Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Marina Time & Being a Good Boat Guest

I have mentioned a few times that we are spending all of our free time at the marina and wanted to share more specifics about that actually means since I am sure everyone has different ideas of what I am talking about.

Dan goes to work in the morning like always and I get right down to the business of “life administration”. For those of you unfamiliar with what I mean by life administration that means anything I have to do for our lives, things like laundry, grocery shopping, doctor appointments, checking on my parents, exercising, and planning and cooking dinner. I think you get the idea of what I mean now. I also include in life administration nutrition reading, studying, and catching up with friends.

Once I get the life administration under control and have things packed up to the go the boat I head to the marina. I try to take food with me every day that is easy to make on board. The galley (kitchen) on the boat is actually pretty nice (as boat kitchens go) but I would rather relax on the boat so reheating or using the Crockpot works well for me.

I typically get the marina between 3 and 4 in the afternoon and that is when the relaxing begins. As soon as I get things put away (because I take a lot of stuff to the boat every time I go which means I often look like a bag lady) I turn on the electric kettle and get some green tea brewing. Then I set the timer for 10 minutes (to maximize the amount of EGCG that gets into the hot water) and kick back and put my feet up. I spend the next few hours reading (which you know I love) and chatting with other boaters until it is time for Dan to head to the boat. Now that we have a wifi booster I can also use this time to update my blogs and Facebook accounts as well as socializing.  :-)

Fortunately Dan’s office is walking distance to the marina and I sometimes walk toward to his office while he heads to the boat and we meet in the middle and walk back together. The view from the promenade walking between the marina and the Inner Harbor is just beautiful at night. I need to take some pictures so that I can share the view with you. It takes my breath away every time I see it.

Once we get back to the boat we have dinner, relax with some tea in the cockpit and talk until it is time to head for home. This has become our usual evening and we both enjoy it quite a lot. There is something incredibility relaxing about being on the boat. I love the sound of the water lapping on the hull. Our marina is surprisingly peaceful during the week and I couldn’t ask for anything better.

We take the boat out on the weekends but during the week we just stick around the marina. The boat has everything we need to be comfortable, a kitchen, bathroom, dining area, stereo and TV (with cable). But the best part of being on the boat is the view. I love watching the sun set over the water. There are few things in life that I enjoy more. Any time I can spend on the water I am there.

We always head home to sleep because the fur babies haven’t been to the boat yet. Since everyone knows how spoiled they are I am sure you understand why we go home. Our cats always sleep in the bed with us so we need to be home at night. We both keep saying that we need to get a litter box for the boat and take them with us but we haven’t done it yet. If Binky decides to spit up hair balls on the bed in the boat cleaning up won’t be quite as easy as it is at home. *shakes head* Those of you who follow me on Facebook understand why I brought that up. LOL

I grew up on the water (Lake Michigan) and vacationed on the water every summer as a child (Garden City, SC which is near Myrtle Beach but was less commercial back then don’t know what it is like now). I think this is why I love the water so much. We have other friends that grew up near water and they still love it. I think there is some validity to the notion that you get salt water in your veins, which a saying I have heard many times before.

There are quite a few people who live aboard their boats at our marine which is very nice. It means that there are always people at the marina during the week. So if you are someone chatty like me you always have people to socialize with. Additionally having live aboards at the marina means that there are people there all the time and that reduces the likelihood of theft which is also great. It is very nice to have neighbors to look out for you. When I was in graduate school I lived on my power boat to save money. If you can manage to part with most of your stuff (the kitchen gadgets would be the most difficult for me to give up) living on a boat saves money, and means you are reducing your carbon footprint which is a win-win for everyone.

A few of the people at our marina already know that we are vegan and they took it better than a lot of our old friends. I had one woman tell me that after knowing me she could see herself giving up meat. *woo hoo* I think that because I am a laid back vegan makes the lifestyle less threatening to omnivores. Of course it also helps that I am always willing to share food with people and good food it good food be it vegan or omnivore. As my grandmother always said you get more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. I guess I need to change that to brown rice syrup from honey now. ;-)

Speaking of boat friends here is my best dog buddy at the marina. This is Peyton who is the most precious dog I have ever met. His human parents (Chris and Tim) told me that he is a Woodle and is hypoallergenic. You all know that I am a cat person but Peyton could make a dog lover out of me. He is so precious and always greets me with a rapidly wagging tail when I am coming down the dock.

Patoot (duck in Arabic) and I have also bonded. I was talking to Louis on the phone today when my little duck came to see me and when I started to talk her as though she was a toddler Louis immediately inquired when I was bringing her home. Apparently all my friends realize that I have bit of Doctor Doolittle in me. Am I that transparent? LOL

Being a Good Boat Guest:

I thought I should write this because our friends are always asking us what should I bring, do, etcetera when coming to the boat. This is what I think makes a great “boat guest”:

• The first thing that comes to mind is to wear non-marking soled shoes. Those of you who own boats get this immediately but landlubbers don’t so I will explain. When you wear shoes that leave marks this means a lot of work for your boating friends. Black marks frequently need to be removed with polishing compound and that means a lot of rubbing for your friends. Since most of you don’t have boat shoes wear white soled sneakers those work great. :-)

• Show up when your friends ask you to arrive at the marina. Our last boat had a deep draft keel and because of where she was docked we had to leave and return at high tide. When people were late we ran the risk of hitting the bottom and causing a lot of damage to our boat. Please be timely when boating with friends so everything starts off well right away.

• You need to realize that sailing is pretty much an all day affair. Sailboats go really slow so there is no way you will be back to the marina in two hours. If you are an impatient person and your friends invite you to go sailing be prepared to sit back and relax if you accept their invitation. Sailing definitely required patience and time. When Dan and I go out a short trip is 5 hours and normally they are more like 10 hours if there is good wind.

• Don’t forget to bring sunscreen as well as a cover up in case it gets cold. You will be out in the sun a long time and people tend to burn. Additionally the wind on the water makes it cooler than being on land so you need to be prepared to add layers just in case.

• If you have children and your boating friends do not make certain that your kids come with properly fitted life jackets. Most boaters have plenty of adult sized life vests but children come in various sizes so it is always better to bring your own life jackets to be safe.

• Boating and intoxication don’t mix. I am not saying that you can’t enjoy an adult beverage of two while on board but getting drunk on a boat is dangerous since you could go overboard. Also drunks on the water tend to get nauseas and if you do that on your friend’s boat you will probably not be invited back for obvious reasons.

• If you bring food on the boat come with your own cooler and ice. Cold storage is at a premium on a boat so your host will really appreciate your thoughtfulness. Additionally if you bring a dish that you know that your host likes you will get lots of points. At least you would from me but then again everyone knows how I am about food. ;-)  LOL

• What should you do if your friend asks if you want to steer? Go for it! They probably want to share something with you that they love and you don’t have to take the wheel for long. Also maybe they just need a break for a little while so they can relax. Standing at the helm, scanning the water for debris and other boats can be exhausting. Give your friends a little break and chip in. Don’t worry about hitting anything they will be watching to make sure that you are safe.

• Last but certainly not least don’t clog the toilet on the boat. Ask your friends what you need to know so that this doesn’t happen on their boat. Clogging the boat toilet means your friends have a nasty job on their hands. This would be another way to get yourself officially removed from the guest list. Boat toilets are relatively easy to clog so be sure to ask your friends what to avoid doing so this doesn’t happen to you.

I hope that gives you some ideas of boating guest protocols 101. Since I didn’t know these things before we got our first boat I wanted to share them with you so you can avoid any potential unpleasantness.

You Are Here:

If you are a fan of Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” or if you just want to learn to be a calmer person I highly recommend this book "You Are Here". I picked it up from the library a week ago and I can’t put it down. I am on my second reading of the book and will probably buy it to add to my lending library. This book was written by a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk and was my introduction to Buddhism. However if Buddhism is always like this where do I sign up?

Signing out:

It is very exciting to have high speed internet access at the boat now. I can’t tell you how nice it is to be connected again.


  1. Very interesting post... I'm glad you are doing well..your life sounds busy and fun!
    I was hyperventilating when we didn't hear from you:) You have many fans!
    Have a wonderful time on the boat..Coco

  2. Hi Coco,

    Sorry to make you worry that wasn't my intention. The wifi was so slow at the boat that I just gave up trying to use it rather than be frustrated. The idea that have "fans" is bizarre to me. But thank you for the compliment.

    We are enjoying the boat very much. I had not realized how much we missed sailing until the boat arrived. ;-)


  3. Thanks for the tips on being a good boat guest. I will be sure to keep those in mind if I ever make a friend with a boat :) Looks like you guys are lovin boat life~

  4. Carissa,

    I am sorry that you don't live closer. We would definitely take you out sailing. :-)

    You are right, we are loving the boat. The weather here will become too cold for sailing before we know it so we are trying to get in all the boat time we can before that happens.


  5. I am glad to see you are alive and well, lol! Great news that you are enjoying your new boat so much--I am happy for you :-)


  6. Courtney,

    All is good here except the pulled muscle in my back. However that is improving and I hope to be back to myself in a day or two.

    We are loving the boat and spending lots of time on her. :-)

    thanks again,

  7. So sorry to hear about your back :-( I hope that you take care of yourself and take it easy for a few days! How did you pull it?


  8. Courtney,

    Thanks, my back is much better today. I took it easy yesterday and today I feel much, much better. In fact good enough that I am at the boat now. I find it much easier to relax here so I try to get to the boat every day that I can.

    This may sound crazy but I have no idea how I hurt my back. This is one of the side effects of old age. Stuff hurts and you have no idea why. ;-)

    talk with you later,


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