Although we have only been traveling for 30 days I thought I'd throw out a few pieces of information and experiences for my friends out there who might be interested.
People wonder what it's like to live on a boat. To have all of your worldly possessions on a 36ft x 10ft house that floats, rocks side to side and can be moved just about anywhere in the world, given enough time.
Although I'm sure I'll talk more about this later, below are some observations that might start to give you an idea.
My Favorite Things
Before departure we tried to think of everything that might be important, and many of them have been, but there are a few things that I wouldn't trade for the world after actually spending some time under way.
1. Thermos: We boil up water before departing on a leg and it allows us to have hot tea, soup and ramen along the way. Since travel so far has been both cold and rocky this thermos has been one of our most valuable assets.
2. Free Gloves: Right before we left I was given a pair of thermal sailing gloves. I would have never thought to purchase a pair myself, but they were absolutely KEY to staying warm under way.
3. Hoodie-Footie Pajamas: So, my husband bought me these pajamas last Valentine's day and they are warm and literally envelope you head to foot. They were sort of a joke, but let me tell you, if you are traveling along the coast of Northern California they are a necessity. I'm pretty sure I would have never gotten warm without them!
I feel like I had some pretty reasonable expectations when we departed from Richmond, but there have been a couple of things I hadn't even considered before departure! May they help you if you ever decide to go cruising!
1. Marinas: We had basically no experience with other marinas before departure. Even if you are anchoring, not docking or mooring, there is a learning curve to entering and existing marinas. We've found it challenging as you pass the breakwater to locate the Harbormaster, the diesel docks, etc. It takes a few minutes to get your bearings, stay in the marked channel and make it to where you need to go. We now have a gameplan in place each time we enter a new marina, but there was definitely additional stress involved in the first three or four because we had never practiced traversing marinas that we weren't familiar with.
2. Docking and Motoring: I am really lucky. When it comes to docking and motoring of Malabar, Keegan is a boss! We had practiced motoring and doing upwind and downwind and side tie dockings, but we didn't ever go to an unfamiliar marina, or even to a different dock within our own marina to practice and I think that could have been very advantageous. If we had exposed ourselves to docking scenarios where we had very little information prior to arrival I think that would have been helpful. So far dockings have gone well, but again, stress could have been reduced with more practice.
3. Engine Usage: So far on this journey we have used the engine a LOT more than I thought we would. I'm thankful that all of the oil and filters were changed and added right before departure. The wind has been basically non-existent except for one day where we were able to sail for about 10 hours. With the really long legs of this journey behind us for a while hopefully we will get in some more sail time. We weren't patient enough to tolerate only making 1.5kts when we were trying to complete 130 miles. Hopefully our patience increases too! :-)
Up next in Part II -- Emotions. Oh...so....many EMOTIONS!