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Date: 9 June 2014. Seldom Bored.

This retirement thing is so amazing I wish I'd done it sooner.  Many boaters are asked what we do all day and folks (including my child) wonder how we can fill the hours. Especially when anchored in remote areas with little outside entertainment, boredom and loneliness seem almost to be expected. And that is plain wrong!

Honestly, I don't know how I ever managed to be the wife, home school my children, survive divorce, raise the kidlets, support us and still have Me Time back then. I know I was a lot more frazzled, and not nearly so well organized, and the house certainly wasn't as tidy as the boat is.

Back then the problem was finding time to do the things I
needed to do, and that's occasionally an issue aboard Seaweed.

BUT the things I want to do are primarily fun now!

Recently website visitor Richard, a million-mile motorcyclist currently of Lake Helen, FL wrote and asked: "I have known others that tried living on a boat (mostly sailboats), and they seemed to be all right as long as they were moving...moving towards a goal or destination. A problem usually arose when they were having to live the moment by moment life of being anchored or moored for more than a few days...Too much time on their hands, or they got bored, or they HAD to have a goal to focus on, or perhaps a little of each.

How does that work for YOU?"

I suspect like other soloists, boaters in particular are viewed as slightly unusual. Women are by nature I believe nurturing and my Kidlet thought I would be unhappy with no one to care about or take care of. And I confess to thinking "that's crazy" and "I'll have fun of course" but...

She was right. I know. Shocking!
 

And that is how my First Mate came to be so important to my happiness quotient.

Four pounds of fur and fluff, Skipper is a Papillon mix. She's smart: has me fairly well trained.


The thing is, as a soloist there are times when we miss the interaction of another -- the sharing of a dolphin playing by the boat, or that sea turtle that poked its head up just off the port quarter. It's at times like that when I am thankful for my friend Irene on Katja.  She encouraged a habit I think all of us should follow:

Telephone someone every day -- doesn't matter who, just dial a friend or associate.

Irene's idea as described in the article Lonely No More is pure genius.  Even if my call is but a minute or two, it's nice to touch base with people. And when I need advice (like the engine difficulties of late) I've had a group of friends to call on who know I like them and not just for their mechanical knowledge!

The daily phone calls have been a blessing.

But often I will think about a problem or something I'd like changed aboard Seaweed. Of late most of my pondering has been spent concerning the engine -- what to do, how to do it, and most important:

Am I digging a hole by pouring further near-to-nonexistent funds into an old engine?
OR, is fixing this latest issue a step up the ladder and back into the cruising mode?
 

[This conundrum will be a topic in an upcoming article. Often by writing I am able to more clearly order my thoughts. It helps, and the advice offered has been a true boon.]
 

As for the question about being bored however, it matters not if I am moving or not. Boredom is not a factor. In that regard, the Kindle my friend gave me for my last birthday has been a wonder. Previously, I have run out of books.

That's why I keep a few puzzle magazines aboard. I enjoy logic problems (England's Finest are my favorites) along with sudoku and Dell cross-word puzzle books. Penny Press makes some good ones with a variety of puzzles.  Some are simply too difficult -- I prefer the easier ones as I like success.
 


 

Along those lines, there are a couple of card games I play.  Midnight Sunitaire is the digital version of a game we used to play on the boat when I was a boat kidlet. It's fun, and with a bit of thought you can win most times -- but not always. Still, I prefer the computer version as I can undo and figure out how to beat it.

The latest version of FreeCell is best too. It has undo and though I'm not an expert my percentages are increasing. I enjoy the challenge of games that require thinking. 

My favorite logic game was Sherlock. It's an older PC game that played well on Win95 thru WindowsMe.  But it doesn't play on Vista and I cannot tell you how disappointed I am by that. It was actually my favorite way to relax.

Now, nearly every afternoon that I'm anchored the DVD player my friend Ken on Sparrow gifted me is turned on for a hour or two. The player, a Toshiba originally intended for vehicles, uses just 15 watts at 12-volts. Because the power consumption is low I can enjoy it for a movie or two without concern.

Aboard Seaweed I do have a rather extensive DVD library with perhaps as many as 100 DVDs.  I enjoy watching movies more than one time because often I'll see something I didn't notice on the first go-round.  My tastes run to older comedies, some musicals, Disney, and science fiction.
 


When getting together with new friends often a movie and some popcorn is a way to relax and enjoy ourselves. Because my collection is rather diverse it's fun to be able to offer options.  Recently I met Drew and his dad on Thursday's Child, a Westsail32. We spent several afternoons watching
StarTrek Voyager, along with a few Harry Potter's and more.
 

Drew, between movies... Drew is a hockey fan and player.  Skipper sure liked Drew a lot.


Still, I am often grateful I chose a power boat. With Seaweed, when I sit down I can see out and there's always something of interest out there.  The changing tides means the view alters -- I don't know that sitting in a marina would offer the same benefits, though of course the social interaction would be far greater.

That's one of the best parts of life tied to a dock. The get-togethers are easily arranged, often spur-of-the-moment and generally quite fun.  I've been aboard Edge (Bud and Tessie's boat) with Ali and Chuck (of Kairos) more than one time. Those ladies are amazing cooks! 
 


For myself, I don't know that I'd be happy sitting inside a sailboat without a view of the surroundings. Yes, of course you can be on deck -- so can I, but the cushy seats are all inside, out of the sun on Seaweed. For me, that has made all the difference in my comfort level.

At my age (vintage) I am no longer willing to accept roughing it. For me, boating is about luxuriating in my small nook. Sure, there are things I'd like improved (more solar, bigger battery bank, tuna door for easier access to the swim platform) but for now, boredom isn't an issue.

There are too many things to do and see. As always, should you ever see my Seaweed, give a call on Channel 16. I'm always listening.

As an only child I am used to entertaining myself. Perhaps that plays a role in being comfortable alone. Are you more a social being?  Do you suppose your preference is affected by the siblings (or lack thereof) you had while growing up?

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