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23' mini-trawler
by Schucker

Janice aboard Seaweed,
living the good life afloat...

Trawler cruising on $10 per day is possible.
I'm doing it and you can too.

Janice Marois, nautical journalist.
Accredited member of Boat Writers International.

It's been suggested I share my views on living aboard a boat with very limited resources. Hopefully my successes will help others achieve the life. And yes, I'll share the things I did wrong too -- though not everything 'cause a girl's got to have her secrets!


Date: 20 June 2015. Cruising in Tandem.

Boat brokers used to be totally male-centric. They believed their typical buyer was a man, successful in life. The ideal prospect wished to get out here and become Captain Courageous. And gosh, there's a boat just for you Cap'n. Marked down this week and probably about to be snapped up by a discerning guy...

And then there was me. Over fifty, grey hair, the wrong gender, not much money and wanting more than the glossy stuff shown online. When shopping for Seaweed many brokers would not answer queries from Janice. When I would resend the exact same note signing "Janice (and Frank)" I'd get a response.

Meet Frank:

I played the game and got what I wanted, i.e. information about various boats I might buy. Brokers would be wise to not judge by a name. And not all were less than stellar.

Only one boat brand and size interested me in the end. Thus the views about boat brokers stated in this article are not wide-ranging statistically. It would have been good to have shopped for a boat where more than six were built. That certainly limited my choices.

If you're a lady wanting to
buy a boat: Congratulations!

There are a surprising number of women afloat who are single or start out so. Just like the guy with a big yacht, a girl with a boat is a sort of aphrodisiac for the men folk.

It's a rough life, but someone has to do it. And truly just make sure your boat meets Mother's requirements:

The ideal boat sleeps two,
 feeds four and drinks six.

My Seaweed does half that. She sleeps one, feeds two and drinks three... sometimes I might wish I'd opted for a bit larger, you know? There are some interesting fellows in the world however they won't fit onboard Seaweed. Thus, they need their own boat.

Cruising in tandem sounds just about perfect to me. I have my privacy, my domain, and so too would my fellow. Presuming the little dresses I've taken to wearing actually work their magic.

Eliza described them to me and she's right. Her article is here: Dresses and Yeses. I'd love to know how things are going with Eliza. Perhaps she'll write again. Hint to Eliza: Where are you? What are you doing? And with whom or is that too presumptuous? Details, girl. I live vicariously through you!

End Bunny Trail. (A bunny trail is what Kidlet calls it when I wander off the topic at hand.)

Cruising in tandem means that two boats are heading the same way and follow along as a pair. Sometimes two boats, sometimes more but all heading in the same general direction. This makes for a good social life when stopping at marinas where you'd normally be destined to be the newest arriving stranger.

When cruising it's fun to socialize with fellow boaters.

And for those of us at anchor, a pot-luck dinner aboard a friend's boat is always a welcome respite.

Bear and Drew came by one night for clams and
rice. They brought some wonderful garlic bread.

However when cruising in tandem I might suggest that you look outside your group to others. Get on the VHF and say "hello" or hop in your dinghy and explore. Local knowledge can be gained from the boats already there before you.

And besides, you might meet someone interesting that can help you with a dilemma. By the same token, it's quite possible something you know can help another boater.

I met Belle O' The Bay, a beautiful 44' Hatteras when anchored back in Saul Creek. Terry and Jeff printed and passed along charts (with compass headings) for the next leg of my trip. And their well-behaved Yorkie named Belle certainly enamored my Skipper.

We had a lovely visit too.

More on the status of the engine work in the upcoming 24 June article.

Comments welcome and encouraged on the Cruising in Tandem page.

Categories:  Anchorages, Boat Talk, Boats, Characters, Locations, Pets, Relationships


Announcement: I did start a few months ago emailing notices to readers when new articles go up. If you'd like to be included via BCC* simply drop me a line to janice@janice142.com and I'll add you. It's free.

*BCC - Blind Carbon Copy. Basically no one but me will have your email address and the list of subscribers is not available.

Now this is not fancy. Basically I copy off the top three items in my Archive file. That way you can catch up if life gets in the way of your reading fun.

Secret: If you want to know what's what, start in the Archive. It offers you the title, first paragraph and topics (Categories) covered in each article published on my website.

Skipper, First Mate extraordinaire

Of course every boat needs a Deck Swabbie. Mine, born in 2008, is a papillon mix who weighs in at 4 pounds 3 ounces.


Coming soon ...

Change creates chaos. Argh!


The Archive holds a chronological list of every item published on my website. It includes a brief synopsis (not just the title) along with the topics covered in each article.

Click on the title and voila: you're there. Enjoy!

Topics of Interest:
You can achieve a simple satisfying life

Oh, a wondrous bird is the pelican!
His bill holds more than his belican.
He can take in his beak enough food for a week.
But I'm darned if I know how the helican.
(Poem by Dixon Lanier Merritt, 1879-1972.)


For years I've been collecting short pithy statements otherwise known as aphorisms. If you're like me and enjoy the weird, go ahead and CLICK!

These are previously posted at the bottom of each article -- for new, you'll have to come visit again.

Seaweed is being repaired in Carrabelle right now.

The above chart (#411) can be a wish book of sorts as you look over your domain and wonder where to go next. And yes, I do have the originals (sans red arrow) as jpeg's for download should you desire your own for closer perusal. Enjoy!

The Writer's Block

It's my belief that other folks who boat are some of the most interesting in the world, and inside every boater is a story. Well, let yours out! I'd love to post short stories, vignettes, or even longer articles that focus on some aspect of our life on or near the water. Suggested topics include:

1. I Remember When...
2. My First Boat
3. Who inspired you to be a boater?
4. Fishing Trips or Tricks
5. Or another subject of your choosing

Life has changed so much on the water since I was born aboard, and personally I'd love to hear your memories of life when you were younger. Boats were smaller, narrower, and much slower, but kids, well, kids were kids. Here are my two aboard the tow boat my dad ran for a time:

Your pictures would be wonderful too. I posted one of Boot Key Harbor taken in 2001 that has gotten quite a few downloads and really, that's not so terribly long ago... Do you have any photos to share? Email me.

Do you want to help out?

Often an article for the website will be completely written yet lack photographs. I like pictures and am looking for some for up-coming pieces:

  • Parrot or a macaw

  • Electric food dehydrator

  • A box of wine, opened (showing bag inside)

  • Derelict sloop or ketch

Size: a minimum of 1000 pixels across please. If that doesn't make sense think bigger versus resized for emailing -- I'd prefer the full-size version. Also, the name you'd like me to use when I add the copyright stuff to your picture. And thanks!

My email address is janice@janice142.com

23' Schucker mini-trawler, circa 1983.

Thanks for visiting. If you happen to see my boat along the waterways, give a call on Channel 16. I'm always listening.

click picture to enlarge

My home is not fancy by any means, however you cannot imagine how wonderful it is to come back to her after an expedition on shore.

If I can live this life, why not you too?

Skipper, First Mate

Aphorism Alert: Begin doing what you want to now. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand, and melting like a snowflake. Marie Beyon Ray.

Contributions to my Cruising Kitty
are always appreciated.

Every gift helps.

The Cruising Kitty is what boaters refer to as spending money. There's never enough aboard Seaweed!

I am also an Amazon Affiliate.


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