Boat Maintenance (Or Only Handy Man -- and Woman Need Apply)
Living Aboard a Sailboat With A Dog (Jake's Story)

Living Aboard a Sailboat - (or Don't You Get Sick of Each Other?)

There are a select number of phrases (usually exclamations) that we hear when we first tell someone that we live aboard. Depending on the person's point of view the usual comments are: 

    "Would you talk my wife into that?" 

     "Wow! No property taxes!"

    "OOH. No lawn to mow!" 

     "What did you do with your stuff?"

 and --today's topic? 

    "You really must love Stew/Barbara to live that close together all the time!" 

Well, we do love each other, and we have a great relationship -- but many of our friends have very strong marriages and they wouldn't do this. So it isn't loving the other person that makes this work (though it helps) it is loving and understanding the lifestyle. It can get close on board -- particularly in the winter. 

The dog (Jake, an 80 pound black lab) is allowed on the settee and the bed mainly to keep him from underfoot. There isn't a lot of floor space on the boat. We don't cook much together anymore. The galley simply doesn't allow it. And sure, there are times when one or the other of us is doing some small task and the other of us seems to be constantly in the way. When that happens -- we step aside and wait out the flurry of activity. 

Really, only two situations make the boat seem very small. The first is if one of us is working on a major project which takes up a lot of room. For instance, when Stew repairs the head, or when he changes the oil, or when he installed the furnace -- I simply leave. Sometimes I stay in the area in case he needs my assistance -- other times I abandon ship and let him have at it.  Similarly, when I took on the gargantuan task of making a new dodger (never again!) most of that work was done while Stew was working on weekends. 

 The second situation that makes the boat appear to be smaller is when one of us is ill. Whether cold, or minor surgery, or flu bug -- there is no place for the ill person to hide --- and no place for the well person to avoid the sounds of coughing and sniffles and kvetching. Our home had a family room on the first floor and a den on the second and we often enjoyed both rooms as a couple, but it is apparent to me now that we did separate when not feeling well. On board -- I strive for patience and we bump into each other reaching for the tissues. Whether fighting a stubborn oil leak or a seasonal cold we work it out and give each other space. That is a small price to pay. We do love each other -- and we love living aboard.

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