personal

Smooth Sailing

I knew when we got SVZV, she would come with her own set of challenges. The physical labor I already knew would be an adjustment. I’m lazy by nature and a even chore as simple as scrubbing the bottom of the boat every 2-3 weeks was daunting. I had mentally prepared for the loss of air conditioning, WiFi, and almost all other luxuries I held as constants in my life. Although I knew it would be an uncomfortable adjustment at first, and poor Austin would have to suffer through my attitude at times, there was never a doubt that the payoff would be worth it. Owning a boat was by far the most responsibility I had ever taken on and I fully understood the effort that I would need to put in to maintain it. Only, for me, I’ve found the biggest challenges aren’t related to the maintenance of the boat.

Becoming the owner of a new sailboat was a lot like becoming a new parent (I would imagine). Since we were on anchor at first, we couldn’t leave her unattended for a long period of time. We couldn’t come back past sunset as it was a long dingy ride to and from the boat ramp. We couldn’t go out sailing past sunset either, as it’s ill advised to drop anchor with no light out. There were no more spontaneous drives or nights out. Everything was planned and we ran on a schedule. We took shifts watching her if the other had to go out for the day. Even when I did go out, I found I had to alter what I did in my free time.

I enjoy eating out, happy hours, decorating my home, bargain shopping, trying new Pinterest crafts, and other things that cost money. Now when I get paid, I first think about what we need to get done on the boat and how I can put each dollar to better use. Having something I am monetarily responsible for has had a wonderful effect on my life. Although it does cause me some stress and heartache at times, I found I am more creative and innovative than ever. I’m in the water constantly and get regular exercise. I was recently dive certified and on the road to becoming a dive master. Getting dive certified was a necessary decision for us to maintain our mooring and take care of SVZV. A practical skill set introduced me to one of the few things I can truly say I’m passionate about. It wasn’t easy to transition into an (extremely) more frugal person but the reward surpassed what I expected. It’s easy to only focus on how this move has effected me but it has proved challenging for both of us.

Austin and I never fight. We don’t bicker. I don’t have to nag him.. that much. We rarely snap at each other. Austin has one of the best dispositions of any person I’ve ever met, and if you knew him you’d understand that it’s easy not to fight with him. The first few months as we were adjusting it was fun and exciting. Besides some heated moments while I was learning to drive the dingy or we were dropping anchor, no disagreements really came up. As weeks rolled by and turned into months we spent a lot of time on the boat. 1. We have been locked down for a long time due to the pandemic, so there really aren’t many places to go 2. We were on anchor and didn’t want to leave her unattended for too long and we didn’t want to dingy back at night. Sometime during those months we started bickering.

Who knows about what. It was rarely important enough to remember the subject matter. I’d imagine being quarantined for months with your partner would cause any couple to bicker. Especially being confined to a 43’ sailboat, I cut myself some slack. Although not monumentally impactful on our day to day life, it was an unexpected adjustment. The shift from everything feeling perfect all of the time to the real world is a tough one. Overall I have learned so much about being a better partner and being a better roommate through this experience. It’s made us so much stronger and more understanding of each other. It’s just… if I have to clean up one more wet wad of paper towels from the sink I might go to prison for homicide, ya know?

After writing this whole thing out it’s clear to me that I have it pretty good. If what I’ve described above are some of the bigger challenges I’m facing, I’m doing well. That’s the thing about SVZV, the amazing life she provides me makes it all worth it.

Gardening

Good Chives Only

While dreaming up ideas to make this boat feel more like a home, I had a vision of creating an onboard garden. I was attracted to this idea for two main reasons: 1.) it would be nice to have fresh herbs, spices, veggies, or sprouts to diversify our meals without having to dinghy to shore. 2.) I love bringing my space to life by adding elements that are constantly growing and changing.

One day I impulsively picked up 4 plants without doing much research. I figured most things grow well in Hawaii. I was right! My basil, romaine, chives, and sunflowers are all flourishing.

When I brought them home I planted two of them and then put all four in a container. I fastened them to the stainless on the stern of the boat, then moved them under the dodger for some shade after a few hours. I originally had the idea to transfer them to a hanging shoe rack (I got the idea on Pinterest, I’ll add it below). When my plants started to grow I couldn’t bring myself to contain them in such a small space, so I transferred them into water jugs. It was also a great way to recycle!

All of my plants are now strong and healthy. I’m thinking of adding two more to my collection, but I can’t decide what I should plant. Let me know if you have any suggestions.


Update: 9/18/2020. I have expanded my garden! Unfortunately, the lettuce didn’t grow well on the boat and the leaves kept rotting, so I got rid of that. I now have chives and cilantro growing in the galley (pictures to come) and will be adding more herbs to grow indoors.

Outdoors, Sunny the Sunflower is about to bloom! That has been exciting for everyone on the boat. My basil plant is flourishing. My pea shoots are doing well, but I have no idea when they are good to eat or how to eat them.. let me know if you have any experience with pea shoots and have any tips or tricks for me!

I broccoli, catnip, and mixed greens in the starter pots.. I will keep you all updated on their progress.



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