Friends often post on Facebook, “I don’t know how you do it – living on a boat”. This is usually after I have updated my status with the latest crazy thing to happen. The truth is, I sometimes don’t like it. “Sometimes” usually happens anytime between mid-November and the end of February during the deepest part of a Canadian winter.
During our first year on the boat, we realized that we weren’t purists like the Pardeys – we like our diesel engine and this Sailor girl likes to be warm. So when the winter storms are blowing and a friend asks if we would like to dog and housesit while they venture to Costa Rica, we say “yes”. We started housesitting when we had a dog on board and it gave all of us a brief respite from winter boat living. We only do it for friends and never in the summer.
What we also discovered is that it gives us the opportunity to do work on the boat that would be a little more inconvenient if we were on board. So, for this sojourn our plans are to replace the broken off strips of yellow cedar in the saloon floor; put a few coats of urethane on the finished product; and replace all of the bedding – fitted to the odd- shaped bunks. All in all, our land-based visits are usually very busy times.
I tend to cook more elaborate recipes on land thanks to a full-size refrigerator and running water. We don’t have a freezer on board, so the luxury of pulling leftovers out of the freezer after work, is blessed indeed. This house has a bath – say no more.
But even as we settle into our temporary digs, we find ourselves spending all of our time in one room of the house, the other parts unvisited except to dust. Listening to the wind outside and thinking about our neighbours in the marina – missing them.
We visit the boat regularly to check on her and to work on our projects. She seems forlorn without us and all our clutter which we have moved to this house temporarily.
We appreciate the comforts of this warm home for the time being and look forward to reuniting with our floating home in a couple of weeks time. This interlude on land will get us through the darkest days of winter with the promise of spring sailing not too far away.