It’s not easy for me to find people I can relate to, or look up to, in my adventure. Not that there aren’t great mentors out there, there are. I am usually much younger, not the same gender, and much more single than my counterparts. It feels really good to come across blogs from women who are close in age to me who are doing exactly what I want to do. Today I came across this blog and my mind is blown the same way it was when a friend recommended this blog to me several months ago. It was like reading a fascinating book I simply couldn’t put down. I clicked, and I clicked, and I clicked all over the website. After 45 minutes I was still coming up on posts that got my creative juices flowing. There are still so many things I think about when trying to figure out how to turn my cruising adventure dream into a reality. Stephanie, on twenty-something travel, started off on her adventure alone and has a really similar view to mine when it comes to solo travel. I still have so much to explore on her blog, and am super excited to do so whenever I have downtime. There’s a lot to be learned from someone who is a few steps ahead of you… And it’s great to know that I’m not the only one, even though many times it feels that way!
The first night I ever spent aboard the boat was a little over two years ago. My how my life has changed! I’ve got less patience for some things, and much more patience for others. I have more patience for cooking, boat projects, and brushing the dogs. I have less patience for laundry and social activities. I’ve definitely reached my points of having done too much and not given myself enough down time that I’ve needed to do nothing for a couple of weeks. Nothing is good, sometimes, but more often than not I prefer to keep busy. A body in motion stays in motion, right?
So far in two years I’ve gone from not having any knowledge about sailboats whatsoever to being on two racing crews, having single handed my own boat, I can now fix things by myself or with a little help from Google or talking to my neighbors about it, etc. The list goes on. This place that I am at, figuratively and geographically, is awesome. My dogs love it here, I love it here, this is home. I’m still a year or two away from having all of my debt paid off, but I’ve gotten to a much better place financially than I was before moving aboard. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this is my favorite adventure so far and I can only hope that I slowly morph from a marina woman to a cruising woman. I never in a million years could have seen my life going in this direction, and am so incredibly happy about that!
Check out this catamaran trying to make it to shore near Tanzania. A very dangerous attempt, kids!
In my preparing to take the boat out for her first test sail since I did what I HOPE was the sealing of the last leak, I’ve got a few projects that I am still trying to finish. Between work and other commitments, I find that I hardly have much downtime. When a neighbor invited me to dinner at his daughters house up the street, it was an offer I couldn’t refuse. Those pesky projects could certainly wait, it wasn’t every day that I could meet my neighbors daughter and her husband/kids that I always hear about. Dinner was delicious, my neighbors daughter and husband are delightful as are their three kids. It makes me feel at home when things like this come up
I was rowing the dogs over to the park this weekend when I noticed something was a little off… Ok maybe a lot off. I saw a mast. I saw the sanding rigging. What I didn’t see was the rest of the boat.
We’ve been having crazy weather lately: first it rained several inches for a couple of days, which I don’t think that has happened in several months. After that we had gale force winds for two days (or really long and loud evenings at least). I had a feeling that might have had something to do with what I was looking at, but I am no expert and have no idea what could have happened.
I rowed a little closer to get a better look (truth be told: I actually rowed back to my boat so that I could get my phone o take pictures because I knew there was no way it would be under for very long).
My heart breaks for the owner as I can see this boats same fixings on his boat as what I’ve got on mine. A boat is like a marriage, many people put a lot of time and energy into maintaining them. It was going to be a loss, without a doubt. Materialistically speaking, and figuratively speaking. I rowed by a few times more through out the day and saw a slow progression of how a diver and another person on the dock were able to get the boat out of the water, with the owner present of course.
Here you can see the transom sticking out and the white tarp covering the boom starting to emerge. Apparently what happens is that the keel gets stuck in the mud after sinking and when the water is being pumped out of the boat from below the transom tends to pop up first.
Lastly the two guys getting this boat upright inflated these huge yellow buoys to keep the boat upright. The diver was patching areas below with underwater epoxy, and later the guys told me that in the gale force winds a plank had come loose (that was already causing a leak requiring the bilge pump to come on regularly) that caused the boat to sink. It was troublesome watching the owner collect his things off of the boat as the guys were working away trying to keep it afloat. Every once in a while he would pause and seem to be lost in his thoughts, a somber look across his face. I bet it was a surprise to him when he got the phone call letting him know that his boat was underwater.
It’s being sent off to the marine center tomorrow to be scrapped
I’ve gotten a LOT of boat work done recently. Many thanks to my friend Steve who is always reliable and able to lend a helping hand! I finally finished caulking the bolts that I think were allowing water to come in when on a down wind starboard tack. Test sail this weekend hopefully!
I also made a lot of progress on other random projects like putting another coat of varnish on the wood, fixing the bilge pump (oh man that was a pain!!!!), allllmost finishing Zita’s crate aka cage of happiness.
A nice little storm came through and poured a few inches of rain down. Chaos! I forgot what that was like. It’s only rained for a couple of hours since the end of last winter. Raining for a couple of days is much more intense. Water everywhere. In my many projects from last weekend I noticed a leak. I called my helper Jay who had helped me fix a few things down in the bilge a while back to inspect what was going on. Because its so dark now I had to come home on my lunch break (so glad I am able to do this!).
Because I hadn’t gotten my bilge pump working, I was forced to clear out the water by hand kind of like how I did when I first moved aboard and didn’t know better. I could have gone for the shop vac, but I didn’t want to dig it out to be honest. Here are some glamour shots of what I’ve been up to..
To my blog followers who I haven’t met, thank you for reading! And to my friends and family who follow along, thank you for reading too! You might notice that the blog looks different, and there will be more changes to come in the next few weeks or so.
I am coming up on my two year anniversary of boat living!! When I first began this adventure, I had no idea where I was going with it which is why I didn’t post regularly. It was a confusing mess and I found myself in yet another world that I didn’t fit into (a common theme in my life!).
It turns out, I kind of like it here. In fact, I like it so much that I am not naming the blog after my boat, rather I will name it after my journey. The number one question I get from people is why did you decide to move onto a boat?” Well, it wasn’t my first choice, but it was above living on the street.
First off, my little 26′ boat will probably be sold and upgraded in the next few years. It would be nice to have a more comfortable living space where I could entertain anyone for that matter. This means I will be getting a bigger boat someday! I have zero interest in living on land. I would also like to get an ocean crossing worthy vessel, because if I’m single and on a boat, WHY NOT save up, quit work for a few years and travel the globe?!?! This is the perfect time to do this! I don’t want to wait until retirement because what if I don’t make it to retirement?
Being that “The Late Boomer” was what I wanted to call this boat, I will be honest. Her given name is The Codfather. I’m not an east coast fisherman, and yes, it was embarrassing to tell marina offices and boat yards to be on the lookout for The Codfather. I thought about calling it the Late Boomer but then I found myself explaining the name (and that’s when it’s not fun). Now, three has always been my lucky number since I was little. I think this time I might get it right. I’m gonna to be changing the site to reflect what my journey really is about.
As some of you know, I don’t have much of a family. A lot of my friends are my family, and I am forever grateful for the blood and non blood relatives. With that being said, my dogs are my children. I got them as puppies when I was probably at the lowest point of my life. They are always happy and smiling and ready for hugs and cuddles. If I hadn’t had them, I really do not know what I would have done with myself. It was for them that I started this adventure, and it is because of them that I am here.
I have many nicknames for my little dog children, one of them being mondoo. I shortened yakimondoo, which I knew was a Japanese noodle dish. I didn’t know that in Korean it meant dumpling. If I ever get around to changing the name through the DMV, maybe the paperwork will reflect Mondoo. The blog thing though, that I can easily address and probably will be doing so in the near future.
It’s an exciting thing to be talking about, thinking about, learning about, reading about, etc. I’m happy to be able to share it as document it. As soon as I figure out how, I will put up a Facebook page that you all can “like” if you wish to follow that way. I’m not a fan of social media, so I won’t be getting a twitter, or tumblr, or Instagram, or Vimeo accounts to follow. One is enough!
Thanks again for reading, I will be updating posts for recent adventures and what not and hope to have the rest of the changes complete by the end of the year.
I am coming up in my third winter aboard the boat and I think I’m getting the hang of it. I’m checking the weather to see when it’s going to rain instead of waiting until it already is pouring. Tomorrow, this long awaited storm will make its way through. Not only do I now know where and have access to my tarp, I brought it out and attached fancy sand bags to the ends so that it drapes over the boat easily and acts as a weight. Tarps are loud when it’s windy, and can get blown all wonky because they are so light. The sandbags I got last winter but never used, and these are much more convenient than finding random plastic bottles with handles to fill up with water and tie off with line and bungee cords.
I’ve cleared out the cockpit, so the BBQ and all that other random crap strewn about have found their way inside or put away. I actually stared preparing for the rain last week, as I thought the storm was coming sooner. I tried to finish all those projects I’ve started but haven’t finished because I tend to lose steam once I spend hours on something and end up with no solution. I can only make so many trips to the hardware store! And the varnish… I wish I had time to do a coat every other day or so… And Zita’s cage of happiness… Another thing I have been working on for well over a month. And fixing the bilge pump that broke because I don’t fix it properly. When will it end?! It won’t.
The tarp is on, the cockpit is clear, I put a bucket over a leak I haven’t been able to fix yet, I fixed the bilge pump after a very fruitless three day search for an Irish nut and reinstalled it, and the rest of the projects I have to finish are at least inside and can be completed there. Even if I need to cook, which I know I will need to, I can at least do the dishes without getting rained on. I am still pulling in the hose to do the doses, it’s soo much more convenient!
I also finished recaulking the bolts on the outboard mount this last weekend with the help of a friend, so hopefully I can take it for a test sail this weekend once the weather clears up! Keeping my fingers crossed.
I’ve lost count of all of the things I have recaulked in the past year. I DARE the rain to find its way into my boat. Tomorrow will be the test!
Probably a year and a half ago I met a guy named Shawn in the laundry room here at the marina. I hadn’t seen him before, but I think I had just become an official liveaboard so there were still a lot of people I didn’t know. Of course I had my dogs in tow, and he noticed how curious and “helpful” they were. We got to talking about how we ended up at living on boats (everyone’s got a story!) and what do you know, he had zero experience like myself.
Even crazier, he bought the boat on eBay from Taiwan. The boat was in Oakland, so he moved here to work on the boat. Being that he knew nothing about boats, he sure did get a good make and model (although I don’t remember what kind it is to be honest!). I remember going with him sailing when it was his first time being in charge, having taken the boat out 20-30 times but always with more knowledgeable crew.
I remember meeting his sweet wife Silvia on David’s boat one afternoon after returning from a trip.
I remember seeing them off in Clipper Cove on one of the raft ups when crabbing season had just started and many a crab were caught and eaten. I had just been let go from my job, so I hung out for a few more days. What else was I going to do? Relaxing was in order! Here we are having dinner on our friend Geoff’s boat, I didn’t even realize they were about to take off on their voyage! There I was sulking because I had lost my job, and they were about to take off on their first voyage down the west coast. I’ve been following them ever since and it’s been fun to watch their GPS tracker, hear about how the winds have been on ocean crossing legs of their trip, wildlife, etc.
They have the kinds of stories I can’t wait to have. Run ins with immigration (yes, I’m crazy), arriving to a country without the correct currency, they’ve survived a few typhoons now, huge waves they thought was going to capsize the boat, etc. I am incredibly inspired by this couple who has found a way to make their dreams come true. I remember asking him when I first met him why he wanted to live on a boat if he had no prior experience. It was because he hated cold weather. He wanted to chase summer.
And just like that, it’s headlamp season. I come home from work and just to do my normal things around the boat I need my handy dandy headlamp to see. I discovered this sorcery late last winter. I couldn’t believe how my productivity skyrocketed just because I was able to see outside and in my outside storage bins and such. Magic!
I had left all my unfinished projects out and about and got a note from the marina that I had to store my hazardous materials (varnish and spray paint). Those are now safely stowed away, and in the process of moving and combining like-hazardous materials I realized that I need to fix my bilge pump again. Boo! There was a musty smell in the boat and after having removed the water it smells.. less musty. I will take what I can get these days!
I read this article today and it made me really happy that I’m not living that kind of hell anymore. Nope, I have no bathroom, no insulated walls, no running water, small spaces and no storage. I will gladly give up what I can live without and make sacrifices for what I absolutely need to be happy. Read through the tweets and come back to this post if you can.
Did you read the article? If so, continue on. If not, go back and read it!
Seriously, people can’t even make ends meet and that’s what it takes to live here! No vacations. No college fund for your kid. No retirement for you and your spouse. No owning a home, ever. Seriously?!?! And I’m the crazy one for selling all of my crap to live on a boat so that I could maintain my sense of normal?! Gracias pero no gracias! Traveling is part of my life. My dogs are part of my life. If living in on land in the Bay Area meant that I couldn’t have either, then I might as well be dead.
I went to go see a movie, All Is Lost, last night with a neighbor who also wants to cruise around a little bit here and there. Being that I knew two of my cruising fears came true in this movie, I was a little worried it would reinforce my fears could actually become a reality. While I am not immune to anything, within the first catastrophe of the movie I felt better, in fact. No, I’ve never been on a sinking ship, but I’m pretty sure if I was and there was water gushing in I would plug the hole rather than saunter up to the deck to check out what was going on with almost no sense of urgency whatsoever. Then a storm came, and while he could see the clouds coming he decided to have a nice manly shave down below and he waited until the storm was in effect full force to try put the storm jib up (of course he lost the jib and fell overboard). He also never wore a life jacket… There were many things that seemed to have happened and I feel better now knowing that it was indeed a Hollywood drama and not something every cruiser faces. All is NOT lost!