Date: 18 July 2017. Small Powerboat
My website has opened me up to new friendships near and far. I
post and folks read. Over 3 million so far! That total is beyond
amazing to me. I
truly am blessed to lead this life. What is even better is when I
discover someone mentioning me in an online forum. A fellow boater named Sea Dreaming on
Cruiser's Forum said this: CF member janice142 has a blog
about life aboard a trawler. Very charming! I admit I
puffed up a notch at that.
That someone I never met reads my
site is beyond cool. This is a sort of legacy few of my
generation are privileged to enjoy. Often there is the feeling of
being invisible once past the half century mark. I seem have escaped
that via my website. I am so grateful folks read my stuff. Gosh
though, I wish I was as smart as my Daddy was...
Just last year I met Janice and
Marty ↓ at the St. Pete Boat
Show. They recognized me and said hello.
It was wonderful to meet them. They are nice folks!
I am not sure what was scarier: #1) That the photos
are current so I really do look like that
or, #2) That it is only going to get worse from here on out. The
calendar is not my friend!
I do not know about you, but when I
look in the mirror I see a much younger and thinner redhead.
Correction: It was in 2015 I met
Janice and Marty. Time surely slips by quickly doesn't it?!?
But I digress...
A woman named Keri was
seeking advice regarding a life in paradise aboard a sailboat. That is something I
can well understand. I wanted that too. We all want our nirvana.
Mine is aboard Seaweed. This is my advice to those wondering if
boating would work in your circumstances.
Having a boatload of money is not required.
It is helpful no doubt to have a larger pot of gold.
More money equals more choices.
For those considering a sailboat, I shall be so bold as to suggest a power
boat (small!) might be an alternative worth considering. You will be afloat and the view
The same sights are seen from the
aft deck of my 23'er as from the mega-million dollar yacht nearby.
Frankly my view is probably better because I can anchor closer to
A dolphin is swimming just off the transom of Seaweed.
As for learning about this life on a limited budget, I do believe
you will find value perusing the rest of my website. I am doing it and
enjoying life so much more than any could imagine. It has been 9 years
on this boat.
Seaweed is almost perfect except for the stuff that is broken, needs
upgrading or tweaking.
There is always something that
draws my attention. More time is spent diagnosing and figuring out
what is wrong than in the actual fix. I like the mental challenge,
most of the time.
Also, it is wonderful to have a
cadre of friends to call for advice when things are going belly up.
Cheryl and I went to lunch when we were in Gulfport
with our boats. That was fun.
other boaters offers perspective. My problem of the moment is not
the only occurrence of its kind. Another boater has had a similar
event. They know how it was solved. Sharing our triumphs is good. I
know I appreciate the guidance when I'm going off course. I tend to look for the complicated solution when there is
something easy I could and should try first.
Staying in touch is critical. How I do that is described in the
Lonely No More
article. If you only telephone when you want something folks will
duck (avoid) your calls.
A simple "I was just thinking
about you and wondered how you are doing" phone call can reestablish
relationships that have faded. I recommend it.
Contact is important too for sanity's sake. I remember one Christmas
where I saw not a living soul. No signs of life, no cars driving in
the distance, no boats moving. It was spooky.
Were it not for the cell phone I
have wondered if I had fallen into one of those *TEOTWAWKI scenarios
described in the dystopian novels and by YouTube preppers and
survivalists! That last Christmas in Carrabelle was a pivotal point
in my life. I am grateful I have a boat that will take me out for an
afternoon or weeks at a time. Life is good afloat.
*TEOTWAWKI: The End Of The World
As We Know It, i.e. doomsday or Apocalypse causing societal collapse
Mother used to say:
The ideal boat sleeps two,
feeds four and drinks six.
I believe that to be true. Mine however sleeps
one, feeds two and I do not drink. Finding the right boat is not
easy. Deciding what best suits your intended IMMEDIATE use is
Do not buy a world cruiser until you have spent time living aboard a coastal
boat. Once you know what fits you, selecting your Last Boat will not be overwhelming. You will
not be a novice.
That boating experience will save you money
in the long term. Knowing what you can live with along with what
will never work are two items that can make or break this life afloat.
As a woman alone I had a few
items on my checklist that were important to me:
Diesel engine. I bought a boat
with a gasser.
I wanted a place to entertain
where the fellow would not be staring at my bunk. Definitely did not want anyone
to get any "ideas" you know?
See out. No caves. I wanted to be
able to sit down and look over the anchorage. Watching nature is an
important part of my happiness quotient.
This is my dinette area. I do most of my daytime
Continuing with my list of Must Have's:
No boat would meet all my
requirements. Like me, you will be choosing what will work and
making adaptations. I chose an inadequate boat that did not have all
I needed. Seaweed had enough, and in the intervening nine years (I
bought her on Pi Day 2008) she is
Chartering a boat similar (ideally identical) to your Dream Boat can
help solidify your opinions about life aboard that model. Boat
layout is important to me. I wanted a galley up. Many wish for more
entertaining space, with the galley down below.
Ron of Doodle Bug, formerly Aces &
Kings, enjoys his go-fast fishing boat. He steers from the fly
Ron ↑ on the
fly-bridge of his Viking40.
Ron likes running his boat from the fly-bridge. Lots of folks do
like being up where they can watch the waters. That is especially
convenient in areas with coral reefs like the Bahamas. I am not keen
on being in the sun so prefer a pilothouse for inside steering.
Read more, learn more, ask questions, fine-tune your
plan and then ask for help implementing it. In the meantime visit
YachtWorld for eye
candy. See what appeals to you and what you do not like.
This is the view from my galley sink. I love that lacy Thames River
tablecloth turned into a curtain.
As a trawler owner, I wanted my
galley up so I could see out while cooking and washing dishes. This
is also a benefit because of my age. I drink more because it is
convenient to get out a beverage from my reefer aka refrigerator. If
the reefer were down below I do not know that I would "feel like"
going up and down steps just to get something to wet my whistle.
My friend, looking for his Last Boat, wants a
covered cockpit. He calls it his back porch and imagines himself
sitting back there reading his
Kindle. Yep, you guessed it: he
been in my cockpit reading and found it very relaxing.
I have rattled on a bit. This life is possible
however you need to absolutely have the correct boat. I believe for
me (and possibly you too) that a power boat, houseboat or even
shanty-boat should be an option to consider. I love love love my
I can well imagine living out
my days aboard her. She is not fancy. Seaweed is my home, my shelter, my safety and
my happiness. I would not want to live anyplace else.
Good luck to all those seeking their Dream Boat. I hope you find
your happiness and bliss. I have!
I'd love to hear what boats you considered at the
beginning of your boat search.
And, what boat did you end up shopping for/buying?
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