Curious minds want to know……

‘whats it like to be together 24/7’?  Its different.  In all of our years of marriage, we have settled into our comfortable place only to change it up every few years thanks to the air force.  And thanks to the air force, we got to enjoy every night and weekend together for seventeen years. Then after leaving the air force, Keith started doing shift work at the local hospital emergency room. That took some getting used to. He went from being home every night to rarely being home on  nights, weekends and holidays. Did i mention it took some getting used to? So after shaking things up once again, we find ourselves together ALL the time.  And i don’t mind telling you, its taking some getting used to. Most times they are great, but as with anything, it can get dicey.  We do very well though. There are several things that we have learned that make it work. As with any marriage, communication is a must. When we communicate our thoughts for the day or night, it helps keep us moving in the same direction. I may be thinking about settling in to read a book, and he may be thinking about taking the boat out for a sail. Communicating with each other early on,  usually prevents ill feelings. .  Second, humor! You can never go wrong with humor. well, unless he is making fun of me for lack of knowledge in the sailing dept. Then its not so funny. But i’m fortunate that he saves most of those for his own silent chuckles.  And thirdly, this is something we both love. we share the dream of traveling and exploring and what better way to do it then on a boat. I love to fish, and he loves to sail.  What more could you ask for.

Don’t get me wrong, we still argue. The boat is not all that large. Its hard to have your own space in cramped quarters. Sometimes we just get hot, and tired and irritable. And the only person around to take it out on is your spouse. But we apologize,  and move on.Image  They say living on a sailboat the first year is much like the first year of marriage. It’s the hardest. I believe it. There is definately some getting use to.  We are relearning some things. like patience, and respecting each other. Not that we didn’t do those before but being in this new environment, things are different and circumstances are different and we may have things come up that we’ve never come up against before. Like when you want to go to sleep but everyones having drinks on the bow of your boat right above where you sleep.  Lets just say we (mostly me) now know a better way to handle that situation.
So thats how we roll. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Every day brings new adventures. We are in this together. Just like when we started this journey back in 1983. We are not perfect nor do we claim to be. But we work thru our problems and move on. It makes our marriage stronger and brings a smile to our face when we see how far we’ve come.

The name game

IMG_0354The name of our first boat was perfect. Truth be told, it probably had a lot to do with me agreeing to purchase the boat. Her name was my girl. Now think of the song by the temptations. That has always been my ringtone for our daughter. So it must have been fate. Then we buy a boat named otter. Only we don’t like the name so well. Fine, we will change it and go thru the ritual of renaming her. So we renamed her. Which brings us back to a song. Van Morrison did a song called ‘into the mystic’. We love that song. So we decided we would name her mystic girl. She’s now coast guard registered by that name. Only everyone at the marina calls her otter. And when we are hailed on the VHF radio, we are called otter. So needless to say, the name otter has stuck. It’s growing on us. And let’s face it, Oscar tango tango echo Romeo is much easier to say than mike Yankee Sierra tango India Charlie golf India Romeo Lima. Then that brings us back to leaving the boats original name at otter. No scraping the name off, buffing out the old sun baked name and reapplying a new name. But we do still have the problem of still having it registered with the coast guard as mystic girl. No problem. For a big fat check, they can take care of that. I wonder if we still need to do the renaming ritual. Probably not. The four winds still know her as otter. And they have been kind to her thus far. Just another lesson learned the hard way. Ka-Ching! $$

Otter

Otter

A hot mess

“This shouldn’t take long”. How many times have I heard those words? Boat projects never seem to go as planned. At least not for us. It seems that, to get to one thing, you have to remove 3 others in its way. And it usually involves contorting your body in many different ways to get to where you need to be. I’m never sure if I need to just get out of the way or pitch in and help. There usually isn’t room for two. IMG_3026

I think we are over the worst, for now. We have installed the auto pilot, which included 4 different people troubleshooting it. A big thanks goes out to George for figuring it out and for helping Keith get it working. We have also removed all the plumbing hoses from the head. And when I say ‘we’, I mean ‘Keith’. The hoses were old and smelled like an outhouse. That also was a full days work. I am happy to say our boat doesn’t stink anymore. Be it known that I do my share as well. I have the pictures to prove it.

working on the auto pilot

working on the auto pilot

repairing screens

repairing screens

I hope we have most things where we like them now. Most of the repairs have been getting the boat to suit us.  A few more add on items and she should be ready to go.

Newbie

Newbies in every sense of the word. New at this blog stuff, new at living on a boat. But with lots of practice, I should improve at both. I am a hands on kind of learner, so the only way for me to learn at this blog is to just jump in and learn as I go.  I guess the same can be said for sailing. We only thought we knew about sailing before. Before we sailed on a lake in Alabama. We didn’t have to worry about tides, channels, swells, VHF radios, navigation, GPS, among so many other things. So we are learning. Our best source of information is the people we meet here at the marina. There have been a lot of people that have come into the  marina to wait out hurricane season. They are a wealth of information. They are more than willing to tell us and show us how to do things. Any one of them would take the shirt off their back to help us. I just wish there was something we could give back in return. That will come in time.

The end of hurricane season is rapidly approaching. Our goal was to be ready so that we could follow others out and head for the Bahamas. Now I’m not sure if we will be ready in time. Its been hard to get us and the boat ready in just the few weeks each month that we’ve had to do it in.  We’ve been back and forth from the boat to back home, as Keith has been working out his notice at work. Each time we are at the boat, we have boat projects. Some take days, while others only take a few hours. We have made time for a few sails. Each time we take it out, it gets more comforting. It can be sort of nerve wracking getting the boat out of the slip when the wind is blowing. The possibility of hitting another boat is always there. But Keith is doing a great job. I have to remind myself that there can only be one captain on the boat.But that’s ok, first mate is a much easier job anyway.

the marina at sunset

the marina at sunset