You know that song from Annie, “It’s the hard knock life”? Well, it’s been playing in my head non-stop, except the words are “It’s the boatyard life for us…” It’s been about a month and a half that we’ve been “on the hard” (out of the water) – almost as much time as we’ve spent actually traveling on our adventure so far. We’ve been living on the boat this whole time, well mostly Ed as I took a 3 week hiatus for a visit back to Philly. Living on a boat in the water provides it’s own set of experiences and challenges (more on that at another time) but living on a boat out of the water is a whole other story… Thought I’d share a bit of what it’s been like.
Getting on and off the boat – typically getting on and off the boat in a marina is a fun challenge in and of itself, especially when you are at a fixed dock. On land, to get on the boat you have to climb a 10 foot ladder, navigate yourself over the lifelines (and netting in our case) under the bimini, down the side and into the cockpit. Try doing that on a really windy day or with your hands full with lots of grocery bags, plus a large backpack with laundry on your back for good measure!
Bathroom use – most boats have the toilets (heads) that flush by intaking the raw water. When you are on the hard, that’s not going to work. So those boaters have to run down the 10′ ladder and across the boatyard to the bathrooms at the yard. Fun! We are pretty lucky in this department as we have a composting toilet. Water is not required and it’s a completely self contained unit and no holding tank. No need for the ladder acrobatics on a timer in the middle of the night. Big plus in my book!
Water supply – this is typically not an issue at a boatyard (or a marina for that matter) as they got water hoses everywhere. Fill up your water tanks as needed and you are good to go. This boatyard happens to use well water with a particularly strong sulfur smell (and strong is putting it mildly). We’ve learned the hard way what happens when you put well water in our water tanks – not doing that again! Luckily we knew of this water situation before we got towed to the boatyard so we filled our tanks up just prior to arriving here. We’ve been nursing those 40 gallons of water since we’ve gotten here. Talk about an exercise in water conservation! I’m sure Ed is grateful I was gone for three weeks, otherwise we would be out if water long ago. We use the tank water strictly for hand washing and even so with as little water as possible, never letting the water just run free – not a drop to be wasted here! For dishes we fill up a bucket and one of the sinks with the stinky water. Bucket for soapy water and the sink for clean water rinse. Needless to say we invested in some disposable dishes and utensils (so so sorry environment).
Showers – typically at the boatyard the showers are glorious. Unlimited water supply, you can just stand there and enjoy soaking up all the warm water. Except we got the above mentioned stinky water situation over here so the showers are an exercise in how quickly you can be in and out while trying not to breathe in that very strong rotten egg smell. Yum… Rotten egg showers… I won’t be able to eat eggs for a while after this little experience.
Getting around – when traveling by boat we go exploring by foot or on our bikes. One awesome advantage at the boatyard is that they have a courtesy car. Makes getting around and running errands so much easier! Since we were the only people staying on the boat over New Year eve, the yard manager even let us take the car overnight and we were able to go into Charleston to stay over night there to welcome the new year and celebrate Ed’s birthday.
We should be coming to the end of our boatyard stay very shortly. The repairs are finally progressing at a good speed. Plus we are doing well with all of our own boat projects while here. There is one additional item that needs to get fixed, but it can’t be done before this coming Tuesday so our launch is postponed from this week to mid-next week. What’s another week when we are having so much fun!!!