Friday, September 26, 2014

Observations After Living On Board for 60 Days

We moved on board Adventure Us 2 almost sixty (60) days ago.  It shouldn't be a big surprise to the folks that know us because we have been methodically working towards the goal for over four (4) years.   Prior to the move, I worried that our lives would change in a way I could not completely wrap my mind around.  I was worried the modification to our lives would amount to a whole lot of trouble in paradise.  Change after all is when something is made different from what it would be if left alone.   We were comfortable, and happy in our surroundings, so why mess it up?  You can change your clothes, change your shoes, change your address, change your mind, and even change a prince into a toad.  But what if the new shoes don't fit?  What if the new clothes are the wrong color? What if my Michael starts ingesting bugs?  Uncertainty was churning in the deep waters inside my bladder soul.  It turns out, at least so far, I fretted for nothing.

I am extremely happy that my Michael hasn't started eating bugs, and as a bonus we don't seem to be bumping into each other more than usual because we have most everything organized, even our morning routine.   We both have showered on the boat, but both of us prefer the bath house about two hundred (200) feet down the covered dock. So far the early morning walk, 5:30 am to be exact, is very pleasant but the weather has not turned cold.  Final judgment will have to wait until I become a member of the polar bear club. 

We usually amble down the dock before the ducks, egrets, and herons are awake.  The first morning I woke up earlier than Michael and headed for my shower.  I discovered a pissed off duck can make a whole lot of noise, scare the crap out of you, and leave behind gobs of poo.  When I told my Michael what happened he said he knew something scared me because he had to dodge the evidence I left behind all the way down the dock.    I'm pretty sure duckzilla lives on our dock.                                             

One adjustment we have had to make has to do with preparing dinner in our galley. Our home had a nice size workable kitchen. Counter space went on for miles, with a large island, a four (4 ) burner gas stove top, microwave, large double sink, and a seventy-two (72) cubic foot side by side refrigerator freezer.  Michael and I worked together in preparing our meals with plenty of room to enjoy each others company and make messes.  


Now my Michael won't even let me in the galley to help him.  He keeps telling me to go sit down and look pretty.  That's too easy.  I'm more the hands on type.  My cooking job when we were on terra firma was to cut up all the vegetables.  I can't wait to get my hands on him a sharp knife and fresh veggies, but first I have to find a big cutting board to fit over the sink, or perhaps on the salon table.   The other evening while preparing dinner, I utilized the companion way steps as a work space.  That seemed to work, but I still need a custom made cutting board.  Now if I can only remember where I put my Michael's to do list.

A lot of galleys have top opening refrigeration systems, and the top doubles as counter space so an organized plan is paramount.  If not, you have to keep moving things off the counter to retrieve more stuff from the fridge. We are fortunate to have a front and top loading refrigerator with a shelf dividing the two areas.  When stocking the fridge we try to keep frequently used items in the lower section with the front door, but we keep in mind the coldest section is at the bottom.  Needless to say my vodka likes the bottom section.

Cleanup after dinner is easy.  Since there is no where to put dirty dishes, everything gets cleaned and put away as we go.

Our house has just recently been placed on the market, so we still have the best of both worlds.   We have access to our  washer and dryer, a walk in closet , (we both still have jobs) and a garage for one of our cars, motorcycle, and tools.  In just 60 days, we have made numerous trips to the boat with "stuff" and within a few days, we take  the same "stuff" back, because we can't find a place on the boat to stash it.  It's been a back and forth journey, but we are getting closer.  Once we have all our necessary items on the boat, if something new comes aboard; something will have to leave.  We are very thankful that only three (3) miles separate the house and the boat.

Views between the house and the boat.            

                         Galveston Bay                        

In the evenings I was accustomed to throwing in a load of wash, taking care of the garden and plants, mixing a cocktail and preparing dinner.  After dinner we would sit and enjoy our favorite sitcom,  Animal Planet, or Nat Geo.   Now that we are on Adventure US 2, we don't have a TV, but we have more time.   After dinner we retire to the cockpit with sundowners to watch the sunset and spend time talking, and planning our future sailing off into the sunrise.
 Michael chillaxing 

Storage, or lack there of, has probably been my most difficult adjustment so far.  I keep hearing, "Your Morgan has so much storage space".  I'm either missing something, or I just don't get it yet.   Michael had some cabinets built in the salon, v birth, and under the companion way steps to supplement our existing storage.  That seems to help, but it is a big transition from a twenty-four hundred (2400) square foot house with two (2) car garage.

Janet Lee's Photos   

After a few weeks on board, we decided to utilize the v-berth for short term storage and make the forward head my clothes closet. (Remember, we still have our day jobs so clothing and shoes are very important.)   We removed the Nature's Head (we really don't need it until we cut the dock lines)  and purchased a shower curtain rod and placed it where the toilet was.   We located the rod above the towel rack and toilet paper holder for support so the rod would not come crashing to the floor.   I have hooks on the inside of two doors, one for the dirty laundry bag and the other for my bags.  The floor is for my shoes.  Michael added a few shelves to the existing storage for his clothes, but keeps saying he is giving up clothes when he retires.  I can't wait for his retirement.      

I am still at a loss when it comes to the stuff I carry with me back and forth to work.    With all the kitchen counter space we had at the house, I would just put my stuff at the end of the counter and I was good till morning.  Now I don't have counter space, and don't like the cluttered feeling with it laying around.

Thank God we still have the house for our laundry.   The thought of sitting in a laundry room in the heat of the summer is not in the least bit tantalizing to me.  I don't know how this has happened but since we have lived on the boat, it seems we don't have quite as much laundry so lugging dirty clothes back to the house is not a big deal.  Once the house is sold, we, and I do mean WE, will be going on field trips to the laundry facility in our marina.    
So far our hearts appear to be in sync as we reach for the final chapter in our five year quest. Once the house sells; we will set in motion the final push through the last transitional phase to become full time live aboards.  It is the phase where we get rid of the remnants of our old land locked lives.   No more extra closet space, no more garage, no more laundry facility, and no more cable TV.  Someone said you can't teach an old dog new tricks?  I think I have taught my Michael a lot about my needs in just a short period, and as long as the blender makes it to the boat, all is good.       

Internet Photo

My next challenge...How to convince Michael we need a TV on board.