Being on a boat that’s moving through the water, it’s so clear. Everything falls into place in terms of what’s important and what’s not.
We are settling into the rhythms of boat life once again. Our land-driven concerns are fading but not forgotten, and, thanks to technology, we are able to keep in touch adequately with family and friends. Thank you to all who reach out with emails, messages, phone calls, and social media – and check in to see where we are via this blog. We also have a GPS tracking system marking where we are – you can find us currently here if you are curious.
Life is good, we are blessed.
Our daily rhythm now flows based on boat needs. Dean spends time each day checking all the boat systems, including hourly engine checks when we are underway, and has a range of ongoing projects to make sure trawler Clare runs efficiently.
I am always in awe of and thankful for his love of boats and his mechanical skills. My dad would have been right there with him with the “tinkering.” And did I mention how neat and organized all the systems are? Truly a sight to behold.
We also spend a good chunk of time with planning – checking the weather from a variety of sources and several days ahead, planning a route based on weather/wind/current as well as where we need to be at certain points. We have a range of online resources as well as Waterway Guides (thank you Jim and Kathy!) and “Looper” guides that we pore over daily. The AGLCA (America’s Great Loop Cruisers Association) also has amazing resources including knowledgeable “harbor hosts” and a daily real-time email with updates from other “Loopers” who are either currently doing The Great Loop or have completed the loop but are offering input. We’ve also relied on the networking of friend’s (and cousin’s of friends) to connect us in new harbors. Thank you all!
Then there are the nuts and bolts of daily life which are at a slower pace on the boat.
We have a small fridge and freezer which we augment with a cooler with ice blocks. Every 2-4 days we need to take a walk to find some fresh produce, but our storage of the staples (rice, beans, pasta) is pretty extensive as our pantry and under bunk storage is full with good stuff. Since I eat WFPB,GF, NOS (a mouthful of letters = whole food, plant based, gluten-free, no oil or sugar) because of health issues, I carefully stocked some of my hard-to-find foods. Yes, I still horde my favorite teas and probably have enough for the full 4 months….
Our small propane stove works well but uses up a lot of propane when cooking rice or beans or pasta, so this year I have learned to cook in a small 3 quart Instant Pot, which I can use either when the boat’s generator is running or using the inverter Dean installed this winter. Seems to work great, cooking quickly without steaming up the galley (boat kitchen) and is just the right size for our small galley.
Of course, all prep and cooking becomes challenging when the seas are rough.
We have fresh water on board but we try to economize it as we are limited to our tanks and refilling at marinas, so we are careful when washing dishes to not waste water. Showers are on land every couple days when we are at a marina on their mooring ($) or access services by also paying a fee at a marina when anchoring nearby. We haven’t braved the cold ocean water yet, which we usually use when boating in Maine in August to freshen up. The water isn’t as clear and pristine here (NY), but hopefully when we get to the Great Lakes or Lake Champlain, the waters will be clear and warm(er).
Yoga mats and hand weights are used *most* days for stretching/strengthening, and the boat gives us ongoing balance work. Feels like I have my sea legs finally after adjusting to the continual rolling, bouncing, and swaying of Clare. LOTS of climbing around the boat on the various levels, and daily Dean crawls into the engine room in the “basement.”
As much as possible, we try to get off the boat to walk/hike and explore each day, and hope to get the kayak going as well as bike rides in new places. Gotta keep training for our virtual Prouty in support of the Mainely Bensley Bikers team on July 14, 2019!
We haven’t broken out the games (cribbage, hearts, etc) yet nor the knitting projects, but I have been working on photography, blogging, and reading. What are your favorite boat games?
That’s a glimpse of daily life on Clare and what you can anticipate when you come visit ;-0 ! I am sure things will further evolve as we settle in more and transition from ocean boating to inland waterways.
By the grace of God we go!
Don’t forget the Boggle game! (I have an “insulated” one so it isn’t so loud! — highly recommended).
Glad the instant pot is getting a work-out in your galley 🙂
Boggle, SkipBo and Banangrams are waiting for you! 😀
Soo fun to read your progress !!!!
Othello is a good boat game!
We don’t have an instant pot. Great idea to run off of the inverter! Our propane bottle is only 4.25 pounds.
It cooks quickly for rice, pasta, beans and replaces our slow cooker nicely. Love ours!
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Very interesting! Love the idea of an instant pot running off the inverter. Our propane tank is small!
I am loving it so far! Works great.