Monday, December 9, 2013

Why is this man smiling?

Why is this man smiling?  He can't hear her yell at him.  Why? 

The bluetooth communicator handset he installed in these noise-suppressor ear muffs is turned off.  When it's turned on, she can talk to him in a normal voice.

No yelling when anchoring.  No yelling when someone goes up the mast.  No yelling.  On a boat? Where's the fun in that?

Kerry and I saved our scooter/motorcycle communicator sets when we sold the scooters.  I have always thought they would be really useful on the boat, especially when anchoring.  

The Cardo Systems communicators, which are attached on the left side of the muffs, have a range between 1/4 to 1/2 a mile (verified on a trip or two on the scooters last year).  The talk to transmit capabilities are excellent.  Battery life is great.  They are also waterproof. 

The problem was, they were meant to clamp to a motorcycle helmet and the ear speakers were meant to mount inside.  So, I just needed to get something else.  The hearing protectors seem to work fine. 

It's common to see a lot of yelling as a boat is trying to anchor.  It makes sense on one level.  One person is at the helm (funny thing is, it's usually the man) and one person is a whole boat away handling the anchor (usually the woman).  So, in order to be heard, people yell.  Well, you raise your voice to ensure clear communications.  This works great if each person understands why the voice is loud (to be heard).  At the same time, there is another kind of yelling.  It's the yelling of frustration, order giving, defensive responses, and other unpleasantness.

We hope this will improve our communications during anchoring and allow us to clearly communicate when it's necessary without all the shouting.

Oh and, when anchoring, it's usually Kerry at the helm and me handling the 46lb anchor.  That makes sense to us.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

All is Lost -- a movie review

All Is Lost, a film starring Robert Redford, where he utters only one line on screen, is well worth seeing.  Though I had seen some sailors complaining about the movie on various, I decided to see it anyway.

Why?  Sailors are a curious bunch.  Some have little experience, some have crossed oceans, some just happen to own boats that never really leave the marina.  In that spectrum of being a sailor, there is one thing they seem to have in common.  They all have an opinion, be it about anchors, anchoring, dinghy selection (how to spell dinghy), what sails to use, whether to use a drouge in heavy weather, how far to travel off shore when heading south along the pacific coast; it's a continuum of surety in opinions sometime informed and sometimes not.

Translated, this means that ten sailors, when faced with a hypothetical situation, will argue for ten different solutions to that problem.  When faced with the story of another sailor, they will frequently proclaim from on high that their solution is the only one and the other sailors solutions are borne out of ignorance.  It's a function of the fact that not every problem has a single solution and the inherent dick sizing that is brought into the equation.

Such is the case with the sailor (we never know his name in the movie) in All Is Lost.

There are also criticisms of the movie too, for continuity and other reasons.

Let's just leave aside the fact that bashing one of the most decent and realistic sailing movies, even though it has flaws, doesn't exactly support the complaint of, "why don't we see more good sailing movies?  They all suck!"

This movie does not suck.

All Is Lost gives us a pretty realistic portrayal of a sailor facing his death at sea.

Is the sailor perfect?  Does he always make the right decisions?  Is he equipped and practiced enough for the voyage he is currently undertaking?

That decision being; sailing alone, crossing oceans, with times when no one is on watch.

He is not perfect and neither are all his decisions.

We don't know why he is out there in a Cal 40 that looks quite worn and underequipped.

The movie starts off with a calamity that could have been wholly prevented, were someone on watch.

From there we see him quietly, sometimes grimly, solve each problem as it presents itself.

There is damage to the boat, equipment failures, tactical decisions, injuries, some plain blind luck, and rotten luck.

Then again, luck isn't something that just happens to us.  It's the product of our experience, preparedness and mindset.  If we are lacking in some or all of those things, we have bad luck.

The sailor has "bad luck".

Sometimes he is capable and makes decisions I would make.  At other times, I'm not so sure I would take his course of action.  At other times, it's something I clearly would not do.  Then again, I have not been out there.  Since he is in the middle of the Indian Ocean, he got there. That means he's seen and done things that I have not.

The sailor's bad luck doesn't make the movie bad.  It turns his story into a classroom, with lessons piled upon lessons, some of them brutal and direct, some of them subtle and hidden.  It will take more than one watching to get them all.

Is the movie without continuity errors?  No.  Is it the perfect example of a prepared and experienced offshore sailor, facing the ocean with a high level of competence, serving as a perfect example to the public of how we wish to be seen?  No.

That is not a bad thing.

One can pick at the movie.  One can even pick at Redford for his perceived liberalism (yes, some have done so already but that has nothing to do with a man lost at sea).

One thing that is true is that we are watching a man at sea, one who is where most of us will never go, dealing with each turn against him with a quiet determination that most of us would be lucky to demonstrate were we in his situation.

Robert Redford is perfect in this role.

And the lessons...the lessons.  That is why it's worth watching.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

So much going on

So much going on on Brigadoon.

  • new winches
  • new bimini
  • bedding stanchions
  • went to the Perry Rendezvous
  • had a great sail back, with a reefed main, at 6.2 knots
  • Kerry drove the boat better than I ever have
  • things are good, plans made, plans executed, debt being paid off, and visions of the oceans of the world in our heads...
and more...

This boat, my home, is wonderful.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Living in the World

On Brigadoon, we live closer to the world, more in it, attached, in tune, connected.  It's raining now.  I hear the rain on the decks, pattering against the pilot house roof, on the ports, making ticking sounds on the bimini cover.  When we lay in bed the rain is just a few feet above our heads, pattering us to sleep, whispering against the hull...

Too many insulate themselves from the world, only looking out their windows, entering the world from in their car, from their open garage door, only to return again at the end of the day, in the same car, through the same garage door.  Some do go outside, disconnecting themselves from their computers, from their games, the TV, but only for short periods of time.

Us, we are always "out".

On Brigadoon, the world's water supports us.  We move with it almost incessantly.  The breezes push on the mast, sing in the rigging at times, swaying our home this way and that.  The water is not only all around us.  We are literally in the water.  When you sit in the cabin of Brigadoon your waist and legs are actually below the lake surface.  You are in the water, supported by it, held up, encircled.

The rain continues to patter as I look out the pilot house, over the lake, towards the city.

Brigadoon rocks gently as one or the other of us moves about inside, the weight shifting us this way and that, moving in, part of, being in, the world.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

And Miles to Go Before We Sleep...

Brigadoon underway with her new sails.

Upgrades, upgrades and more upgrades.

Captain Fatty Goodlander, one of the penultimate sea-gypsies of our time, speaks frequently about building boats that are safe and strong.  It's our goal that Brigadoon will be as safe and as strong as Bob Perry originally designed her to be, along with anything we can do to enhance the already excellent design.

It's said, by Beth Leonard, I think, that buying a cruising boat more than ten years old means you are going to end up committing to a set of upgrades.  The estimated cost of those upgrades is likely to approximate half the value of the boat.  

You got me right.  If you buy a used yacht for $100,000.00 you will end up spending another $50,000.00 on necessary upgrades and maintenance.  Why so much?

It's unlikely the sails on your yacht are new, or even in very good condition.  The cooking range is years old.  The batteries in the house bank and to support engine starting are a few years old.  The wiring to support the current house bank may not be up to snuff.  Hoses get old.  Faucets corrode. The cushions are likely old and shot. Stainless steel standing rigging gets brittle with age. Running rigging does not last forever and, especially if you live in the Northwest, do you really want sheets and halyards that are green from mold and mildew over the winter?

We've had Brigadoon since November 1, 2010.  We are over two and a half years into ownership. When I heard this number I started thinking about all the projects we have tackled in that two and a half years.  I talked this over with Kerry, my wonderful first mate. 

We added up the following changes to Brigadoon:
  • Brand new hand made sails from Carol Hassee and crew of Port Townsend Sails.
  • Haul-out and new bottom paint completed at CSR Marine, in Seattle.
  • Removal of old head/hoses and the installation of a Nature's Head composting toilet.
  • Fuel polishing to clean up the fuel system so we don't have yet another engine outage while under sail, like what happened on our first big vacation.
  • Replacement of every single piece of running rigging; all the sheets and halyards.  Every.  Single.  Piece.
  • Installation of a NMEA 2000 network, along with new hull fittings and mast instruments, including three Garmin GMI10 displays.
  • Brand new interior cushions, all custom made by Pam at Vashon Portage Canvas.
  • Brand new PFDs (6).
  • Two new memory foam mattresses.
  • Dyneema-based lazy jacks, designed, made and installed by yours truly.
  • Jack lines, designed, made and installed by yours truly.
  • Topping lift for the boom, designed, made and installed by yours truly.
  • Dyneema-based lifelines designed, made and installed by yours truly.
  • Dingy motor by Electric Paddle along with a new 35 amp/hour battery.
  • Ground tackle upgrade with the installation of our shiny, new and very functional Ultra Anchor.
  • A new faucet for the galley.  The old one was clogging and difficult to use.
  • A new range for the galley. The old brown porcelain Hiller range was literally rusting out on it's mounts, didn't cook very well, was untrustworthy and ugly.  We replaced it with a beautiful, brand new stainless steel Dickenson Caribbean two burner stove.
  • Bimini frame, free-sourced and installed.  I still have to hand-sew the cover. 
  • This does not count the numerous tools, shackles, pad-eyes, screws, nuts, bolts, and sundries to allow us to complete small repairs and maintenance.
We added this up.  When we got to the number, I watched in amusement as Kerry's eyes got wiiiiiddddeeee.  It was really funny.  But it made sense.  This was all necessary.

This all cost real money and, we are not, in any sense of the word, rich, or made of money.  But we had a plan.  The costs are not being piled on credit cards.  We paid for most of this with cash;that we saved and planned to spend.  Most of these were not surprises in any way.  The ones that were -- well, we paid that purchase off quickly.  It's the whole idea of making her better, but not going into debt to do it.  The Freedom Project is about, at the end, owning a safe and strong boat and not owing anyone any money -- anymore -- ever.

And we are not even done.  We still have to:
  • Replace all the stainless steel standing rigging.
  • Replace every single hose on the engine and all the belts (possibly upgrade to a serpentine belt.)
  • Replace the alternator with a more powerful unit.
  • Replace Wee Brigadoon, our beautiful little lapstrake dingy with an active rescue Portland Pudgy dingy/lifeboat.
  • Remove all the old and blistering bright-work (varnish) and decide how to finish the boat.
  • Reseal the decks before it's too late to do so.
  • Rebed and reseal every single stanchion to stop leaks into the boat.
  • Install a new, heavier duty, bimini frame that can stand up to offshore conditions.
  • Solar power.
  • Wind power.
  • Windvane steering.
  • New digital Radar.
  • and so on as we discover what we can do to...
Make Brigadoon as safe and strong as we can, making her as capable as she can be, so the only weakness is us; our skills, our knowledge, our commitment to the Freedom Project and our goals.  That we are working on too.

There lots to do and still time in our plans to do it.  Brigadoon can take us far -- and she will.   We only have to prepare her and ourselves and the world will eventually be ours.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Security and Cruising

It's always interesting to get into discussions of the dangers and risks of cruising.  There are actual risks of theft and violence out in the big bad world, along with plenty of horror stories to back them up. People come up with all kinds of different solutions; automatic deck lints, tacks on the deck, electrified lifelines, and carrying weapons on boats.  

And, the thing is, the work-ability of some of these aren't the technical implementations but the human factor.  Sure, you can set up surveillance systems to monitor your boat, anti-boarding systems to keep uninvited boarders off the boat, and implement various self defense measures if they are on board.

But you have to look at the situation you are facing, or are likely to face, in order to be effective.  You also have to look at yourself and what you are able, especially willing, to do.

The continuum of risks is broad. The spectrum could be:
  1. A simple attempt at non-violent theft.  This is just stuff.  It might be stuff you really like or stuff you need.  It's your stuff and you don't want it taken.  This kind of theft doesn't want you around.  If you are around, they will go where there is no risk of conflict. These are cowardly thefts.  They tend to happen to the less vigilant.  
  2. It could be theft in mind, backed by defensive violence.  This is an added risk that this kind of thief, while not wanting to run into you, will have no problem whatsoever with using violence to escape with your stuff.  They may not be willing to kill you but they will fight you directly instead of just trying to run off.
  3. Then there is the theft where they will maim or kill you to get your stuff.  They don't care of you are there.  They might even plan for you to be there.
  4. Let's not forget boarding for rape, kidnapping or simply outright murder.

Items 1 and 2 can be mitigated by staying away from high-crime areas, being very visible on your boat, practicing vigilance, and making it clear that you protect your boat and the people aboard.  These kinds of thieves don't want conflict.  They don't usually carry weapons.  They are opportunistic in nature.  Likely, as others have pointed out, they could also be other cruisers.   We like to be a friendly lot but, don't forget that people who pretend to like you can also be casing your place for a future theft. Your best defense here is to deny them the opportunity.  They will go hunting somewhere else for friendly and less vigilant folk.  

Item 3 represents the horror stories we have heard, where pirates or boarders will have it in their plan to simply kill you and take your stuff.  The only defense you have against them is not being where they are, demonstrating a strong enough deterrent that they will go hunting elsewhere, or be capable enough to defend yourself if you are approached or boarded.

Item 4 is pure self defense.  They don't want your stuff so much as they want you, or your wife, or your daughter.  They are hunting you, not your stuff.  Best thing is to be where they are not but, if you present a good target, I hope you are capable of defending yourself.

This brings us to handing out violence terrible and deadly.  Are you ready to do that?  Are you willing to literally run someone through with a pike?  If you carry a firearm, are you well trained in it's use?  Do you know how to bring it to bear in a combat situation?  How well would your firearm (unless it's an AR variant) fare against a pirate with a AK?  I'm not asking these questions from an air of superiority but engaging you to seriously ask yourself these questions.  You could have the fanciest pike, the best gun, in the world.  If you aren't willing to tear up the center of mass with that pike, or rounds from your weapon, it's useless to you. Keep in mind that video games, as violent as they may be, don't prepare you for face to face violence.  Only training or pure survival does that.

There is nothing wrong with talking about self-defense, even using deadly force to defend you or yours from grave bodily injury or death.  I support your right to survive, even if it means the unfortunate death of your assailant.  

The very serious question is: are you ready to do that?

The protective measures we choose, no matter what they are, are our personal decisions as captains/cruisers/travelers.  It matters not so much which tactic or strategy we choose as much as if we are comfortable executing it.  It's much like the PFD statement that says the best PFD is the one you will use.

I've been involved in law enforcement and personal security.  I've been ready to defend myself and others by bringing violence to bear as effectively and directly as possible.  Contrast this with my personal wish for non-violence and it's a bit of cognitive dissonance to those that don't understand it.  The thing is, my very job, the places I needed to go, had a high likelihood of violence.  Whether it was a felony traffic stop or patrolling a fence line in Iraq, I was placing myself in an environment where violence was likely.  I put myself there.

But back to real risks and the likelihood of same for us as cruisers (or homeowners for that matter).

The advantage of this, instead of what I describe above, is that cruisers can usually choose where we cruise.  One of the most effective survival tactics is to avoid the risk all together.  If you don't fall off the boat, you are less likely to drown.  If you don't pass though a gang-infested part of an inner city, you are less likely to be a victim of gang violence.  If you don't cruise in areas where poverty or opportunity have contributed to high crime rates, you are less likely to be a victim of violent crime.  Now, none of this blames the victim of violence.  I can't stand when people do that.  It does, however, speak to how we can lessen the likelihood of being a victim of violence.

While I'm perfectly capable of defending me and mine, I'd really rather not if I have a choice.

The world is large.  We don't have to go everywhere.  

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Relationships and Cruising

This was recently posted by our friends on Windtraveler.

The sea finds all weaknesses: in boats, in people and in relationships. You have to be sure you have the skills to sail the boat, to fix it, to navigate, to get along in foreign cultures. But you also have to be prepared to come face to face with yourself, to discover things about yourself that you do not like and to work to change those things. You have to be ready to confront any weaknesses in your relationship and to address those in a situation where you are together 24/7 in sometimes highly stressful situations where your lives depend on one another. Cruising will not fix a broken relationship – it is far more likely to rip it apart along the fault lines. But where a basis of true respect and caring exists, the experience of cruising together can create a real partnership and eventually transform that into the kind of soul-deep bond that most people dream of but only a handful ever achieve. In the toughest times, when you think that you can’t do it or that your relationship cannot survive it, commit and commit again, knowing it will be worth every moment of doubt, pain and discomfort. In the best times, which come far more often, don’t forget to dance on the foredeck under the stars, to make love in the cockpit caressed by the tradewind breezes and to say “It sure beats working,” at least twice a day!" 

- Beth Leonard, from the Interview with a Cruiser Project

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A sense of accomplishment.

It's not often we get this opportunity.  While Brigadoon is a "well found" boat, we have quite a large list of items, some large, some small, that we are focusing on to make her "safe and strong."  Safe and strong, in the words of Capt'n Fatty Goodlander, equals seaworthy.  Seaworthy makes Brigadoon a better boat.  It makes her better able to take care of us.

So we have this list, a prioritized list, of things that Must Be Done, things that We'd Like to Do, and things that we Will Do After All the Others Are Done.   You can call it, Must, Should and Maybe lists.

As of today or tomorrow, we will have crossed off three Must Be Done things off our list.  They are pretty big things.  The details are unimportant for this post but, what is important is we did them.  That's right. We can have all the lists we want, all the wishes we care to plan on but, if we don't execute those plans we will fail.  The most important thing, our goal, our path, is to make Brigadoon as solid, secure, maintainable, and up to date as we can.  It means spending our dollars very carefully, in a clear priority, with a clear goal in mind.

That means work -- hard work.

The thing is, after each job is checked off, no matter how large or how small, it's an accomplishment.  That means, for me, that it's now Something I Don't Have to Do!  It's Done!

And that is worth the work.

More to come on Brigadoon Upgrades soon...

Monday, February 18, 2013

Where do you go when you fight?

You start here -- mutual adoration.

We occasionally have people visit. Some visit for the company.  Some visit to learn more about living aboard.  Some want to live aboard.  There are always the usual questions about cost, space, laundry, dishes, the head (how does your toilet work?), and so on.  Other cruisers get this all the time too.  This post was inspired by a similar question answered by these folks. One of the most consistent questions we get from couples is, "So if you are living in this small space, where do you go when you fight?"

"We don't."

"We don't," doesn't mean we that don't go anywhere to get away from each other when we fight. It's not that we haven't had challenging discussions, or that we don't tackle difficult thing or hurt feelings. It means that we don't fight.  We just don't.

The responses to that are varied but, they usually come down to either respect or disbelief.  The disbelief is reasonable.  I mean everyone fights, right?  Everyone gets angry with their spouse, argues, then needs some space to recover, before returning to each other.  That why homes have rooms.  That's why we have sexist jokes about men sleeping on the couch until she cools off.  People who see relationship conflicts as inevitable need that separate space for recover from anger or hurt,  in order to stop "fighting".

We have each had relationships in the past where that was the case.  It wasn't our other partner's fault for this.  We each participated in the belief and relationship model too; lack of communication, lack of honesty, lack of kindness and....fight.

That isn't the life we want.  Therefore it isn't the life we have.

We approach our relationship from a place of true mutual respect, accepting the regular human faults (all of them -- all), support each other in our own personal growth and, above all -- being kind to one another.

Our life plans include more than just inhabiting Brigadoon's 150 sq/ft of living space living on a dock in Seattle.   Sure, when we first started this we weren't necessarily looking for a blue water boat.  We committed to living aboard a boat for about five years.  That five years would be spent living a marina and coastal cruising life on the water.  With the purchase of Brigadoon (a true blue water capable boat), our possible horizons have broadened a little.  We have the potential to literally see the world on Brigadoon if we so choose.  It makes sense to ensure our relationship in good order before even contemplating going off to explore 140 million square miles that are the oceans on this little blue marble.

There is no way we could dream of attempting living aboard, much less exploring the world, if we were prone to fighting.  Where can you go when on middle of a 30 day pacific  passage between the Galapagos Islands and the Marquesas, overboard?

One of the followup questions we have to the "not fighting" thing is, "what about personal space?"

Well, our space is small and very personal, but we are not forced into each other's company.  If one of us wants a nap (usually Kerry), she can go into the berth and close the door and nap.  If she is reading a book on her Kindle in her happy corner, I can sit up in the pilot house, surfing the internet and watching the geese go by.  We are comfortable this way.  I am here, she is there, each doing our thing. Yet we are still together.  It's called being "Together Alone".

I think the key here to living in such a small space, is a consideration, a respect for each other.  It extends to giving each other space and time to dress (we pretty much take turns) when going out, to keeping our space neat and tidy, sharing the chores and keeping the place livable.  We plan burning down our debt.  We map out improvements to Brigadoon to make our home safer, stronger and more seaworthy.  We improve ourselves, our skills, and our teamwork whenever we can.  All this makes us better sailors, ready and able to possibly handle taking on the the sea.

Until then, we practice living always five steps from each other hardly out of each other's sight, each of us potentially underfoot of the other, in this floating home we call Brigadoon.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Price of Admission

This place sucks.

I recently read a post on another blog that, I think, think, was written mostly in jest.  It was a bunch of complaints about living aboard and, to be honest, they can be real challenges.  It was an honest thing to do, to put that out there.  It was titled,

"Liveaboard Hate: The top 10 things we hate about living aboard a sailboat in Seattle"

The 10 things they listed were:

  • Laundry -- how they have to haul their laundry to what is sometimes a busy laundromat.  They used to have a washer and dryer in their home.
  • Lack of Galley Counter Space -- I did note in the picture that they have a galley larger than ours, with more counter space but, one whole counter is taken up by stored food, a toaster, and a full sized coffee maker.  There is a lot of stuff in that galley.
  • No Tub -- they used to have a tub in their home.  
  • Birds -- since their boat is outside the birds like to gather on the rigging of their sailboat and poop on the deck.  Oh, and the Blue Herons are scary at night when they walk down the dock and don't see them until the big pterodactyls (as my friend refers to them) squawk and fly off.  Yeah, they can spook you but, walk quietly and look around.  You might be amazed by what you usually miss.
  • Being asked, "Are You Going to Sail There" by people that don't know their boat moves at walking speed and takes a whole day to cover what a car can cover in an hour.  You know, while they are *sailing*.
  • Custom Work -- they don't like the fact that many things on a boat are more expensive and that, sometimes, you have to to have things made custom.  Apparently you can't just go buy boat cushions at Fred Meyer.  Who knew?  
  • No Room to Stretch -- boats, they say, are smaller inside than houses.
  • Power Limits -- it is a great inconvenience that one cannot run their blow dryer, TV, computers, toaster and heater all at the same time.  You know, like you can in a house.
  • Boat Forums -- these are the places where you can't get an answer to your problem, like why you can't run the toaster, curling iron, and blow dryer all at the same time.
  • Condensation -- boats can get damp inside if you don't have proper airflow. You see, if you have a closed container that is warmer inside than it is on the outside, and people are breathing and cooking on the boat, you get condensation.  I wish I had paid better attention in science class in grade school.
Yes, I know I'm poking fun at the complaints.  Yes, I know it may sound superior but, that isn't where it's coming from.

Here's the key to this, Mr. Liveaboard. They key to not hating it.  Not hating anything.  Remember, you chose this.  It's simple.  

Everything you do in life comes with a price of admission.  Do you like driving that high performance car but don't like the price of gas?  Price of admission.  Do you love your wife but her farts are stinky?  Price of admission.  Love watching TV for four hours a day but don't like being overweight from lack of activity.? Price of admission.  Love to work out to keep your weight down but don't like sore muscles or puking at the top of that hill?  Price of admission.

So, if you want to live aboard a boat -- you know, on the water, near the wildlife, close to your neighbors, and within ten minutes of sailing on the sound, with the ability to take your home with you every time you sail, never having to pack, you have to pay the price of admission.

If you don't understand that you gave up things like a lot of space, a tub, being able to consume power like it was free, can't just go shopping at the local hardware store for parts, and so forth, as the price of admission for living on a boat then maybe...move back to land?  

Now, the post may have been tongue in cheek or just a joking rant about some of the challenges (the price of admission) for living on a boat.  I get that.  However, if you do focus on those things as dislikes, instead of the things you have to pay for in order to do what you want to do, you are just going to make yourself miserable.

If you focus on how damp the boat is and how everything get's all mildewed in the winter, maybe you won't find the solution; get some air moving by opening the hatches a little and venting your breath.

If you focus on how you can't run your house sized toaster, your full-sized coffee maker and your curling iron, maybe you won't consider that you can toast bread on your stove, make coffee in a french press and get a hairstyle that doesn't require a curling iron.

Really, it comes down to a million little adjustments in lifestyle to truly live on a sailboat and make it work.  If you try to bring all the modern conveniences to your boat you will find yourself out of space, out of power, and out of patience.

I look at it this way. 

It takes fifteen minutes to clean the inside of my boat, not two hours like my old house.  I never have to fix a washer or dryer again, that is the laundromat's problem now.  I never have to mow a lawn or rake leaves, ever again.  Everything I own is five steps away.  I live a neater and less cluttered life because I have to -- because I must.  I live on/in the water, in the middle of the city.  My view is the envy of thousands of people. If I don't like my neighbors I can move.  If I don't like this country, I can visit another.  

And the wildlife that shares this space with me?  I like the crows (it's easy to get them to stop sitting on most of your rigging by the way). The otters who play in my marina (who can destroy your boat if you leave it open or food out) entertain me to no end.  The blue herons (beautiful quiet ghosts of the night) are the epitome of grace and stealth.

For us, on Brigadoon, it's all about paring down, seeing all the things we have gained instead of all the things the Jones's have that we can't have anymore.  My McMansion home had a 30 year mortgage.  My boat will be paid off in about three years. 

And that is why I don't hate, or even dislike, the things that this person lists in their blog.  

You see, I understand.

They are all the price of admission and one I'm more than willing to pay.