Transitioning to Living Aboard the Sailboat: The Best Things

Transitions: From Land Living to Boat Living
The Best Things

BEST THING #1: Sleep. I’ve dealt with insomnia to one extent or another as long as I can remember. Since moving aboard, I have been having some awesome sleep. Today, for instance, I had a glorious nap in the middle of the day. It was 68 degrees, the wind was blowing, the family was all gone ashore for one thing or another, the boat was rocking just the right amount and I slept like a wonderfully happy, well fed baby (ie: for about two hours until I woke up hungry ;).

Granted, there are nights when I can’t sleep worth crap because the wind is a little TOO anxious making, the wind generator is whirring with that horrible anxiety-making pitch, the boat feels like its going to yank the anchor out of the ground and go careening off where it shouldn’t… those nights aren’t great. But MOST nights it has been pretty damn awesome. I love the motion of the boat (again, so SO glad I am not suffering from motion sickness!) when we’re anchored, moored, sailing or even motoring. The breezes through the hatches are wonderful and our snug little bed in our tiny little cabin is just perfect.

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I can even crash on the deck when we’re motoring or sailing. I didn’t expect THAT!

BEST THING #2: Mornings. I have really never been much of a morning person (although those few months I worked at Sprouts came close), but since being on the boat and sleeping better, I am falling asleep earlier and waking up naturally much earlier than I used to. This means:

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BEST THING #3: Breakfast/Food. I have woken up before the kids nearly every single morning (8:30 actually seems to be my time of day… weird!) and made breakfast. We seem to generally have ‘fried’ potatoes, eggs and pancakes, although that sometimes varies, if we have it, I make eggs and potatoes every day. Its so strange to realize that for the first time, probably since childhood, I am eating breakfast every day! And that brings me to:

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Kainan and Kara fighting over my apple pie pancakes on their first morning aboard 🙂

BEST THING #4: Family Time. We usually sit down and have breakfast together. Here I thought family dinner would be ‘the thing’ and as it turns out, we DO have that often, but breakfast is even more consistent. I really enjoy these people on our crew (Yeah, they’re my kids, so I might be biased, but still!) I enjoy the joking around, the stories, the laughter and discussions. It is a fantastic way to start the day.

BEST THING #5: Marriage Things. I have been married for almost 22 years. We’ve had our ups and downs like everyone, but he’s my lobster

In the first weeks of living on the boat, maybe I should have added ‘marriage’ to my Hard Things post (and no, not like that!) because my stress was causing Patrick stress on top of his own stresses. That made him keep working longer hours on boat stuff, trying to “fix it” so that everything would go more smoothly for everyone… resulting in distance between us. That obviously didn’t help my state of mind.

We’re doing much better at actually making sure not to get lost in the busy of boat prep/repairs and give each other attention and that has pretty instantly become one of the “best things” because I love spending quality time with this man. He’s incredible and it feels like I’m recharging my batteries just to have that time and attention on each other.

BEST THING #6: Scenery. I suppose everyone has their “thing” that they most look forward to when thinking of this lifestyle. For me, one of those things was photography. I couldn’t wait to take photos of the gorgeous sunsets. What I wasn’t expecting is that sometimes (although I have to admit not OFTEN!) I get so absorbed by the awesomeness of the scenery around me, I forget to take photos. Photos are amazing and stunning and I am obviously passionate about taking them, but the reality is so much more intense. There is the ‘picture’ in front of you, but also the breeze, the smell of fresh salt air, the sound of the waves… and even more that you just can’t capture on film. It is definitely one of my ‘best things’ on this adventure thus far!

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BEST THING #7: Ch-ch-ch-changes. I love change. I love new places. I enjoy not having roots in one place. I love the fact that when we’ve tired of a place, or it just doesn’t ‘click’, we can just pick up our house and move. Maybe one of the best things about living a traveling lifestyle! I’ve very much missed that aspect of life since we stopped living on the road in our bus years ago.

BEST THING #8: Habits. I mentioned in a couple of earlier posts (before we even left land or met the boat) that I was looking forward to changing some of our bad habits. There was far too much internet/netflix time happening EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. and it was getting out of hand.

Since moving onto the boat Patrick and the kids have watched movies. Its just that now its more like once a week instead of hours of binge watching tons of episodes of Supernatural/Dr. Who/Bob’s Burgers (or whatEVER the show of the day is). The other nights are for sitting out on deck and watching the stars or more often than not, playing games around the table in the salon (usually interspersed with random bouts of singing, giggling, etc) or drawing (Abyni’s sketching is improving by leaps and bounds!) or even pairing up to do word puzzles or the like. I love these new habits we’re developing! Abyni wrote a post about her ‘Boredom Busters’ the other day, if you have artsy kids, you might enjoy it!

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She’s went from this level to this in just over a month of working with the colored pencil portrait book on her own!

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A few months ago, “Castiel”
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Current portrait she did of a woman.

There are actually a lot of smaller changes taking place that I’m very pleased about, too, but I suppose that will probably be its own post at some point. I’ll just say that for the first time in years, I’ve read at least 5 novels, Patrick is on his second or third and the kids have been reading more as well. Add to that more exercise, meals instead of random grazing and snacking all the time… good things are happening 🙂

BEST THING #9: Dad Time. I know, this is kind of the same as family time, but as I said above, Patrick worked a LOT before we moved onto the boat. His quality time with the kids was few and far between. Add to that the ‘habits’ listed above, particularly game playing instead of internet-ing and you have the recipe for awesome evenings around the table.

I’m not much of a game player (okay, I really dislike playing card/board games), so I use the opportunity to let Patrick have time with his kids playing the games they all really enjoy and I lie in my cabin reading/having quiet time. Not going to lie, sometimes I just lie there listening to the chatter and laughter going on in the salon. I LOVE hearing the kids and Patrick hanging out and just enjoying each others’ company. Its been far too rare in the last LONG while and it makes for amazing memories. I am so thankful that my kids get to have so much time with their dad. <3

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BEST THING #10: Writing. I love to write. As a matter of fact, creatively speaking, there are very few things I enjoy more than writing and creating stories with words. I suppose acting is probably up there right along side it, but even then, writing a screenplay is at the top of my bucket list, so I may end up acting in my own creation.

Anyway, I have journaled for well over a decade online. I love writing for my own purposes, I find it theraputic to write out my thoughts and feelings and get a handle on them that way quite often. I’ve also blogged off and on in a more public format as well and wished that I could do *that* more often, but I always lacked something to write ABOUT. One of the things I was excited about with this adventure was the ability to start blogging again because I’d finally ahve new and interesting things to write about. I am struggling with the timing, since we don’t always have internet, but I’m definitely enjoying the writing and photography aspect of it! I’m also enjoying the videography side of things this time around as well. That one has a bit more of a learning curve for me, as I don’t know much about video editing, but writing… all I need is a laptop (and some electricity)!

And… there you have it (for now). Its not been all glitter farts and rainbows, but I would do it all over again if I had the choice!

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