Packing, Moving, & Living Aboard

A lot of people have asked us, “what made you decide to live on a boat?”  Well, I’m not really sure where to begin.  Originally, I was going to sail across the Atlantic to the Mediterranean this May with my uncle.  A few months passed, I wasn’t sure where things would be with COVID-19, four of my friends planned weddings and they were all around the time I’d be gone, and I had just started dating this cute guy who had his own boat (yes, of course it’s Steve).  Eventually, I turned the Med trip down, and Steve had thrown the idea around of staying on the boat. We were basically already living together in my apartment, because living on this boat in the middle of winter in Virginia is just not the warmest idea.  I knew my nanny job would end at the end of June, which was also the same time my lease would run out.  It was either renew it by the end of March, or move on the boat with Steve.  Well, we all know what I chose.

The day we officially moved onto the boat. 6/16/2021

Then came all of the decisions:  what to pack, get rid of things or send them with my parents, what to get done before we move aboard, what to do about work.

When it came to packing, I made at least two or three different checklists, not to mention one that my cousin (who was also moving on a boat at the same time) got from a friend of hers who lived aboard.  I adjusted it a bit since their list was for Maine, and the weather necessities are somewhat different.  

Obviously it’s catered to my personal closet. Even the bridesmaid dress is listed that I wore in a friend’s wedding because I absolutely could not forget that! We will also be in more warm weather than cold, so I didn’t have to pack for much cold weather. However, before we head South in November we will grab some warmer clothes from my parents’ house for our journey down. Our clothing inventory is everchanging due to events like weddings, hikes, trips, weather, etc.

I packed and repacked at least three times.  There was a whole month where we were essentially living in the apartment half of the time and the boat the other.  I started going crazy having to pack my toothbrush and deodorant and clothes every time we stayed on the boat, so I bought that stuff and moved it and some clothes aboard.  It felt so good having things there that were mine there and not worrying about forgetting it at the apartment.  However, when I was at the apartment I wouldn’t have those clothes.  So, I ended up bringing all the clothes back and repacking.  It’s super important to make sure you will WEAR what you pack.  Things that can be worn a ton of different ways are key, as well as things that can fold/roll up really small.

Just a side note, but moving is the BEST time to go through your closet.  I went through mine pretty much everytime I repacked and was able to donate so many things to my local thrift store.  So, if you’re trying to downsize your closet, just move and then it’ll be way easier (haha!).

Anyway, I unpacked and repacked one more time when I was officially moving out of the apartment, and then that was that!  Luckily, everything I packed was able to fit in my cubby and the two closets we share.  It all worked out, regardless of my stress, which just shows that there wasn’t anything for me to worry about.

Clothes aren’t the only thing that you should pack.  I have always had a medicine cabinet full of things.  I may not always need them, but at least I’m prepared if a situation presents itself.  So, we compiled all of that stuff, as well as bathroom necessities like shampoo and conditioner.

I also love having things that make it feel like home around my space.  I have a few specific nik-naks that I brought, small ones of course, but ones that make me feel like it’s my space too.  I also compiled a lot of pictures and letters that I had in my apartment into a very small photo album so that I could look back at those if I ever wanted something tangible that reminded me of friends or family.

We also got a lot of “isn’t that a small space to live with someone?” questions and comments, and yes, it is.  However, we like each other, imagine that, so being in close quarters really isn’t that bad.  We also went from my 350 square foot studio apartment to a boat, so we were already in close quarters before that, we just had land under us instead of water.  We both make sure we take time for ourselves.  Steve will work on his computer or do something he likes, and I’ll go for a run or take time to write, etc.  We make sure we do the work for ourselves so that we have the energy and desire to enjoy the relationship.

We always make sure that we take joy in the little things.  For example, on my birthday in March we finally completed putting in our new stove.  We were so excited.  I’m pretty sure we rode that high for much longer than one would expect, but it was something we wanted to do and it was finally done!  We got to check something off the list and it felt so good.  Making sure we enjoy those little things gets us through all of the checklists and tasks that come with living aboard.

Proof that we were all smiles the day we put the stove in. 3/12/2021

One thing I did that I loved?  I made a cruising playlist for when we’re out.  It was just something fun for us to do.  One evening on our drive from the boat to the apartment we listened to music and while I was driving Steve would add any song that felt like a boat song to the playlist.  It was definitely one of the best nights planning and leading up to the move, and now we listen to it all the time.  It’s linked below if you get in the cruising mood!

THIS WEEK:

With all of the topics we’ve been given to write on, it’s hard to also include what we’ve been up to this week.  So, I am starting a section at the end of our blog to include any fun, exciting, adventurous, things that happened the week before so that we can keep everyone up to date on our latest happenings!

This week, Steve finished his first week at a new job.  Woot woot!  We finally got to fixing the jib and putting the wind vane up.  Steve actually cranked me all the way up with the halyard attached to a climbing harness I was wearing.  Fun fact: I didn’t even touch the jib.  Apparently, it had shook itself loose from whatever was catching it and causing it not to unfurl.  I did get the vane up which is important, so it wasn’t for nothing.  It was definitely a cool experience being at the mast’s view of our boat.

Steve was able to snap a picture of me at the top. Definitely one of the coolest things we’ve done. I also wore the GoPro, so I’m working on putting together a short video compilation of the job!

My college roommate and her husband also came to visit and we took them for a sail.  Getting to share this with the people you love is SO important and we absolutely loved it.  The best part was that we got to see pod after pod of dolphins that swam alongside us for such a long time!  Lauren and Jacob were so excited, and so were Steve and I.  That was the biggest group we’ve had before and it was absolutely wonderful.  Dolphin sightings are definitely one of our favorite parts of sailing. 

Steve, Lauren, and Jacob enjoying the sail!
One of the many nautical friends we saw on our sail.

In not so joyful news, a rainstorm came through and we found more leaks, as well as realized that one we thought we fixed was still leaking.  We added  more things to the to-do list per usual, but that’s part of this adventure.  The good thing is, it’s nothing that we can’t handle.  

That’s been our week!  Today we are working and then my parents are visiting, so a crab feast will commence!

We hope you have a wonderful day and we’re so glad you read along with our adventures again this week.

Happy Sailing!

Skye

Published by skyepage

"She always had that about her, that look of otherness, of eyes that see things much too far, and of thoughts that wander off the edge of the earth." -Joanne Harris

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