Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Another day aboard Lucky

Life is definitely starting to normalize now as Martin and I grow accustomed to living on the boat. What's it like...it's kind of like living in a small rustic cabin that sits on an active, though mild, earthquake zone. We are forced to put everything away after it's used or it takes forever to tidy up so we can move the boat. I personally, really like this because I'm a bit of a neat freak. Martin feels otherwise, but I must say that he has risen to the occasion! I was sick when we moved onto the boat but in retrospect, I think I was also sea sick. I'm really sensitive to the rocking and rolling. Today, the winds are at 10 mph. This means constant movement, especially with the boats going in and out of the marina added to the mix. I'm fine with it now but I don't want to spend too much time on land because I don't want to readjust... And I do get "land legs" where I get a bit dizzy sitting down on land (it makes eating out a bit more challenging), but that's not too bad. Once you stop feeling queasy it's actually really nice, a gentle rocking back and forth.

We have now used almost every appliance and space on the boat. The convection oven took 35 minutes to warm a portabella. We may have an issue there, but it works just fine as a microwave. We've stir fried on the outside grill and boiled eggs on the stove top. We can't run any 2 appliances at the same time so we make tea, then coffee, then toast... Martin is the cook, so I'm just fine with a coffee pot, toaster oven and stove top - that's all I've ever really needed! I once again tried to lite toast on fire, it's much easier to deal with on a boat - you just throw the whole oven onto the dock and let it smolder there (like I said, Martin is the cook...)

It's a small space. I would venture no more than 200 square feet below (I don't include the back cabin because it's all storage and not "living" space). If it's warm and you can go up top, you get an additional 100 sq feet or so. I lived in a 225 sq ft studio for 9.5 years with 3 cats, so living here with 1 human is not that big of a stretch. It's much less cramped when you can use the helm area. Our table just fits 2 laptops or 1 quilting project! You definitely need to get off the boat every day or you find that you don't move - literally. So far, Martin and I are doing well in the space together. It's definitely tight and if you're irritated with each other, well, there isn't really anywhere to go. This actually can force communication - always a good thing. I'm thinking this will be a productive and ultimately very positive experience for the two of us. You may need to check in with Martin on his perspective :)

I really like marina living in the US - we have all the amenities of home. We have electricity, unlimited water, internet and phone. I think that the Bahamas will be a little more difficult. I'm very addicted to the internet. Without that, I think I'll feel much more isolated. Maybe by that time though, it won't sound so scary! Hm. It's quiet on the boat. We went and got a radio yesterday. I need my NPR fix! We have no tv but that's not a big deal, we don't watch it much any way. But we did bring LOTS of dvds. So we are catching up on American pop culture by starting to watch season 1 of the 30 Rock. Neither of us has ever seen the show and we've really enjoyed the few episodes we've seen so far. Especially after visiting New York in November and going to 30 Rockefeller and seeing it up close and live (my aunt Lori works there, for NBC, and even got us in to see SNL - can't even describe how fun that was!)

Several people asked me (us) "what will you DO? on the boat?" I replied "the same things I do at home". Now I do have a better feel (after 10 days) for what we "do" on the boat, and it's just like at home, I was right! So far - a typical day looks like this, or there about... Up early, with the sun usually, between 7-7:30. Make tea/coffee. "Lately" (and my daily goal), is to go for a jog or exercise. Then breakfast. Then chores. These take on all shapes and sizes - cleaning inside and out of the boat (she gets dirty/messy fast), blogging (!), running to the store for supplies, laundry, etc. We often go into town on our bikes - for a late lunch or shopping. Then in the afternoon it's fun stuff - quilting and listen to a book on tape for me, reading or video games for Mart. In the evening we have been seeing Sue & Armando a lot. If we aren't socializing, it's just like home, cooking dinner and then chilling, maybe catching some 30 Rock! It's a lovely life of leisure and the days actually fly by. And yes, every day I recognize what a gift this experience is!

We've been in Naples long enough that I feel comfortable here. I've managed to drag myself out for some morning jogs - 10 minutes to reach the Gulf, 10 more down to the fancy dancy rich neighborhoods and back. We know where the Starbucks is, the West Marine and supermarkets. We had dinner with Sue and Armando the other night at "the first English Pub in Naples". It was awesome! I thought the cider was really strong but I think it's my "land legs". I've always been a "cheap date" but now it's down right ridiculous. Sue and I closed down the Cheesecake factory last night, our girls-night-out with pomegranate margaritas, it was awesome. It sounds like we're drinking a lot, but really, it's not too bad!

Each leg of our journey will bring new circumstances. When we leave Naples, we'll be leaving our friends. That will be a big difference. I could stay here for months just to be with Sue & Armando. Reconnecting with Sue has been nothing short of an absolute joy for me. I'm going to miss her so much!

And so. There, I've finally blogged! I'm really, really working on my fear of writing and will try to continue to pop in as much as I can :)


Louise said...

Fun to read about your daily routine so far. It sounds familiar...especially the line about "You definitely need to get off the boat every day or you find that you don't move - literally." Every once in a while, I realize I haven't been off the bus all day and that sort of freaks me out. Sean walks the dog, so he has to leave, but I can putter around all day inside and ever touch terra firma. Weird.

Exercise really helps; I have a floor routine that I do because I just couldn't regularly stick to an outside schedule. When you are someplace new every day, it is very hard to even walk a mile or two. Is this a safe neighborhood? How is traffic on this road? Is this a dead end? Often unanswerable questions, so I stick with pushups (back up to 16 now!), situps, etc.

I also totally relate to the cooking thing. Sean does all the real cooking; I microwave leftovers and occasionally boil up a veggie. He grills everything and our convection oven is practically a virgin. Sweet sixteen and never been broiled, or something like that. But we eat pretty well. Who cares how other people use their kitchens? All that matters is that you like what you eat!

Today we are in Demopolis, AL, which has a marina on the Tombigbee River on the Great Loop. We scootered from the local Corps of Engineers campground to the marina restaurant and looked at the boats and thought of you guys.

Looking forward to the weather clearing up and reading about your next venture!

Jen said...

Yeah, Steph! Great post. It's just awesome to read about your day to day life, and you really are such a good writer. I know it's challenging for you, but please keep it up! Your audience eagerly awaits your updates.