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Let Me Show You Around

When Austin and I started talking about buying SVZV, the first thing I did was google sailboat interiors. I had been aboard SVZV once before but I didn’t have a clear memory of anything below deck and I wanted to get an idea of what my living situation would be like. Currently, after 8 months aboard SVZV, I still browse boat interiors regularly. I love seeing how each person organizes their space and makes it their own.

With that in mind, I figured I should give you guys a tour of our interior! Most of the excitement happens above deck, but below deck is what makes SVZV feel like home.


When I first started looking at boat interiors, I remember finding it difficult trying to orient myself during a walkthrough of someone’s boat. I would lose track of where the companion way was, if the galley was located on the port or starboard side, if the cabin I was looking at was located forward or aft of the boat. It’s easy to forget how foreign everything felt when I was first introduced to boating.

For any of you who are in similar shoes as I once found myself in, hopefully this makes it a bit easier to follow! I am going to start above deck in the cockpit (rear of boat), go into the lounge/galley (living area/ kitchen), walk towards the bow of the boat and show you the head (bathroom) on the starboard side of the boat (right side, when facing bow), then show you the main cabin.

1989 Beneteau Oceanis 430

1. Cockpit

Not a bad view to have outside of my front door

Our cockpit is a very popular spot on SVZV. Besides having the steering wheel and swim platform, it has cushioned seats with an ample amount of shade and plenty of opportunity to create more. We usually have the hatches to the companionway open to let in fresh air, light, and give Tuna access to the deck.

2. Lounge

Tried to get festive for fall

This is the view of our galley and lounge as entering from the companion way. One of my favorite, and sometimes least favorite, things about our lounge is the amount of light it gets. It opens up the space and creates positive energy. It also bakes the lounge if you don’t alternate which curtains you have open throughout the day. In the picture above I have the hatch to the companionway open and 2/5 curtains open in the lounge.

If you look closely you’ll find Tuna

Another awesome feature of this boat is it has tons of storage. In addition to the storage above the seating area, there are also two storage cubbies behind the cushions and two small drawers located on the side of the table. The boat also came with built in speakers above and below deck. This spot is my favorite for getting cozy and watching a movie.

The Nav Table houses the power switches to most of the lights/functions on SVZV. It also is home to the radio (both the VHF radio and the radio we use for music) and a meter that displays our battery charge. It’s called the “navigation table” because the table opens up to a small storage area, where you keep charts on a long journey and navigate your passage. Right now its mainly used for storage. The three small cubbies in the back have essentially become our “junk drawer”. It also just so happened to be the perfect corner to add a touch of personalization to.

3. Galley

Our galley has all the features of a “regular” kitchen. It has (in order from left to right) a pantry, an oven/stove, a sink (pumps both fresh water and salt water), and a refrigerator. We have tons of storage space and have many cabinets that are empty.

Our galley does an excellent job of providing the maximum amount of counter space possible. The sink covers double as cutting boards and the lid to the refrigerator turns into counter space when closed. The stove has two burners, which I find is perfect for making meals for two.

4. Forward Head

Marine heads are interesting. You manually pump a lever to flush and the contents either run off of the boat or into a holding tank. The #1 rule of using a marine head is, “do not throw toilet paper down the toilet”. We actually have a sign taped to the wall with directions for guests, and that rule is at the top, bolded, in a large font. Any thing flushed can clog the macerator or the hoses running to it and if it is set to flush overboard even more reason not to flush dirty tp out. The room is completely waterproof and designed so you can shower. We have a larger head in the main cabin which provides more space for showering.

5. Forward Cabin

View from very front of room facing stern of boat

The main cabin is incredible. It has a custom made memory foam mattress, and it’s honestly one of the most comfortable beds I’ve ever slept in. We have two hatches directly above the bed, so the room cools down nicely at night whenever there is a breeze. I also get to fall asleep looking at the stars, every night. Like the lounge, the main cabin has a lot of extra storage. We haven’t established concrete uses for most of it yet. Currently, the ledges under the windows are primarily used as lounging spots for Tuna.

This corner of the room is where I get ready. I keep all of my makeup and after shower items in this cabinet and get ready in the mirror. It’s right under a hatch and next to a window, so it usually provides the perfect lighting.

That is the end of my grand tour! Although it doesn’t seem like a 43′ sailboat would provide a lot of space but I have found it is actually more than enough for two people, and a cat, to live comfortably. Let me know if there is anything I missed or you’re curious about.


Bonus: Tunas Cabin

Although she has access to the couch, our bed, and all surfaces aboard the boat she also enjoys a bed to herself

Tunas cabin is the starboard aft cabin. We use a large tub liter box with a lid, and put it on the floor. We chose this setup in an effort to prevent spillage when the boat gets rocky. Weather we are underway or tied to the mooring, the boat gets rocky and things spill. There are also two windows in the cabin and the door is right next to the companionway, so the circulation of fresh air helps with the smell.

We keep her food and water on a nonslip mat to prevent it from sliding around throughout the day. So far this set up has worked very well. Keeping her food elevated also helps keep her eating environment clean, despite being in the room with her liter box.

personal

To you, ZV

To the boat that is the answer to my dreams

To the woman she is named after

To my mother who not only gave me life but gave up hers for mine

To the person that lifted me up for 26 years

To the one that caught me when I fell

I’m bringing you with me one way or another because this is not my, but our story to tell


Some of you might be wondering what SVZV stands for. I only use her initials purposely, because to introduce her name without telling the story behind it wouldn’t feel right. SVZV stands for Sailing Vessel Zayna Vnnette. Zayna Vnnette is my mother’s name.

For those who have lost a loved one, you know that there is nothing I can say to adequately describe the pain. The all consuming darkness that eats you from the inside out and rears its ugly head every time there’s silence. The physical discomfort of every heart beat. The dreams where you can still feel their embrace. The pit in your throat blocking your breath every time you see something beautiful, hear something funny, or have a story to tell and the one person you want to share it with is gone. Forever.

Dying of cancer is a painful and ugly ordeal. My mother fought every day to stay on this Earth until she knew her family would be ok. She not only waited until I had officially moved in with my family, she waited until my two aunts and grandmother were on island to support us. More than that, I think my mom had a vision for my life that I wasn’t able to see. She knew by bringing me to Maui I would be supported and loved in a way I never imagined. She knew that the opportunities and adventures that waited for me here would give me the strength to not only survive, but thrive. She believed in the community she loved to love us when she no longer could.

I remember sitting in my moms hospital room after they shut off life support. Only my grandma and aunt stayed. She had been gone for about 10 minutes when my aunt asked me if I wanted to leave. Shakily, I was able to whisper, “ Not yet. This is the last time I’m going to see her.” I was right in the respect that I would never and will never see her physical form again. But I could not have been more wrong in the grand scheme of life. I see my mother more now than I ever did when she was alive. I see her in every sunset, every dolphin, every picture of me, my sister, or my step father I see. She is more a part of me now than I ever recognized when she was with me. I feel her warmth and love radiating from inside of me. Every smile, she is smiling with me. Every tear, she cries too. Because what am I but the DNA of the one who created me? I carry her with me. Always.

Had I not been at Longs Drugstore the day after I moved to Maui, picking up medicine for my mom.. I wouldn’t have met Austin. Had I not met Austin and fallen in love, we wouldn’t have this boat. Furthermore, had my mom not created me, I wouldn’t have this life.

I never made enough money to take my mom on her dream trip to Paris before she died, so it’s my honor to take her around the world with me now.

Gardening

Green Sailor with a Green-ish Thumb

Here is a list of tips and tricks I’ve learned since I started growing plants on the boat:

1. Keep the plants in the shade. This is easily the most important part of keeping my plants alive but it took me the longest to figure out. I specifically got plants that grow well in full sunlight, because I thought they would thrive with all of the sunshine they on deck. Makes sense, right? Wrong. It’s WAY too hot for that.

Although my plants were still growing in size, I noticed their leaves were always droopy and would sometimes turn brown. Within 24 hours of moving them under the dodger in the shade they perked up. Within a few days my sunflower began to bloom.

Current plants: sunflower, basil, pea sprouts Just planted: catnip, broccoli, spinach x2 Not pictured: cilantro, chives

2. Water twice a day. Because it’s so warm in Hawaii watering the plants once a day just wasn’t enough. For the plants that like to have damp soil (ex. Basil), I soak the soil first thing in the morning then give it a quick mist in the afternoon. Even plants that usually don’t require regular watering (ex. Sunflower) I’ve found I need to give them a little water every morning.

3. Plant in a larger container than suggested. I’m not sure if it’s the tropical weather or if I’m just an exceptional gardener (kidding, haha), but my plants tend to grow deeper and a little larger than predicted. I have had to move each plant into a larger than predicted container at least once.

Example: It is suggested to plant basil in soil that is 8-10in deep. My basil is in soil that is ~8in deep and the roots are running out of room. I might move it to an even larger container soon.

4. Touch the plants. This one sounds weird but I swear by it. I like to feel the plants to judge how much water/sunlight they need. Plants that are getting enough water have heavy, pliable leaves. When they need more water the leaves tend to be brittle. If the plant is getting too much sunlight, I’ve noticed their leaves get thin and crunchy. Not enough sunlight and they get soft and almost mushy.

I also think the plants like the affection.

5. When growing sprouts in a mason jar, keep them in refrigerator: it is way too humid below deck on a boat to grow sprouts on the counter. I went through four moldy, smelly, and/or gross batches before realizing my mistake. I just started a new batch that I’m keeping chilled, we will see how it goes!

Bonus tip for sprouts: start small! They expand A LOT more than you would think for such tiny seeds and it is hard to properly rinse them when the container is jammed packed. I also think the jar being too full is another factor in my sprouts going bad.


All in all, I think I’m spending too much time with my plants.

Uncategorized

Deadliest Catch

We woke up at 3:30am on a warm summer morning. We struggled to get out of bed, get dressed, and head out the door. Although I was excited to go for a morning sail and fish for some Ono, I also strongly believed the fish still would have been there if we left at 6am instead. But you know what they say.. the early bird catches the worm, or the 40lb fish in this case.

It was still dark out when we pulled up to our friends boat. He had Tupac blasting, champagne chilling in the fridge, and was ready to get this show on the road. I, on the other hand, was proud I even remembered to zip my pants. We got everything ready to go, threw the mooring line off of the boat, and headed south towards Kaho’olawe.

The crisp morning air blew against my face, filling me with energy and excitement as the bow of the boat broke through the waves taking us towards our destination. I took over the helm allowing Austin and our friend T to set up the poles. We had two poles with massive reels out, each had a large rapala on the end that dove down ~30ft when casted into the water. So we threw out our lines, tightened the drag on our poles, and waited.

And waited.

And waited some more.

By this time I’m a few mimosas deep and enjoying the gorgeous views surrounding me. This was the first time anyone trusted me at the helm unsupervised. Which, in retrospect, after the mimosas, might have been questionable.. but boy was I having fun. Then I heard it.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

The line took off, moving with more speed and strength then I had ever seen. I couldn’t even form words. All I could muster was “f-f-fish!”

I have never seen Austin move so fast. With the speed and determination of a NBA player going after the ball during a championship game, he sprinted to the pole holder attached to the starboard side of the boat. Moving quickly and seemingly without effort he grabbed the pole and inserted it into a fishing belt. Then he started to reel.

He reeled and he reeled and he kept reeling it in.

My arms were sore just watching this happen.

“I see it!”

“What is it!?”

“Bring it up man!”

“Almost got it!”

PLOP

Below my feet, flopping around on deck was the biggest fish I had ever witnessed anyone catch in real life. We caught an Ono!!

After cleaning him up and filleting him, we took half of him home and had enough meat for the two of us to eat for a week. I love fishing, but after that experience I’m determined to keep catching big fish. Next time maybe I’ll even reel it in myself.

Stoked
personal

5:30am

I like to wake up when it’s dark. I watch the clouds begin to glow as the sun peaks over the West Maui Mountains. The cool ocean breeze wakes me up, calmly dragging me out of my morning fog. The silence of the island engulfs me and takes over my mind, clearing all of the thoughts and worries that constantly ring in my ears. The salty sweet smell of spawning coral further trapping me in the moment. For an hour, the beauty of the earth is all there is.

There is a certain stillness in the morning. A stillness that is so tangible I can break off a piece of it and carry it with me throughout my day. I use this small moment of clarity to keep me centered. I use it to keep me grounded. I use it to keep me grateful. I use it to keep me going.

The best thing about the sunrise is that it’s infinite. No matter what does or does not happen, the sun will rise in the morning. Whatever I did or have to do, the clouds will glow a brilliant pink over the mountains to start another day. I’m just lucky enough to have a million dollar view of it.

Gardening

Sprouting Up

Day 1: letting the sprouts soak for 8-12hrs

Update: after 3 days the Mung Beans began to sprout.. but they did not look quite right. I think the humidity caused them to go bad. The garbanzo beans turned to mush after a few days.

I am going to try again, this time with broccoli sprouts. I’m going to keep them refrigerated to see if that defeats my humidity problem. Let me know if you have any suggestions of what sprouts would do well in a warm, humid environment! Or if you have any growing tips for sprouts.

Day 3: Mung Beans. I tossed them after this photo.