Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Our Home on the High Seas -- for a Month

Staying aboard our little boat back home was a lot like camping: jugs of water, miniature gas stove, portable toilet. The boat we chartered for the Vancouver Island trip is a luxury yacht. It has been eminently comfortable for living aboard for an extended period. It has a propane refrigerator--with freezer compartment! Counter space for preparing food. Comfortable bunks, even if they’re a bit cozy. A decent sized marine head—toilet, sink, and mini shower area. Roomy seating in the indoor cabin and outdoor cockpit--for working, plotting courses, and enjoying the boat ride, as well as for meals and happy hours. (Those all-important happy hours, essential for developing crew cohesivenss...)
 Operating the boat’s amenities depends on a functioning engine and replenishment of the fuel and water periodically. Comfort, however, depends on a lot more than that. It depends also on cooperation, cleanliness, and maintenance. Someone has to take the smallest berth, clean the toilet, cook the noodles, and wash the coffee cups. Once in a while, the subtle scents on board call out for a visit to a shower and laundromat.
Here are just a few images of life aboard: the good stuff, at least.
 Our 43-foot Bavaria sailboat, "Archer," anchored in fog.  
 Captain Dave at the helm and his wife, Joanne, in the galley.

Four of the five crew: Amber, Pope, Dave, Joanne

Pope and Mark starting happy hour; sometimes the Jameson whiskey comes first; sometimes the beer.
It takes half of the crew to figure out how to raise an anchor when it's tucked under a rock, and the other half of the crew to plot a course.
The v-shaped sleeping nook in the rear of the boat (called a quarterberth) that Pope and I share with our luggage and guitar. Rain gear, life jackets and harnesses (straps we use to tie ourselves to the boat while out in the ocean) hanging up to dry at the entryway to our quarterberth.


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