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May 2010

"Stuck" on the Mooring. Perception Vs. Reality on Living Aboard

This morning, one of the boatyard crew asked me, "Are you stuck on the mooring all summer?'

As if that were a bad thing. 

We are not stuck. We are living on the mooring by choice. I like it. 

It is a different way to enjoy our already unusual lifestyle. We are two middle aged (I can't believe I said that) working people, who belong to a gym and a book club; who are active in the Chamber of Commerce and other business organizations;  and who have friends and family who live like normal people. Yet we thrive with a commute that begins with a 10 minute ride in an inflatable dinghy. 

We work out our schedule each morning. I walk and exercise from the boatyard, EW goes to a gym. Sometimes we go back to the boat for breakfast, sometimes we grab it on the fly. If one of us wants to or has to stay ashore late in the day, the other willingly heads off home and returns for pick up at the appointed hour.

We are fully at home aboard La Luna. On the mooring we have "neighbors" afloat and on shore. Last summer, when we only stayed on the moorings on weekends, I joined a nearby shore family in the water on a very hot day. On Saturday, I dinghied to the docks to pick up a boating friend for dinner of home-made pizza aboard La Luna. Tonight we hope to host a land based friend and her little dog for a Memorial Day cook out. We are normal folk (or nearly normal) who live a bit unconventionally and love it.

Of course there are compromises. There are compromises with any lifestyle choice. We shower in the marina's facilities; we tote laundry and groceries and garbage and recyclables on and off the boat; we must run the engine to charge the batteries; I can't get WiFi on the mooring and this blog has suffered.

Now that life has settled down a bit, I'm working on developing a schedule that lets me get everything done and done well - not like that sideways photo of La Luna that I posted a few days ago. (Oopsie.)

Here she is, right side up!   La Luna on the Mooring

We have gotten much better at making sure we have everything we need each morning when we leave. In the past we have often left home (on land or at sea) without keys, cell phone, wedding ring, lunch, etc.  In fact, both dogs learned not to get too excited when we returned home shortly after leaving.  For a few weeks each would jump up, tail wagging, thrilled we were back. Each quickly learned that this was not a reprieve from time home alone. Coffee and later Jake would stay curled up, open one eye and then go back to sleep as we grabbed the forgotten item and dashed out the door/up the companionway. While we never were able to break that bad habit on shore or on the dock, I have become much more thoughtful when leaving the boat at the mooring. 

I'm more efficient on the mooring. And happy. I wouldn't call that stuck.

Batteries, Round Two -- Power for Living Aboard

The sixth and final battery arrived Friday and EW and I successfully installed the last two.  These live under our berth and are positioned just below the large aft hatch. EW rigged up the boom to allow us to use the tackle on the end of it and he and I were able to handle the whole process of removal and replacement without help.  

EW Battery Day Two

After we got the old ones off, I dragged the first of the two new batteries into place on the dock and tied hitches to the handles. Then we raised the battery to clear the lifeline, moved the boom over the hatch, and EW went below to guide and place the battery while I lowered it (slowly!).  

As I prepared to drag the second battery into place, EW asked, "You OK with doing this?" I guess he wondered whether the process was too much for me. "Keep going, I said. I like power." (Meaning, having full electrical power on the boat--but meaning as well that I like doing things well.)

EW got it (sort of) and said immediately,"Both kinds of power. What you are doing now and the kind we can depend on."

.... I gave him a look.  "Uh.. That didn't come out right," he said.

I should hope not. I gave him a pass, tied the knot and did my job. You can depend on it.