To see as much of the world as we can,
Using the smallest carbon footprint we can,
Spending the least amount of money we can,
Making as many friends we can.

Team Red Cruising

Living Aboard: Week Zero

"Where is all this going to go?" the Commodore asks. And, "Do I really need five different kinds of rice?"

The life change from apartment-dweller with a boat to boat-dweller has been profound. It's not a huge shock (we've been planning this for years.) On the other hand, it's a huge shock to move from 1800 sq. ft. house to 1000 sq. ft. apartment, to 42' boat.

My mother writes "How is it? Been thinking a lot about you today. Almost put in a prayer request for the "boat people"."

How sweet. And a really good question. We don't really know how to answer that.

For years we chartered boats and spent a week bopping around on someone else's well-maintained charter boat. Since buying Red Ranger, we've spent considerable time on her. In 2011, we spent two whole weeks in a row. In '09 and '10 we would take a week of vacation and stay on the boat.

But those are smaller and more bounded. This is bigger an unbounded. It's more complicated. But since we have no apartment to go back to, in some ways it's also simpler.


Day One

Friday. Loaded the last of our earthly possessions into the F-150. Dropped the keys to the apartment off at the landlord's.

We're down to just three keys our our key rings.

  • Truck key

  • Truck cap key.

  • "Church key" bottle opener.

We've been welcomed to the "Brethren of the Coast": the cruisers who move with the seasons along the US coastal waters.

At the boat, we moved just two duffle bags of clothes for the week and a few tubbies of refrigerator food onto the boat. Then we sat down in the cockpit to read, check FaceBook (me, her) and catch our breath.

About 4-ish, I contemplated getting something done.

CA reminded me that loading the truck and getting up here was enough of an accomplishment for the day. "Sit back down and relax," I was told. So I did.

Day Two


Saturday. Customer appreciation crab fest at the marina.


Compare this year's sunny picture with last year's rainy picture.

Some folks have left to start their wandering. We're about to start our wandering. Many folks are confirmed wanders finishing their hurricane-season work.

Yes, we did a little actual work installing the Nature's Head. And we stowed box after box of galley supplies. All the stuff from the apartment cupboards and fridge. All of it.

Plus the grand merge of pots, pans and utensils is underway.

And we did a lot more socializing. Since we don't have to run back to Norfolk on Sunday night, we don't have the same time pressure to get everything done ASAP.

We were free to crab fest until we couldn't crack another crab. We spent the evening learning some tunes from Erin (guitar) and Bob (drums) of Mandy.

Day Three

Sunday. We did some boat work. Almost done with the Nature's Head. A morning of stowing and restowing to make sure the galley has an accessible, logical organization.

Then we had a long, leisurely lunch with Brooke and Susan of Liquid Therapy.


Around 3-ish we went back to doing some work around the boat.

The truck is—perhaps—⅓ empty. At this rate is will be another week to get everything out of the truck onto the boat.

Which is good, because we have much more socializing to do here at the marina.

Lessons Learned

In two weeks, we intend to leave for the Whitby Rendezvous. It looks like we can also party it up at the marina. We're here full-time: why worry? We have the freedom (or is it luxury?) to leave the tools out and finish the job tomorrow.

Indeed, when it comes to stowing, we're leaving the supplies out because we've run out of patience and determination. We need to leave the job until tomorrow.

(Really, do you need five different kinds of rice?)

Also, none of the jobs that are being deferred are mission-critical or safety-critical. Red Ranger works great. Nothing is broken. (Touch wood for luck.) It's all just final packing and preparation.