Life as a live aboard.
You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.Anonymous
What is it like living on a 44ft (13.4 metres) yacht full-time? Well I can you tell you it is not quite how I imagined it to be. In fact now that I am used to it I can honestly say it is better than I envisaged. I love cosy spaces, lots of cushions, throw blankets, warm lighting and that feeling of security and warmth – our boat has it all, or she will when I buy some big cushions!
We can stand upright (we are quite tall, 5ft 9 and 5ft 11) the whole way through so that gives you an idea of the height of the living area. She has a 13.77 ft beam (4.2metre wide) which gives us a lot of space, two couches, a dining table, a great sized galley (kitchen), a navigation table with seating area and a work bench.
We have 2 cabins, one forward, one aft. Plus we have what are called sea berths, basically single bunks in the forward cabin and one in the salon. Both of the main cabins have an ensuite bathroom (shower, toilet and handbasin) next to them and are very roomy and comfortable. Our cabin is at the aft (rear end of the boat or stern) we have a double bed with plenty of storage and two hatches above which is great for air flow. They have insect covers over them so minimal mosquito attention! How do we sleep on a boat? The same as everyone else we just have the gentle motion of the boat to rock us to sleep, another thing that takes a few days to get used to but is quite comforting. If it gets rough you could sleep in a smaller sea berth that has sides to it or lee cloths which are attached to the side of the berth so as to stop you falling out. This is all below deck.
Above deck is a centre cockpit and great clean decks with a wonderful seat that I have nick-named my ‘dolphin seat’ at the bow. The fun things up on deck are the masts (yes we have two), the wheel or helm, all the rigging, bbq, shower, swim ladders and platform, the dinghy and our latest purchase being a tandem sea kayak.
What do we do all day? I think people have the vision of us sitting in a quiet bay, lying on the deck enjoying the sun, sipping cocktails, taking the occasional dip etc…ummmm not yet! Firstly it is winter here so still a bit nippy to go for a swim, and secondly whenever you take over something new like a boat, house, caravan etc you want to go over it thoroughly to see where everything is and how it all works. So that is what we have been spending our days doing. She is moored up in a marina in the South of Turkey which is a beautiful part of the world, and we potter about looking in all the storage areas, going through the mechanics, electronics and sails etc. We don’t spend all day every day doing this but we have tried to spend a good couple of hours each day familiarising ourselves and writing a list of things to do. We have worked out how to use the gas cooker successfully and love to go to the local markets and buy fresh colourful produce to cook with. We love our sound system listening to music, spend time reading and planning trips both sailing and ashore. Of course I draft blogs all the while trying different teas. I find I have time to indulge my passions and time to ‘just be’, something I haven’t been able to do for a very long while. My chap is a very happy man, he is finally living his dream. It is good for the soul.
Living in a marina is actually pretty good to start out with, it is fully equipped with power, water, WiFi is available, ablution blocks and laundry facilities. This particular marina is also smack in the middle of a quaint wee township with plenty to offer and they cater well for the live-aboards. One other thing about the marina is we have our own sea life visiting daily; turtles, fish, dolphins and seals. Apparently there are some tortoises on land around the marina but I am yet to find any.
We are also studying for our SRC/VHF Radio Course, which for me is fantastic as I haven’t had to use a radio in a very long time. This is an essential tool for us for obvious safety reasons and gives me confidence knowing I know how to use this vital piece of marine equipment.
Do I get seasick? The answer to that is sort of, it takes me a good two days to re-balance and get my ‘sea legs’. I often feel a little nauseous but have a few tricks up my sleeve to work through it. Firstly don’t allow yourself to get too warm. If you are above deck look out to the horizon and feel the fresh air on your face. Keep busy, find something to do – fishing is great, it’s outside, you aren’t focused on anything to intricate and you never know you might catch something. Avoid reading, computer work anything that requires you to concentrate on one particular small space. I have acupressure wrist bands which I find very helpful. Ginger in the form of tea, crystalised ginger or ginger ale is excellent for settling the stomach. Using a piece of cotton wool or an ear plug in the opposite ear to which hand you write with (ie if you are right handed pop the cotton wool in your left ear) has been known to help too. It does come right and I actually miss the motion when I am back on land.
We do have a good amount of space so we aren’t in each others pockets all of the time. It is a big adjustment for us going from full time employment, traveling for work, a lot of time apart and houses with gardens and space. We are having a blast exploring, experiencing and reconnecting ♥
Feel free to ask any questions you may have…as I told one friend you don’t know what you don’t know!! We love hearing from you ♥
Disclosure: Occasionally I link to companies using affiliate links. If you click on an affiliate link and chose to make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I appreciate you supporting my blog ♥
© 2019-2020 Justine Warne and The Tea Chest Blog. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. If you would like to use posts, excerpts, photos and links, you may contact me first. Full and clear credit is to be given to ‘Justine Warne’ and/or ‘The Tea Chest Blog’ with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.