After two wonderful months of hanging out in Colorado with my folks, (see the “surprise we’re home” video here) we made our way through New Mexico to visit our property and off-grid cabin, then focused on getting to Florida. It was a welcome break from the liveaboard routine, but we did miss the boat! Now, as Liveaboard “Sophomores”…we’re preparing for the challenge of using our boat as a home, and less of a sailing vessel for the time being.
We got back to the Marriott Marina and S/V Konstantina on Monday, July 19th and haven’t stopped getting “settled” since then (almost one month later). She was doing great and actually looked like someone had just waxed her, she was so clean! It was pretty warm in there but not as bad as we expected. Immediately we opened the hatches and unpacked the salon and galley in order to start organizing our boat to be our home.
We still haven’t finished that because our TOP priority was to get two portable A/C units in the boat so that we could at least have *some* cool air (we are patiently awaiting a marine A/C unit that is a few weeks to a month out). On top of all of the day-to-day tasks we have to accomplish in order to get the boat livable (drain the water tanks, fill the water tanks, plug into shore power, make sure the engines work, set up A/C, set up the bimini shade, dig out non-perishable food from the storage room, make the beds, dig out clothes, etc…) we also have been running into some unforeseen issues. Upon starting the engine, the starboard ignition switch broke so we couldn’t check that side. While washing dishes, the hot water heater wasn’t working and come to find out the heating element went out. These issues are basically a part of boatlife reality…things are going to break. It’s just hard to add them to the list that is already overflowing. On top of boat issues, both of our vehicles need expensive repairs as well. Right now, we’re making a mental list of “immediate needs” and spending our limited funds (support us here!) on those and then deferring other to-do’s to the “fix when we have more money” list. Then there is the third list which is the “things we really WANT but don’t NEED at the moment because we can’t afford it” list!
As a mom of a freshman in High School, I’ve fully locked onto my job to get him as comfortable and settled as possible so that he’s ready for the first day on August 11th. Of course…I registered him as soon as we got back and we’re designating a place in the salon as his work space, I’m making sure he has everything he needs for a well organized clothing closet, that breakfast and lunch foods are well stocked, and we’re ensuring his bed is a comfortable and relaxing place to sleep (and free of distractions), and also that he has all the supplies he needs to be successful.
Since our son is all set now (besides finding a job which is a goal of his) Steve and I have been running around Martin County like crazy trying to get ourselves established as Florida residents. Which feels weird for me to say, but is normal for Steve since he was born and raised here. We got our Driver’s Licenses and are now working on registering our vehicles. We’ve told our banks, insurance company, mortgage company (although we hope to sell our CO home in September!), family, friends, and the USPS that they can now find us in Florida! Now I’m on the hunt for new Doctors, VA Centers, Dentists, Veterinarians, and more to make sure the family is well taken care of as we complete our transition to Florida. Let’s just say that Bella was fully settled even the first few minutes of arriving back to the boat. She just loves it here!
Another thing on our to-do list while getting established here was finding jobs so that we can afford our repairs, maintenance, and eventually…our “wants” list. Steve is already booking more boat deliveries (he recently helped deliver a 52’ Lagoon from Ft. Lauderdale to Rhode Island!) plus he has reconnected with his previous school (Chapman School of Seamanship) to help with gigs now and then. As for me, I landed a part-time job at West Marine as a cashier, and I am training to be an Assistant Manager. I figure this is one of the best ways to really learn more about the boating world, and the products that support the lifestyle.
Just about the last (but most important) aspect of year two of our boatlife is the fact that we need to pay VERY close attention to the weather and incoming storms. We are staying in one general area for a year so that includes at least 6 months of hurricane season. In the case of a named, tropical storm that may affect Martin County, our marina makes the boats leave due to liability. Needless to say, we’ve already scouted out 4-5 places we could take the boat to have some shelter. Fingers crossed we don’t have to do this!
Sheesh! I feel worn out just writing this. Boatlife is no joke. It’s a lot of work and sometimes, a stressful and worrisome lifestyle. However, we keep our heads up, fix the things that are in our physical and financial control, and worry about the rest later. Plus, it’s all worth it to us, I mean…look at our backyard!
The pros outweigh the cons, but again…it’s only year two…so hopefully this holds true into year three! Cheers!