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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, 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: 1 September 2014. Schooling for Vagabonds.
Guest author Joy in a Minivan.

This piece is for The Writer's Block. It's written by an online friend and speaks to attaining the life I had growing up aboard a 40'er (sedan cruiser) as we moved from place to place. This article is current versus my experiences in the 1960's and I hope you will find it inspirational. I did. Comments are encouraged.

[A group of us were discussing schooling for children while living a mobile lifestyle, and this letter struck such a chord in me that I suspect others may find it useful as well.]

Traveling across America is exactly what I am currently planning to do with my 9-year-old son in the coming months.

Meanwhile, please know that I understand the trepidations and concerns all too well. As parents, we want only to do what is best for our children. We have a very short and fleeting time with them before they fly off on their own, and we want so badly to give them a good, strong foundation in which to plant their feet so they will go off on their own to live good, strong, healthy, happy and compassionate lives.

As I see it, there are many ways to do this. In fact, there are so many and varied ways to raise children to become good adults, that we are almost paralyzed by the possibilities and the fears that surround them. Most of us end up conforming to the current standard of living and educating, and there is nothing wrong with that at all. But there are other ways to love and educate children, and if you have the courage to pursue them, there is no one better than you with whom your son can spend his time.

As for me, I wondered since my son was born about alternative ways to educate and raise him, but I really never had the courage. A couple of years ago I became seriously ill and this changed everything. I realized that while I know my time with my son is limited to the first 18 years of his life and during those 18 years he will become increasingly more influenced by factors outside of our home life, what I didn't realize quite so starkly is that our time with our children is, in reality, limited to right now. NOW is what I have with him, and if I am blessed to live for a long time into the future, I don't want to look back on these years and wish I had found a way to spend a year on the road with him showing him these great United States of America which my father, his grandfather, honored with his service in WWII.

insert war medals picture

We don't have much to travel with at this point. We have little money because my illness took just about all of what we had. But I am trying now to save enough money to set out with him to see America at least, sleeping in state parks and forests and wherever we can - with safety as my main concern.

All we have at this point is an older Honda minivan with 100,000+ miles on the clock. I would love a larger van but can't afford to buy a good one and am afraid of buying an old one which might need repairs that I can't pay for or that will burden us and hinder our travels. At least I know this minivan and where it has been and how it has been maintained.

I am starting slow...but working steadily...to put small things into place. For example, I've made some screens and I've purchased some fans and a small portable camping toilet, etc etc. I have started to buy things as I can, little by little, and I have spent HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS online studying everything from van dwelling to "road-schooling" to issues like power and wifi on the road. I'm obsessed with trying to figure out how to best make use of such a tiny tiny space...the two of us traveling, sleeping, eating, and especially staying safe.

I respectfully suggest that you start figuring how you want to lay out your van and what you need and desire on board, and take a trip with your son in your van for a few days or a week this summer and see how it goes. I plan to do this, and I suspect it will give us a fair idea of what we will need for the more extended trip back and forth across this great nation, or wherever we go.

I have my health issues to consider, and that is a caveat of course. But every day is a gift and every GOOD day is a miracle. I need to make the most of these days, and I want my son to have memories and strength and a strong sense of compassion to carry with him long after I am gone from this world.

I wish you and your son the very best as you plan your adventures together.

Joy in a Minivan.

Comments welcome and encouraged on the Schooling for Vagabonds page.

Category:  Characters, The Writer's Block


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.

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 ...

A new arrival.


The Archive holds a running list with synopsis of published articles, and links to same.

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.


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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