Updated: Sep 12, 2020
At the end of May, 2020 - the Captain and I hit our 1 month anniversary of being a live-aboard couple on our sailing catamaran, Lost Cat.
We made a video (below) of all the places we explored in that month. Check it out to see our adventures along the coast of Florida, from North Miami Beach leading up to Saint Augustine.
But the blog entry below is written from my perspective, to share what it's been like adjusting to our new life aboard.
I hope you enjoy!
First Mate, SV Lost Cat
The first month living aboard is a lot of fun. And why shouldn’t it be? It’s the honeymoon stage! Everything new is a novelty, and living aboard is no exception.
My first thrill was figuring out how to take our old life and compact it to fit the new one. Seriously, I love to organize so it was a fun project for me!
Obviously, much of our downsizing took place at home prior to moving aboard. But once we were onboard, it was my job to figure out where everything was going to be stored on the interior of the boat.
One of the biggest adjustments has been figuring out how to best co-habitat the boat with James. True, we’ve lived aboard together before, but that was vacation.
THIS is real life. 24/7!
So far, we’ve navigated our interactions pretty smoothly. I’m still learning the mechanics of sailing and James is learning to be patient with me as my tasks become second nature.
At heart, James and I are both introverted people. (Those that know us might not believe this, but those that know us well, do!) We relish in our time alone to take on projects, read, or just reflect - and this lifestyle affords that time.
There is always something to fix on a boat, or a large gap of time where there is nothing to do at all. Sometimes we come together, sometimes we divide and conquer. It depends on the day and the project, but overall our shared time has a nice ebb and flow.
For me, one of the toughest parts of adjusting to life aboard is staying connected to those on land. Sure, technology makes it easy for us to stay connected these days, but that’s not exactly what I’m talking about…
Scheduling is the real problem. I still desire to keep up with friends and family, and I have obligations like work and serving on a non-profit board that I care deeply about. (Yes, I do earn a living onboard but that’s for another blog!)
When you’re living aboard, your schedule is far more dependent on weather patterns than time. So when someone asks me, “are you available for a call next Wednesday at 2:00 p.m.?”, it’s hard for me to respond.
If there's a perfect weather window to set sail, or we find ourselves in the middle of a storm, that Zoom meeting probably won’t happen. I can’t blame people for being put-off by my tentative scheduling, but my life just isn’t that exact anymore.
So, working out how to best schedule phone and Zoom calls is something I am still fine-tuning.
There’s a million little adjustments you make when you live aboard, and one that you’ll definitely notice after a month is the impact on your body. James and I are both in our early forties and, I’ll say, I’m glad that we didn’t wait another 20 years to make the move!
When you live aboard, you are constantly climbing up-and-down, around-and-through. CONSTANTLY! From climbing up the main sail to climbing over James in the middle of the night to go pee, you just can’t escape the jungle gym that is boat life.
After 1 month, I not only have a great tan and have lost some inches, but I’ve also rediscovered Ibuprofen. Overall, I feel stronger and am excited about the changes I’ve already seen in my body. I just hope my knees can keep up!
The physical changes are not only a result of an uptick in our activity, but from a lack of appetite, too. Something happens when you live on a boat - you simply don’t eat as much.
Part of it, I think, is that your water intake goes up - A LOT! I have drank more water daily while living aboard than I can remember drinking during our days on land. When you’re sweaty and starting to feel an empty stomach, you don’t crave food - you crave La Croix!
Speaking of water….we make our own onboard. Cool, right? We have a water maker that turns ocean water into drinking water. We are able to store about 90 gallons of water for drinking, showering, watering our garden, and doing the dishes.
Our tank lasts us about a week. I’ll say that the water is definitely drinkable, but doesn’t taste great. The tank is metallic, so the water can start to taste that way, whether real or imagined. I use the Mio Energy drops in the water to give it some flavor and added electrolytes.
While we do have a water heater, I am surprised by how much I enjoy taking cold showers! When we lived on land, I prefered taking steaming hot showers. But living aboard, hopping in to take a cold shower is a really nice reprieve after a day of sailing or exploring.
There’s a lot to get used to with this new lifestyle we have chosen, but I’m optimistic. Keeping a positive attitude is the best thing you can do for your mental health during a major shift. It helps with the learning curve!
If you’re thinking about living aboard and want to test out the waters, come sail with us! We’d love to have you onboard for a day, a weekend, or even a full week to give you a real taste for our life.
First Mate, SV Lost Cat