On The Hook Again

Wow! What a long time it’s been. On one hand, I want to apologize for the lack of adventure-posting but on the other hand, we really have been very busy! To help you (and honestly me) catch up, here’s a timeline of our life recently:

  • May 7th, 2021 we arrived back in Lake Worth, FL from spending 3 months in the Bahamas
  • May 9th, 2021 we took a road trip out to Colorado to surprise our family and friends
  • July 15th, 2021 off we went again, first to our New Mexico property…then back east to the boat.
  • July 25th, 2021 Steve and I started working (ugh!)
  • August, 11th, 2021 Cody went back to public school (ugh!)

Honestly from then on, it’s been kind of a blur of “normal” life again. We’re still living full-time on the boat, mostly in a marina. However, as of writing this post, we have been on the hook again for about a month. It didn’t take long for us to get back into the flow of off-grid boat life. Once our memories were jogged (the last time we did this full time was in May 2021), it was like riding a bike! We count down the arrival of the sun so that our solar can start charging our batteries, we run the generator a few hours a day so the kid can do homework, play some video games, and so we can have WiFi (thanks Starlink!) and we also grill more and prepare better meals because let’s be honest…bringing “home” to-go food from a soggy dinghy ride isn’t fun for anyone! Life on the hook takes some adjusting to get used to. Here’s a few things we need to remember in order to make it work:

  • Load laundry up in a waterproof bag to haul it to the marina to wash (can’t forget the soap or we’ll have to go back!)
  • We are sure to pack EVERYTHING we need before setting off in the dinghy…like car keys, wallets, sunglasses, DRY clothes, a towel, school badges and work attire, and probably shoes…we might need those.
  • Do our power checks before we leave: anchor light is off, water pump off, generator off & stowed indoors, inverter is off, and nothing is charging (not even an iPad) for a few reasons, but mostly so we don’t drain the batteries while we’re out.
  • Coordinate our timelines and dinghy driving. Sometimes we all go together at 7am, sometimes we drop others off and head back to the boat until the rest of us have to go, and other times…we just don’t go (for instance when it was 40 degrees out with 30kt gusts!) Coming home is the same story…it takes a lot of coordination.
  • Speaking of the dinghy…do we have enough gas for it to run?
  • Dress in foul weather gear no matter what. That dinghy ride is not the most friendly to jeans and work clothing!
  • Leave extra towels in the shower room at the marina so when we forget one…we can still freshen up.
  • Pack waterproof bags for when we get back with groceries…remember the soggy take-out? Ya…try soggy cardboard or salt-water splashed toiletries…not fun!
  • Mind the weather! Which way will be driving the dinghy into the marina? Where will we be docking? How do we get back? Where’s the wind coming from? What are the waves doing?
  • What’s our consumption of water and power like? Oh also…when is the pump-out service coming again???
Steve on one of the coldest days we’ve had, leaving the boat to go to work.

This is just the beginning of the long list of things we now think about on a daily basis. With the new year starting, we had to leave the marina we’ve called home for over two and a half years due to a collapse of the “B” dock as well as a business coming in our temporary slip. I have to be honest, at first I was hesitant to go. Even a month later, our temporary slip sits empty waiting for the arrival of the new boat. Could we have stayed in the marina longer? Sure. Did we want to? Not really! Here are the benefits of being on the hook:

  • Privacy. At the marina, we were the FIRST boat at the dock, so everyone walked past it. There’s not much privacy to watch a sunset from the bow (facing the dock) or even in the cockpit (facing the entrance dock).
  • Easier to go sail. At this point, all we have to do is hoist the anchor and raise the sail! No worries about which direction the current or wind is traveling through the marina…it’s an open world out here!
  • One with nature. In the marina, we were tied up in a way that was not very conducive to the natural movement of the wind and waves. At times, it felt like a washing machine. Out on the hook, you flow with the wind and waves, usually not against it.
  • Sea life is more present around us. Sure, in the marina we saw more manatees and turtles but out here, we’re right in the middle of dolphins swimming and rays jumping!
  • We’re closer to sandbars. Which are Bella’s FAVORITE by the way!
  • Sunrises and sunsets are ahhhhhmazing out here (as well as the rocket launches!!!)
Did I mention how AWESOME the rocket launches are?! This is Falcon Heavy taking off on Jan. 15th, 2023 (Sorry for the blurry video!)

So what’s on the agenda for the future? Well, before we know it, Cody will be 16 and driving, summer will be here (and so will the heat), plus we’ll need to haul out to have some work done. And hopefully for me, I’ll stay motivated to carve out some time from my work life to check in with you all here!

Fair winds! ~Randi

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