10 Things I Wish I’d Brought on the Boat

1. Robe or medium weight zip front hoodie.

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SO many people told us that we would rarely ever need/want warm clothes being in south Florida/the Bahamas. Other than Patrick, we each brought one light jacket hoodie.

Then it was cold and rainy for weeks. Of course the weird weather hits when we get here. The further south we went, the chillier it got. Now granted, it was usually in the low 60’s and sometimes the high 50’s, but when you’re acclimating to it being in the 80’s and all you have is shorts and tank tops and one flimsy blanket at night, its a little chilly.

Anyway, I’m not saying I’d bring a whole wardrobe, but I definitely wish that we’d each have brought a couple of pairs of warm pants and two hoodies. Plus an extra warm blanket that we could always put in a vacuum bag when we didn’t need it.

**Note to say that other than the rain keeping us from doing much needed boat work, I personally ENJOYED the chilly weather… shhhh, don’t tell!!!

UPDATE: I’m now in the Bahamas and I STILL need a hoodie and long pants at times, especially in the mornings and evenings!

2. More black pants. ALL black pants.

(Girl’s TMI warning here) Periods are a fact of life for three of us on board. Another fact of life is that as you get older, they get worse. MUCH WORSE. I’ll just leave this one at that. I wish I’d have brought ALL black pants. *Ugh*

3. More empty plastic containers.

I wish I had started saving wide mouth plastic containers way sooner and had more. Plastic food storage that is good quality and seals well gets expensive quickly when you’re outfitting a boat for 6 people. I could have saved a ton. Especially once I learned more about cooking on board and realized that dried beans would work perfectly in the wonder bag. We’re getting ready to provision and I’m kicking myself for the budget that will have to go to plastic containers instead of food to go in them!

Peanut butter, protein powder and spaghetti sauce plastic ‘jars’ are good ones, those stackable water jugs are good, too, as long as you have a funnel to fill them with rice and whatnot.

4. Kindles for everyone.

We all enjoy reading a lot. We’re kind of obsessive when we get into a series, too. So now we have two kindles and 6 people. Jazz fortunately has a huge series to go through in paperback, and I have some paperbacks to read as well (and I LOVE the book swap ‘libraries’ in the marinas!), but yeah, I want to pick up a few more kindles before we head out. They hold a charge so much longer than phones, plus I like reading on those screens better.

Plus, I can stick the kindle to my ceiling and read hands-free 😉

5. A better camera bag and better batteries.

This is HUGE. I have two camera bags and neither of them are terribly functional. Everything just kind of gets tossed in there. PLUS I now have 5 different cameras with different chargers, accessories, lenses, etc (waterproof cameras, my video camera and a DSLR) and I really wish I had ONE bag that I could organize everything in. ALL of the stuff doesn’t even fit in both of the bags I have anyway. I need to figure something out. Its driving me crazy and I keep losing stuff.

Plus, I’d really like a camera bag that would either fit into a dry bag-back pack style or a waterproof bag in the first place.
6. Wet suits.

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We found a couple of wet suits through craigslist. I wish we’d bought more. Maybe not one for every person, but more than two (because one has a broken zipper on day 3). We have had to have someone in the (COLD) water almost once a day whenever we’re on the move. We’ve been having trouble with a piece of metal that came loose on the keel catching on ropes and crab pots, as well as things getting tangled in the propeller, etc. Its obvious that there are going to be times going forward when someone NEEDS to be in the water, sometimes for an extended period of time. I really want there to be at least 4 wet suits that will fit the kids. That would have been a bigger priority if I had realized how soon and how often we’d need them.

Update: We found GREAT deals on wetsuits at a marine consignment store in Key Largo. Around $25-30 each!

7. All wooden clothes pins. I thought they’d be easier to find.

If you’re going to be hanging stuff to dry, you don’t want the clothes pins with the metal springs. They get rusty in a half a second and the rust gets on your clothes. Plus, they seem to fall apart way too fast. I have looked in several stores now for all wooden clothespins and I can’t find them. 🙁 We’re hoping to leave for the Bahamas in the next week or two… I hope I can find them on our provisioning runs.

8. More bug spray options (and more anti itch options)

UGH! Bugs. I can’t believe I didn’t think this one through. I *did* buy a bunch of Skin So Soft for bug repellent, but that doesn’t work for Jaedin AT ALL. It also didn’t work for Kara (Kainan’s girlfriend) who visited with us for a week (Remind me to post about having guests when you’re NEW to your boat!) We spent DAYS without being near a store and both Jaedin and Kara were eaten alive by bugs while the rest of us were pretty much unscathed. I felt HORRIBLE. We had one tube of anti-itch cream and a bottle of calamine lotion. It had been on my LIST to get, but I hadn’t don’t the big shop yet.

Fortunately, we haven’t had to deal with bugs much at all, especially when we get away from land, but they’re still a problem and I have to remember to stock UP!

9. Book lights/personal lights.

Yes, if we have kindles, then we don’t need book lights. However, everyone of us still has paperbacks that we enjoy reading. Plus, there are a lot of the artsy types on here who like spending significant amounts of time in their rooms or in a corner drawing or doing word puzzles, what have you. The bunks DO have one small light, but it would be nice at least for the couples to have personal lights that were small so they could read once their significant other had went to sleep. Just a tiny thing, but still.

10. Enough kayaks/paddle boards for everyone to have one type of thing to travel and play on at the same time.

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THIS. We have a double kayak (that needs a repair), a paddle board, an inflatable kayak and a wind surfing board. Basically that leaves us with three ‘toys’ for us to use. That means that we take turns, go off in smaller groups or stay near the boat and take turns. Its all fine and good, no one is fussing about it, but I’m hoping that before we leave the US we can find a few more things via craigslist and such that won’t break the bank so in the future we can take family ‘trips’ without having to always rely on the dinghy. A nice long family kayaking ‘ride’ sounds wonderful to me.

We’re really feeling the pinch on this one in the Bahamas, because we never did find enough affordable deals. We have to take turns, which means that family trips pretty much have to to be in the dinghy.

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