That First Week of Living Aboard our Sailboat

That first week was ROUGH. Really rough.

The first couple of days were awesome… (see our first video here) full of both stresses and excitement. Abyni jumped off the back of the boat first thing on our first morning and had a swim. She paddled around on the windsurfing board and had a blast. Tiberius was a little bit of a wreck trying to keep all the kids together (he is definitely a herd dog!) and away from the edges of the boat. He wore himself out constantly going from one kid to the other to keep an eye on them.

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After a couple of days, everyone else was anxiously awaiting our belongings from the trailer and Patrick was just busy trying to take care of all of our issues with the van that had broken down so he was gone a lot.

More Rain
On day three, the rain started, everyone was really starting to get agitated. We were all wearing Patrick’s (damp) clothes. All of our belongings, clothing, personal things were STILL stuck in the trailer because we had yet to find a way to get the trailer down to the public docks and unload our things. Every single thing we tried to check off of our list took so much longer than we had planned. We couldn’t seem to figure out how to organize things, Patrick was still gone most of the time trying to workout the aforementioned issues.

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We finally got everything unloaded onto the boat and then *that* was stressful, because we had no idea how/where to put everything. Patrick had slightly over-sold on the “so much space” thing (okay, there was space, but it was mostly ‘long term storage’ type space, not easy to get to space), a couple of boxes that had been intended for storage got put on the boat instead and there was just SO MUCH STUFF. And we were all still damp/wet all the time. We went to bed with damp clothes on damp sheets and everything just always felt wet (and not in a good way). It was difficult to sleep because we had to shut the boat up even though it was hot and humid, because otherwise the rain came straight into our home.

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I started the slow process of unpacking our things, adding new provisions to the cupboards (I know, I know, no cardboard on a boat. I got rid of most of it thus far.)

So it was cramped, cluttered and disorganized, I ran out of cupboard space before I ran out of boxes to unpack. Add to that the past months of built up stress, then throw in some PMSing issues (three females on board, of course we’re going to start off with that! Plus, if you’re new, you might have missed the whole perimenopause side of this adventure) and then FIVE days of RAIN and tensions were high. I won’t speak for anyone else, but I was in tears way too often. Everything just felt so overwhelming. I wasn’t sleeping well, the kids weren’t sleeping well and that just led to more emotional roller coasters for everyone. I will say that the kids handled things much better than I did! I was just an emotional wreck far too often. I tried to hide it as much as I could, but I’m sure it was obvious that I wasn’t being terribly emotionally stable!

The one good thing was that motion sickness didn’t seem to be an issue for me. I don’t know if this was the reason, but I wore these sea bands from the moment we got on the boat. Other than a few moments of feeling queasy when trying to organize down below, I felt fine, even with the winds picking up and the boat rocking a lot!

Again, Patrick was still gone a LOT doing all the legwork for selling the trailer, getting quotes on the van repairs (which were ridiculously high), getting the van into storage (instead of fixing it), finding a use ipad for navigation software, etc.
The rest of us were feeling pretty… frayed at the edges. Missing people from land. The rain, the dinghy rides that always left us all soaked in clothes that we knew wouldn’t dry. The galley and salon were still piled high with boxes, even after filling all of the cabinets, the lack of sleep, it was all wearing on us pretty hard.

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Dinghy rides were leaving us DRENCHED with all the bigger waves, wind and rain.

I still think we did pretty good at not ripping each other’s heads off. Most of the time. There were moments, of course, we’re not super heroes. Thank goodness for each of us having our own personal space, or it might not have been so pretty.

Abyni curled up with Tiberius on the trampoline as we left the dock <3

One week from the day we finally got to our boat (Sunday) found us with sunshine again, at least sort of. Thank goodness. We finally got everything settled, got the last of our belongings onto the boat and finally on that evening of December 6th, we were finally done with all of our ‘land stuff’, at least in that location. We decided to set off on a night journey… Abyni had the best seat in the house!


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Adios, West Palm Beach
Adios, West Palm Beach!!!

Adios, West Palm Beach




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