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23' mini-trawler
by Schucker

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

Trawler cruising on $14 per day is possible.
I'm doing it and you can too.

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

Here, I share my views on living aboard a small 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!


A BIG THANK YOU to Chris, Ryan, Bi, Rita, Michael, Ted and Bill who donated to my Cruising Kitty in 2018. That was so nice of you. Thanks for your support and encouragement!!!

Date: 13 January 2019. Frog and the Red Tide.


Soloist life aboard Seaweed can be interesting. One particular thing I enjoy is the variety that each new day brings. Today I might spend blitzing on new Kindle books, while tomorrow might find me in the bilges. I believe the mental stimulation is good for me. Sometimes though I'm a bit too stimulated. Here's what happened recently.

This tale started with a plant. For years I was convinced I could kill a plastic plant. Then I anchored in the crook between Saul Creek and the Jackson River. A tree had fallen into the water. With each tide I noticed a bit of a greenery being submerged. I wanted to save that greenery.

When I discovered my "green thumb"
 I was anchored here on SAUL CREEK.

I rescued this moss with a small twig of
a tree growing out of it. Here's a picture:

The life I lead is exciting. I grow moss. The tree/twig
 portion to the right of Santa's workshop did not survive.

As you can see, the moss grew and grew.


In front of my moss are several small containers with scallions. About every two months I buy a bunch of scallions. I use from the top, leaving the final one inch with roots intact. That piece I place in water, covering just the bottom 1/4 inch of the stalk. The scallion will grow again.

Scallion bunches are bought at the grocery store. I select the largest diameter scallions I can find. That is because as the plant grows again, it becomes progressively skinnier. I can always get two crops out of each scallion stalk. Sometimes I third batch will grow too, but not usually.

Growing some of my own produce helps keep expenses down. Plus, it is fun to have some greenery around. Each morning I water the plants aboard Seaweed. That water is the run-off from rinsing my sprouts.

The goal is to utilize everything, and dispose of nothing that could be useful another way. Sometimes that means simply donating an item to a thrift store. Everything serves a purpose, or it is off my boat ASAP!


This is my basil plant. For a
while I grew basil. It is easy to grow.

Then I discovered I did not particularly care for the flavor of basil. If you're growing something to eat, make sure you like it first. I didn't do that with the basil.

Side Note: Folks with limited water supplies do on occasion utilize the same water more than one purpose. In the morning I rinse my sprouts, pouring off the excess water into a plastic bowl. I then use that rinse water to hydrate the rest of the plants aboard Seaweed.

I believe the rinse water from
 my sprouts to be more nutrient
rich than plain tap water.


One day I felt SOMETHING jump
across my hand as I was watering the moss.

Needless to say, I was surprised. Immediately I spotted
the culprit on the silver Reflectix placed over the window.

I wondered where the frog came from.
Then I spotted a HOLE under the moss.

While I like wildlife I prefer it to live outside, not in my boat. Additionally, I have a rather irrational fear of frogs. They give me the creeps. Having this one hop across my hand did nothing to enamor me to it. That frog had to go.

Though I'm not fond of frogs I did not want to put it ashore where predators could get at it. Neither did I want the frog to live inside my home. Because the frog had disappeared shortly after the photos were taken I assumed it had returned to his home under the moss.

That is when I took the entire moss planter out into the cockpit. I was nervous AND determined to rid my pilothouse of the frog. Out back I have a basket with an aloe plant in it. The moss planter was placed inside the hanging basket.

My aloe basket is hanging on the
port side under the cockpit overhang.


I set the moss container inside the aloe basket, trusting the frog to move into the bigger digs.

A few hours later I moved the moss
back inside. I never saw the frog again.


So if you wonder what I do each day, well, sometimes it is not very much at all. Meeting the frog threw me off for a bit. I still wonder how long that critter lived in my moss. There have been zero flies, moths or flying insects inside Seaweed for ages so I'm not sure when Ribbit arrived.

Ribbit: For my foreign readers, "ribbit" is an American word used to mimic the sound a frog makes. It is similar to the deeper "croak" sound of a toad, though of a higher pitch.

I name critters that become a part of my world for a time. For the record, Ribbit never made a sound, though I may have squeaked when he hopped across my hand!

The most important thing is this: He's gone.

This comic can be found at http://SpeedBump.com -
 The artist is Dave Coverly. Definitely explore his website.
Look for his cartoon panel Speed Bump in newspapers.

Isis the snowy egret hangs out
in the cockpit, near my aloe planter.

A couple days after Ribbit moved outside saw Isis poking at the aloe leaves. She had never paid attention to the plant previously. All this happened during the time of red tide/algae bloom. I suspect that rather than eating fish (there were none) or my hotdogs, Isis expanded her menu options.

I had been afraid of predators ashore and didn't even think about my birds as potential threats to Ribbit. Providing a frog to Isis had not been my plan. Sigh.

As an aside, mullet have returned to
the canal. The red tide is gone from here.


Aboard Seaweed I have been busy writing. Thanks Karl for gifting me a Win7 netbook. It is very much appreciated. Win7 is what I need for the Front Page writing program I utilize. A netbook is ideal for me because it does not use a lot of power.

In any event, a new year means a lot of tweaking to update stuff nobody sees.

And too, I love my Kindle. Between the Kindle and the tablet, I can spend hours reading, exploring, visiting Pinterest, viewing YouTube videos, and wandering around the internet.

Life is very good aboard Seaweed. I am truly blessed.

Happy boating to you, and thanks for reading.

Comments welcome and encouraged on the
Frog and the Red Tide page.

Categories: Characters, Galley, Locations, Money, Wild Things,


Announcement: Folks who want to be notified when I post are welcome to become subscribers. I email readers every time a new article goes up. That's usually once or twice per week. 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.

Something a new reader might not realize: Almost every picture on this website can be clicked. The photo will get larger when clicked. Do that a second time and the picture should be full size. Enjoy...

My Cruising Kitty earns money each time you buy on Amazon through my links. It costs you nothing and helps supplement my cruising funds.

Thanks for your support, and heck, just for being here. I appreciate that more than you can imagine.

Paypal Tablet link:  *CRUISING KITTY
*for those who wish to donate direct to me via paypal.


Pet of the Week: Tigger
aboard MSV Wanderlust

Submit your pet's photo.
Please email pictures of your crew!

More canine, feline and feathered crew members can be found on the The First Mate Gallery page.


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!

Skipper, First Mate extraordinaire

Of course every boat needs a Deck Swabbie. Mine, born in 2008, is a papillon mix. She weighs in at five pounds.

Coming soon ...


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 in St. Pete 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. Inside every boater is a story. 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

For the novice, here's how to write: Simply pretend you're sending a letter to a friend. Tell about an event or a memory from years ago that you still recall.

Life has changed so much on the water since I was born aboard. Personally I'd love to hear your memories of life when you were younger. Boats were smaller, narrower, and much slower. Kids were kids and our families often shaped the adult we have become. 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:

  • Pets afloat (include pet and boat name please)

  • Any picture of boats underway or at anchor

  • Photos of people enjoying life in or on the water

Size: a minimum of 1000 pixels across please. If that doesn't make sense think bigger versus resized for emailing. I 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 bunches!

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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