Monday, February 24, 2014

Signs You Live on a Boat - Part 4

You've waited patiently and here it is - the fourth and final installment (for now) of Signs You Live on Boat.

As with Parts 1, 2, and 3, the original list comes from another site. Unfortunately, since I've started posting, that site has gone down and I can no longer link to it. If anyone finds it in a new location, please let me know.

I liked the list so much that I had to repost it with my own comments in red.

52. You measure the length of a shower in terms of quarters. I measure laundry this way. Our marina showers are free. I'm sure we will discover more about this quarter shower idea sometime in our travels. I'm also hoping that there comes a time when we can just jump in crystal clear water with a bar of soap.
53. You now consider a freezer the ultimate luxury. My freezer is small but I understand the sentiment behind this one having talked with friends that have an ice box. My boat may be more luxurious than I thought.
54. You have to strap a bag full of water to your boom & wait a few hours before you can take a shower. I love our hot water heater. However, on a previous boat, I liked to take advantage of the fact that the heat from the engine would warm up the water in the heater while we were cruising. 
55. You’ve sincerely wondered if there are any companies that make triangular bed sheets. There are companies that make custom boat sheets (where else would the hotels in the Poconos get sheets for their odd-shaped beds?). For example, the company we bought our new mattress from also makes custom boat sheets. We are still making do with regular sheets but they are an odd fit.
56. You know that styrofoam was invented by satan, duct tape by God.
57. When trying to register a new bank account or anything to do with government, their computer won’t accept the fact that you don’t have a residential address. Luckily this seems to be changing, at least in Maryland. Even my license has my slip number on it. This isn't the case in every state so people need to look into this carefully. Of course, this is easier for us because we stay put. We will have a lot to learn before we go cruising.
58. All of your neighbors have your cellphone number, but only call when they want a weather report or for you to check on their boat. We have had "weekend warriors" ask for boat updates but we are happy to help.
59. You realize previously asinine Jimmy Buffet songs have started to carry a deep philosophical significance. Jimmy has ALWAYS had deep philosophical significance.
60. You only bring out the clear plastic Dixie cups for fancy occasions. I do have a set of eight Christmas plates that came out for our New Year's Eve celebration. I also hate throwing things away so I try to avoid disposable plates, glasses, and silverware.
61. You visit a friend’s house and worry that everything on the shelves will come crashing down when the boat heels. I'm more worried about the fact that we have spread out over winter and will need to "spring clean" before the boat moves again. I'm sure there will be a post about that sometime soon.
62. Getting the “heat” question for the 1,000th time drives you mad.
63. Trying to find someone to sail away with you isn’t being romantic, it’s practical. So happy I found this person before moving onto the boat.
64. Your first iPhone app was the Weather Channel. I was super late to the smart phone craze and my first app was from the free Charm City Circulator. I guess that's a sign of my combination boat/city life.  
65. Your second was Tides app. I need to get this one pronto.
66. Your homepage is the NOAA National Weather Service. Wow, I'm seriously slacking in the electronic parts of my boat life.
67. You’ve spent mornings standing in your underwear on the deck of someone else’s boat, adjusting halyards, lashing lines & freezing your ass off. I've spent an hour-and-a-half being pelted by rain and hail during a derecho. Friends have worked to reset an anchor wearing nothing but a bedsheet. Besides, boat life is a bit more casual. Many of us walk outside in our PJs while anchored out.
68. You have given up trying to defend your lifestyle and are content with smugly thinking…..they don’t have a clue what they are missing. I can't count the number of times I've said "Why doesn't everyone do this?" I also think it's funny that people think we are nuts but they also tell lots of people about their "cool friends that live on a boat"
69. You have a clue what any of this means. :)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Signs You Live on a Boat - Part 3

Many thanks to the original poster of this list. The list is so much fun that I had to re-post it with my own comments in red.

34. You’ve accidently put your life jacket on in a grocery store parking lot out of habit. I don't carry my life jacket in the car, so, no I haven't done this, yet.
35. You walk in the rain all the way back to your boat, carrying a backpack, a load of laundry,  groceries destined to fall out of their bag at any second… all while thinking how lucky you are. Or in 10 degree weather with 35 mph winds. I still have a million dollar view!
36. Filling the water tanks is a full day’s work. It takes a little while but I can do other chores at the same time. It's also interesting that the topic of water tank size is normal conversation around a marina. How often do your landlubber friends ask each other how big their home water tank is? 
37. The only thing you do religiously on Sundays is wonder what day it is. We joke that we attend "Our Lady of the Brackish Water" religiously on Sundays. AKA we anchor out with friends on the Chesapeake Bay.
38. The first thing you do after setting the hook is check to see who you know in the anchorage. Especially at Fairlee Creek or the City Dock in Annapolis where we have run into unexpected friends.
39. Cutting the grass means diving over the side. Grass? Is that the green stuff people have in their yards?
40. You find a sea otter lounging in your cockpit when you get home. We've found ducks lounging on the swim platform and have had herons land on the hard top. No sea otters yet.
41. You think the roof leaking a little is no big deal. I think the isinglass leaking is no big deal. Anything inside the cabin would be a big deal to me.
42. You wonder why it’s always low tide when taking stuff on or off the boat. Hooray for floating docks!
43. A warm rum and coke won’t turn your stomach. Some people think this means I'm not a real boater but rum (warm or cold) will turn my stomach. I'm a vodka and tequila girl.
44. When you try to sleep on land you find you can only sleep in hammock after rocking it.
45. You understand and pay attention to the entire weather forecast. I'm a big fan of the Marine forecast on Wunderground.
46. You spend weekends sitting in your cockpit with a boat hook beside you, waiting to fend off the next rental boat operator. Definitely been there.
47. You can heat your home with a Bic lighter. We like our oil-filled electric radiators.
48. Every time you consider buying something the main consideration is what you’ll have to get rid of to make room for it. Especially when it comes to shoes!
49. When visiting ashore you catch yourself pumping the handle on a faucet. Our faucets work like land faucets but I have been momentarily confused by a land toilet.
50. You consider a three minute shower luxurious. Aahhhhhh!
51. You covet your neighbor’s oven more than his wife. I do covet full-sized ovens.
If you missed them, check out Part 1 and Part 2 of this list. The final post in this series will be available in a couple of days.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming...

...For a tremendous snow storm. It was pretty coming down:
This was taken when the snow first started around 9pm last night.
But had turned into a 10-12 inch mess by morning.

With the promise of sleet and rain threatening to weigh everything down and an afternoon forecast of 2-5 more inches of snow, Doug and I decided to get some exercise, help out the marina, and tackle our dock at 5:30 in the morning. (Yes, super early, but neither one of us had to drive to work so why not. And really, this was a ton of snow, the marina staff is awesome but we wanted to pitch in.) We grabbed a couple shovels from the top of the docks, put our backs into it, and cleared a path to all the liveaboard boats on our dock.

When you shovel a sidewalk it can be difficult to find a place to put all the snow. There always seems to be a few cars in the way. The resulting snow mounds are always a gross combination of snow, dirt, and any unmentionables that have found their way to the city sidewalk. The eyesore sticks around long after the rest of the snow has melted. When you shovel a dock you can just push the snow into the water. There isn't any trash on the dock and the snow would eventually melt into the water below anyway. And when the water is frozen you end up with neat little snow mounds that slowly dissolve.
There has been a short lull in the precipitation so our dock is looking pretty good.
This was taken around 11:30am.
The big concern was heavy snow sitting on the bimini. Too much weight can cause the supportive poles to bend and the top to collapse. So far, so good, the wind prevented too much accumulation.

Our marina staff is incredible and they have been steadily clearing the snow since early this morning. I was lucky enough to snap a photo of one of the docks before anyone had touched it.
The snow was too heavy for the plow attached to the mini all-terrain vehicle so a lot of it had to be done with a slow blower. That's a lot of distance to clear but it sure is looking good. Thanks guys!

Anyone interested in a snow picnic?
I've already said that I wanted a real winter and it's safe to say we got it. Now will someone please remind Mother Nature to pay her heating bill.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Signs You Live on a Boat -- Part 2

Ready for part 2? Here are 18 more signs that you live on a boat. Once again, thank you to the original poster for this great list. I have simply added my comments in red.

You can find the first 15 signs that you live on a boat here.

16. You are content knowing that sailing is code for boat repair in exotic places. For now, "exotic" equals Middle River. But one day...

17. You can assemble a gourmet dinner using only one pot and a sport. There are no sporks on this boat. But we have heated cans of vegetables on the grill and an electric skillet has become our best friend.

18. Doing laundry involves a net bag, a moving boat, and 50 feet of line. Have you seen the water in Baltimore? My laundry would come out dirtier than it started. And the Chesapeake Bay is brackish, so I'll stick with an actual washing machine.

19. You have to put up an umbrella inside. Unless I'm drying out the umbrella I sure hope this never happens.

20. When asked for a piece of scratch paper, you hand them 80 grit.

21. You truly don’t want anything for Chistmas that doesn’t come in PDF form or install on a Kindle. We also accept gift cards to West Marine.

22. You only get seasick on land. This actually happened to me recently! I was on land for many days in a row and felt the world move.

23. Cardboard boxes, wrappers, and packing foam are thrown away before anything goes to the boat. I tend to sort through the mail as I'm walking down the pier. Junk mail never makes it on the boat because there are trash cans and recycling bins along the way.

24. You define a good anchorage as one where you can get WiFi. We love having WiFi at our marina!

25. A fifteen minute job always takes an hour and a half since you have to pull everything out of all the storage lockers to find the right part, then the right tool, then put it all back. Yup!

26. Your wallet contains more boat cards than business cards. They are in my rolodex, but yes.

27. You know what a boat card is. My husband originally made fun of me for creating boat cards. They have come in handy many times. (For landlubbers -- a boat card is a business card with your contact information and boat name. Boaters hand them out to people they meet in marinas so they can meet up again.)

28. When visiting ashore, you wake everybody at daylight screaming “We’re Aground” when you open your eyes and see trees.

29. You define an easy chore as one where you only had to pull out 3 tool bags.

30. You covet new solar panels more than a new car. The boat next to us has solar panels. They are so pretty! Another boat on our dock as a wind turbine. So jealous!

31. You can identify boats by the sound of their halyard slapping against their mast. As a power boater, this one doesn't apply to me.

32. Removing things from the refrigerator is like playing Jenga. When we first moved on I had no idea how I would ever fit everything we need in the fridge. Somehow it has worked out but it can be interesting.

33. You gave up high heels for flipflops. There are still a couple pairs of heels on board but I despise walking to the main dock in them. Besides, every girl needs a pair of high heels.

36 more reasons to go. Check back soon!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Signs You Live on a Boat -- Part 1

Another boater posted this fantastic link for 69 Signs You Live on Boat. Below is the original author's list in black font, with my comments in red. For the sake of sanity, I'll break the list into four separate posts -- read one, all, or parts. Many thanks to "Andrew" for a list that made me laugh out loud numerous times.
  1. Sleeping in a house makes you feel claustrophobic because there isn’t a hatch overhead to look at the stars. Sadly, my stateroom doesn't have a hatch because the aft sunroom sits directly above it (wouldn't that be awkward). But the VIP stateroom has a hatch. Previous boats have had a hatch above my bed and I do miss looking at the stars.
  2. You know smaller is actually sometimes better. Sometimes? I'm starting to think all times.
  3. You find yourself bleeding from random places at random times. I've always been clumsy and bruise like a peach. So this is nothing new for me.
  4. You and your girlfriend define “taking a break” as moving about six feet apart and looking in opposite directions. Or taking a walk through the marina.
  5. You avoid telling people you live on a boat just so you don’t have to explain to them how you shower… again. Or how I do my laundry, or where I put my clothes, or if I have a TV, or....
  6. You are obsessed with the humidity…indoors. Hooray for Pingis.
  7. You think butter only comes soft. Well, my butter is in my fridge, so it's not always soft.
  8. All of your pots have removable handles. We had high hopes for our lovely Calphalon pots and pans. Sadly, they don't work as well as the cheap stuff on our electric stove. And finding space for everything has been an ever-changing challenge.
  9. When invited to dinner at someone’s house you ask if you can have a shower. I've never actually asked to use someone's shower, but I have been offered the use of a bathtub by numerous friends.
  10. When invited to dinner at someone’s house you ask if you can do your laundry. I have not! But the fact that I did many loads of laundry at the marina office has been part of bar conversations.
  11. The doctor assumes your body covered in random bruises is a sign of physical abuse. See number 3.
  12. You are the only one who doesn’t want to win the big screen TV at the charity raffle. In my case, I'm the only one that doesn't pick up bags and bags of free advanced readers copies of books at the American Library Association meeting. But yes, we do not want to win any large prizes.
  13. You think CSI is some sort of yacht club racing acronym. Isn't everything an acronym for boating?
  14. Kids think you’re the coolest person on earth. Most of my adult friends do to. They love telling people about their "friends that live on a boat."
  15. When you don’t like the neighborhood you just untie and move. While we love our current "neighborhood" we have scoped out places for a few years forward.
Check back soon for another 15 from the list.