Okay..."old" post, but it does contain some awesome information. Those of you who know us personally know that we have actually been living aboard our boat for about 3 years prior to finalizing our plans for this big adventure. Living aboard year round. In winter. In Canada. Here's how we did it for those who are curious...
How do you stay warm?
This is the number one question I get when I tell someone I live on a boat. They ask this before asking 'do you like it' or 'where are you docked' or 'what kind of boat is it?'. This might even be YOUR first thought. It wasn’t mine though. I don’t think I asked myself even one time, “how will we stay warm in the winter?”(although I had bigger issues to worry about, like say, learning to sail). Anyway the answer to your question is: in a lot of different ways. Just like how your house stays warm because you’ve taken several different steps to make sure it will during the winter. Only, you probably had to do those steps only once. Oh, and then hit a button labeled “heat” in the fall. You know, the one with the tiny illustration of a flame on it. Our ‘keep warm steps’ are a season to season thing.
In the late fall we start our warm-proofing by shrink wrapping! That is, we literally shrink wrap the boat in plastic! While it’s in the water! Lots of exclamation marks!
The plastic is wrapped and roped around the boat which now has a wooden frame we’ve constructed (so we can keep some headroom when it’s wrapped). The shrink wrap acts as a wind barrier and helps keep the heat inside the boat as opposed to losing it all through our hatches and portholes. This entire process was foreign to me until last year. And even now, since I was not around for any step of the shrink wrapping last year (other than completion), it is still a mystery to me. Until today that is!
For reasons outside of our control Josh had no choice but to shrinkwrap the boat himself (last year he paid through the nose to have it done by a professional and save us the hassle of learning yet another new winter-sailboat-only activity). Today was a morning full of expletives from Josh (thanks wind!) and an afternoon of “bitch”s by me, directed toward the boat. I think I lost complete feeling in my right pinky at one point from the cold. I watched Josh use a 136, 000 BTU (that means mother f’ing hot) gun on plastic wrap to ‘shrink it’. At the end of the day she is shrink wrapped! Am I warmer yet?….see next post.
Oh, and I posted pictures for you to see the steps of the shrink wrap…if you’re curious.
As we have been ridiculously hard at work and busy getting our dream off the ground we haven't had a whole ton of time to invest in our website and vlog. We're sorry! To appease our awesome fans (which, let's face it, basically consist solely of family and close friends right now) we offer your this: Keri's first blog written about her experiences sailing and living aboard (having never even been on a sailboat before!). To those who have read it: thanks for putting up with it again...to those who haven't, enjoy!
On a daily basis, and I truly mean daily, Josh and I have people asking us questions about how we live. It’s kind of weird. To be asked about something as simple as “how do you shower”? “How do you cook”? “Where do you keep your clothes”? But I totally understand. Of course I had all the exact same questions of Josh once upon a time. If he couldn’t answer them all for me, we figured them out together. Issues like “where do I put my shoes” were not on Joshs’ radar before I moved in, so we learned together a bit as well.
I am going to do my best to answer some of these questions for you now.
1. Where do you shower?
Easy. In the lake. In the winter we cut a little section of ice and jump in there. Typically in the winter months it’s best to lather up before jumping in as you do want to limit how much time you spend in the water.
I’m sorry, I had too….cause I know at least two people who would go for that. Worth it.
We actually will be able to shower on the boat. Eventually. Both heads (that’s bathroom) are equipped as showers, we just haven’t set them up yet. The bathroom IS the shower. You close the little water proof cabinets and just grab the shower head and go. Until the heads are finished…(that’s what she said?)…we use the shower rooms at the yacht club. In the winter it’s perfect because I am the only female live-aboard which means bathroom to myself for a season! In the summer it’s a shared shower room with the rest of the club and on weekends it gets busy. It’s not the BEST, but I’m still not too old to remember the showers in rez, so it’ll do. (Side note: once we hit "south" showers will mostly consist of lathering on deck with Eco-friendly shampoo, jumping in the ocean, then climbing aboard and rinsing with fresh water. This way we'll be able to preserve our fresh water tanks and not waste it on 'lather, rinse, repeat').
2. What do you do about groceries/cooking?
I love this question. It reminds me of how far I have come with experimental and creative cooking since moving aboard. I can cook some bad-ass meals on one hot plate. (I consider this skill an asset in a future apocalypse scenarios).
Groceries go in the fridge. Ta-da! We have a fridge (or…had…see next post) that runs on battery power while we are unplugged from the dock so we don’t lose our milk while sailing. It’s just a mini fridge with a VERY small freezer that frosts up at least once a week. It’s not a lot of room (the pantries don’t help much) so I am careful to only buy things I need for a couple days at a time. The extra shopping sucks, true. In the winter the deck becomes an extra freezer so we store some foods there (nature’s freezer!) but we have to watch it doesn’t thaw.
I cook in the galley. (see attached picture) The galley is not it’s own room, really, a part of the salon, but when you live in 30’ of space you give EVERYTHING it’s own name. Sailor logic. In this tiny galley I have a bit of counter space, a two-sided sink, a tassimo, microwave, toaster oven, hot plate and a butane burner (in case we’re unplugged and need to cook). Oh, and I managed to make shelf space for a slow cooker. My saviour!! With all of those tools you would be amazed at what you can accomplish. You also become creative. Learning to cook things in ways you never imagined…pizzas in frying pans, baked potatoes in toaster ovens, crazy! In times of need I even turn the stairs into a counter by throwing a cutting board on it. (Side note 2: I will update on the galley situation while under sail shortly. Clearly 'docked' Keri did not appreciate that a tassimo is impractical when running via solar power. 'Adventure' Keri has corrected this shortcoming).
3. How about laundry/where do you put your clothes/what about your shoes!?
Laundromat. Easy. Or we bring our laundry with us when visiting land dwelling friends and beg for use of their machines (thanks moms!). Again, it's not the best, but it’s not any different from living in an apartment building.
Closet space is tough….we are careful not to be messy since two unfolded shirts on a chair make the boat look like a disaster zone. When I moved in Josh invested in some baskets that line our v-berth (bed) which gave us a lot of extra storage space. As it stands we have those baskets, a small closet, a set of drawers (built into the closet) and whatever other nooks and crannies we can justify using for clothes. Lastly, shoes. Oh shoes. I admit, I gave quite a few up when I moved aboard. Some are in storage. The rest are tucked in their own little cubby behind one of the benches. That space is MY space! MY SPACE! (Side note trois: again, there are going to be changes to the laundry situation while we are fully into our adventure).
That covers some of the basics. If you have a question that I didn’t answer feel free to send it my way. Or wait patiently. You'll probably eventually get an answer.
Welcome to our humble little site! It's a work in progress so stick with us. We'll be posting up-dates, blogs, videos, photos and more from our travels as we head south. Our beautiful 41' Morgan Outisland named 'Windseeker' will be taking us there. We'll be travelling as far south as our hearts (and our pockets) allow. If you're on this site chances are you already know a bit about us and our journey. But if you want to know more, click on our About page ^.
Shortly I'll be posting some older blogs (written by yours truly) about my very first days living aboard a sailboat. These will just be to get you all up to date with what it is we're working on. Soon after that we'll be posting live updates on our prep, our departure and our journey. We'll also be live updating our co-ordinates through SPOT, which you'll be able to find on our contact page.
Josh & Keri