It's been a month since we moved aboard, and what a month it's been. And check out my blueberry muffins complete with pirate flags (I have to find some way to amuse myself!).
I think we've learned a lot and if I were to ever do this again I would certainly do a better job of provisioning. We have a lot of room on board and I'd rather store 10 boxes of spaghetti purchased at three for a dollar than have to rely on a marina market and pay $2.50 a box.
I would also probably rethink the whole dog issue. We love Wilbur but unfortunately the U.S. is way behind the times with their no dogs allowed policies. This makes any shore trip a lot more complicated. In Europe we often see dogs in stores, restaurants, and even subways.
When we were in Solomons Island we met Steve, who's a liveaboard, and he invited us to a morning coffee get together at Woodburn's, a local grocery store/market, in order to meet other liveaboards.
One couple has lived on their boat for twenty three years! Another couple is starting on their thirteenth year. But the couple that I was in total awe of was from Sweden and they sailed their twenty six foot boat from Sweden to the states. They built the boat themselves and you should see it. I have no idea how two people can sit in the cockpit, it has a wooden tiller, no motor (except for a 2 HP for emergencies), and instead of a keel it has a centerboard!! A centerboard!!
Anyway, some people have generators, solar panels, wind generators etc... and everyone was eager to share their advice and stories.
I then met a woman in the laundry room at Point Lookout Marina and we laughed at our very similar 'starting out' stories. After two months spent replacing the transmission in their engine five times they finally got a new one before being able to set sail. They are just now finishing their first year and are going to have to decide whether they want to continue. They did get to the Bahamas and loved it but they were also stuck in Florida during last winters cold. That might not sound so bad but they bought their boat from a man who removed the shower, hot water tank, and refrigerator!
We have all of these features and I'm going to try real hard not to complain (I said I'll try!) in the future.
All I can say is that living on a boat is a totally different life.
Never in a million years would I have thought when asked if I thought I wanted a shower, I would sniff my armpits and say, "You know I really didn't sweat that much today, I'll take one tomorrow."