everywhere you go or drag anchor ! Truly study wind direction and power beind the two forces. 

Also!! 

A super fun hack when anchoring is to drop a pin when you anchor. This way you can digitally check up on your anchor and if its dragging you can catch it before something bad happens!

Well there you have it

These are just a few things to consider before leaving to live life on a boat! Sailboat life has a lot of beautiful opportunities but in a lot of ways can be very taxing to get what you need without wasting an entire day. A one hour dingy trip to check out a near by anchorage and then a trip to the store can EASILY take 4+ hours.. I would know becasue this was our yesterday! I hope you enjoy what you have read and once again please add our social media accounts! If you have any tipsyou would like to share with me please contact me at sailboatlife2020@gmail.com. Thank you and have a wonderful day!!

Stay safe and Sanitized yall!

4 thoughts on “What to think about before living life on a boat”

  1. Thought about this while reading your article, this relates to anchoring up and pulling anchor, Next time, take a small innertube like for wheel barrow or dolly, put it on the anchor davit and run the rode thru it, when time to pull anchor, just kick the tube over into the water and pull the anchor up, you wont have to fight the weight, because the tube runs down and pulls the anchor straight up. then just leave the tube on the davit with the anchor locked down. this is an old commercial fishermans trick, it also helps when trying to free a stuck anchor. another anchor trick is to fasten the chain to the head of the anchor and run the chain down the shank to the eye, then just take light cotton twine and whip it thru the chain and eye, when anchor hangs up, just pull straight up, the twine breaks and the anchor flips upside down and comes up, just retie it and you are ready to go again, Anchors can be expensive. Try it,

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