For our 28th anniversary, we did something new and different: we went camping. Camping isn't all that new. But we spent our first night on the Ranger. No water. No heads. Limited electricity. Delightful.
[The Emily Post list of anniversary gifts: 1st paper, 5th wood, 10th tin, 15th crystal, 20th china, 25th silver and 50th gold. Not listed: 28th anniversary gift: fiberglass.]
It was different from a tent in the Adirondacks. First, we didn't have to set it up: she was just standing there in the boat yard. Second, the beds were much nicer than a pad and sleeping bag on the ground. Temps dropped to the mid-40's, so it was just like being in the mountains.
Rather than the usual night-noises of the mountains, we had the night noises of the boatyard. Mostly, this is slapping halyards as the wind pipes up.
The verdict: so far, so good. New, different, and a very cool adventure.
Let's not get too excited. The deck is still being repaired. The masts are still laying on the ground. The bottom still needs to be painted. We have to put the name on the transom.
We have to wash and wax the topsides. And put in a bonus bilge pump. We have 10 winches to rebuild. Much yet to do.
But, she passed the "sleepover" test.
Our first boat sleepover was back in July of 2000, on Dekkan Nillius in San Diego. Everyone looks so young in those pictures.
For our first sleepover, we didn't know what to expect. The gurgling of water below the hull? Loud but nice. The humming of the inverter/battery charger? Really annoying; mostly because I didn't know how to turn off the inverter for the night. Ranger's is (a) easy to turn off and (b) much hidden away in the engine room; Dekkan Nillius was a smaller boat the inverter was in the cabin.
Using the washhouse at the marina? Not any different from camping.
Indeed, I saw lots of people who were clearly neighbors at the marina saying "good morning" in the showers at the washhouse. The neighborhood bathroom aspect of marina life and camping takes a little getting used to, but I've grown to appreciate the efficiency of one central, shared facility.
Back then, it was new and different -- a cool adventure. Now, it's still new and different, still a cool adventure.