Patreon Post from November 5, 2020

Hi all!  Apologies for October’s newsletter being a little late.  It was a super busy October for us.  It has been really difficult floating in the harbor when our lives have become so land based.  

Each frosty morning, Justin would start the generator to warm up the boat a little for us, and then put on all of his foul weather gear to take the dinghy a half mile to the dock, so he could get in the car and drive to work.  It added quite a long time to his commute, especially as our car can’t accelerate on the highway (Luckily we bought a second car. That was a relief.) 

The kids would have remote school, as I worked on my business in the other room.  And then at 2:30pm, I would take the launch service into shore and walk to work giving tours for my friend’s company here in Salem.  The kids would essentially be stuck on the boat for days at a time with no way to get to shore because the launch service ends at 4pm and Justin didn’t arrive home until 6pm.  Also, Justin would be working on the Schooner Fame on weekends and we both wouldn’t be home until 10pm.  Tyler made a lot of babysitting money.

Anyway… life is difficult when you’re juggling jobs, kids school, etc.  But it was even more difficult to do it while timing our rides to and from shore.  It was cold and miserable on the harbor most days.  One afternoon, I had to dinghy in to work in waves and winds gusting 30 kts and I attached the motor’s kill switch to myself for maybe the first time ever. I was terrified I’d flip the dinghy and would need to crawl up on an empty sailboat nearby and break in to use a VHF radio and call for help.  All sorts of thoughts running through my mind on that day.

Oh, and then it snowed the day before Halloween.  We spent the night at a friend’s house, and returned to Litha covered in snow and Tyler’s crested gecko, Mike, not doing so well.  We warmed him up though and bought him a better heater. 

So…. FINALLY we are at the dock.  We bought new space heaters, electric blankets, and are super cozy now.  I still can’t wrap my brain around being able to just walk to shore whenever I want.  

We have been in Salem now for 4 months. (By comparison, we were in Bahia Del Sol, El Salvador for 5 months.)  Each month brings us a little closer to feeling settled.  Each month brings more aspects of a “normal” American life to get used to again.  

Part of me is glad to be here with so many conveniences we haven’t had in years, and part of me wants to get off this dock and sail south.  

Even though it’s been a struggle to live aboard, I still love that we don’t live “like normal”.  Being on the boat is still different, even though we are stationary.  We pay about $540 a month for our slip and not the $2300 a month that we used to pay for a house here.  And we’ll still be living off-grid for half the year.  (Oh yeah, ugh, we’re going to have a power bill for the first time in years.)

Lesson this month (and it’s similar to a previous month but in a much different context) be grateful for what you have…. but also be grateful for what you don’t have.  My question to you all this month is… How can you live life just a little less “normal”?  What parts of American life do you love and what could you live without?  We’re still “embracing crazy” in a different way as we live Life off the deep end on a boat in winter in New England.  How can you do the same in your own way?  …..and do you even want to?)