Friday, July 21, 2017

Two Months As Liveaboards!

It's been just over two months since we moved aboard Nirvana. Man, time flies ... especially on a boat!  A lot has happened the past two months .. good n bad!

While at the boatyard, we had a local rigger inspect our rigging, replace the mast lights with LEDs, and replace our three mast-head sheaves with upgraded ball-bearing sheaves ... this should make raising the main sail much easier! The inspection went pretty well, but he did find that our halyard "retainer" needed replacement, as well as our spreader boots & a shroud. He came back another time to replace the shroud & retainer, and we're hoping that we can replace the boots ourselves soon .. time to buy something to go up the mast!

After a couple of weeks of living at the boatyard where Nirvana had been for over a year, we moved to the local marina, which is so much nicer! Our "kids" came along for the ride .. no sails yet. It was a great day to be on the boat .. it's been way too long!

Our new home .. and only $150 a month! The first photo is from our cockpit .. what a view!

Nirvana's new slip .. notice our "cajun a/c".  The Bristol next to us sails to the Bahamas every winter!

Our first night .. so pretty. We're really enjoying the sunsets!

The marina's restaurant (really good) and Yacht Club ...

Nirvana under the moonlight!

We celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary by washing Nirvana and adding some much needed shade!

I wish that I could say that we've tackled all sorts of major projects on the boat and we've been "living the dream", but I'd be stretching the truth a bit. We're still working on wrapping our our businesses, and we've had quite a few unexpected things occur that were really tough to deal with. 

After leaving behind the boatyard and the two weeks of rain, we were starting to get in our groove until ... a tropical storm that brought even more rain a few weeks later led to a flooded rental! We were quick to deal with the damage, and luckily we kept our tenant. Around the same time we had a vacant rental .. and a ton of disgusting trash left behind. Again, we wasted no time getting the house cleaned and occupied with a really nice woman.

Just as we were finishing up our rentals, we were dealt with some pretty tough, emotional stuff. Friends of ours lost their teenage son in a car wreck and just earlier this week Ken's younger brother suffered a heart attack and did not survive .. talk about a shock!

This photo was taken on our dock of the kids at Summer Sailing Camp just seconds before we got that terrible call about Ken's brother .. life can change so fast. We were really looking forward to taking Ken's brother sailing when we reached his hometown in Florida. Our hearts are heavy .. Steve was a great guy!

Needless to say, the past two months have been challenging.  However, life is short and we try to make the best of each day. Not all has been bad the past two months. In fact, this past Father's Day we learned we're gonna be grandparents!  We're really excited, and the baby is due in February. We'll definitely be around for the birth of our first grandchild, so we're gonna have to figure out our travel plans when we get our heads cleared.

The photo below was taken on Father's Day with our daughter, son-in-law, and his parents. We all got together at our beach-town condo, and the two "fathers" found pacifiers with a cute little note .. what a great Father's Day! We haven't stayed at the condo since Father's Day, and haven't been able to enjoy the condo as much as we'd hoped, but we plan on making up for it soon.

Our little salon has a place for the special gifts from our "kids" .. a sun hat, a knife .. and a pacifier!

We've made new friends at our dock, most of them liveaboards. In fact, the couple docked next to us sail to the Bahamas every winter .. we've been picking their brains! We've had many sunset "happy hours" on the dock and on our new friend's boats. The folks on our dock have been amazing .. our "neighborhood" is pretty awesome!

We now do our laundry at the marina's laundry room, walk to the marina's bathroom for showers, and get our water from our tanks that we fill about every 7-10 days. These little inconveniences have been worth it ... but the heat is a different story!  It's been hot as hell in the boat .. even with our a/c window unit. Yesterday, our thermometer read 95 degrees at 6pm! We're looking into different options, as we'll be at the dock until the Fall and the heat & humidity have been brutal!

Nirvana is starting to feel like "home", and I'm anxious to bring a few sentimental items on the boat. However, Ken has to run some wires soon so I'm trying not to fill up the boat until he's done. As shown in the first photo, I have added a "sun" tapestry and burnt orange sheets to the salon to give our little place a sense of my style. We've also added a couple of gear hammocks for storage, a hanging shoe storage in the "head" for random items, and some Steri-lite plastic bins in the aft cabin for storing tools & spare boat parts. While our boat is considered tiny by today's standards, we've been doing pretty well with storage .. so far. We still have quite a bit to bring on board, so we'll see. I'm optimistic!

Cooking has been a challenge on board, and it doesn't help that I'm not fond of it! After several times of pumping the alcohol stove's tank in the heat and then finding a leak, we decided to ditch the stove! 

We decided to keep things easy and just order a 2-burner propane stove to use with our Omnia Stovetop Oven .. not so easy. Most of the stoves were too wide for our opening, and when we finally found one to order ... it had a propane attachment on the side that just won't work for our situation. We returned the stove, paid the shipping fees, and ordered a "drop-in" that is used in RV's. The stove is on its way, and our fingers are crossed! In the meantime, we're using a Coleman one-burner propane stove. We even used the Omnia for the first time last night and it worked great .. chicken & rice casserole!

Through trial and error, we also ditched the idea of using our 12v Engel as a freezer .. it was just too much of a pain to switch ice packs daily to try and keep our icebox cold. Plus, all we were freezing was the ice packs! It just didn't make sense, so we now use the icebox for dry storage and the Engel as our fridge. It's so much more convenient, and we don't miss the freezer. Ken was a little pessimistic at first, thinking the fridge wouldn't have enough room for our food .. it's just big enough and he's been pleasantly surprised. It makes a great coffee table too. Whew .. the Engel was my idea!

So, the past two months have been a blur and we're looking forward to better days ahead .. and hopefully cooler ones too?!  Time really does fly on the boat, and I've even lost 5 lbs. with all the extra walking I've been doing .. and sweating too! I'm hoping to manage my time a bit better in the future and start keeping up with blog posts again. It takes much more time to write a post than you'd think, but I miss it and enjoy documenting our life to look back at one day.

Hasta luego ... until then.  Mid-Life Cruising!


Emily said...

So sorry to hear about Ken's brother! Life's surprises sure have a way of shaking things up when you least expect them. Glad you have some happy news as well, though (congratulations!) and are making progress in getting Nirvana all set up for cruising. You'll be old pros by the time you leave the docks!

Anonymous said...

Therefore, people set aside more evening online.

Changes in the wind said...

So glad to see you post again. Wasn't sure if you were going to continue your blog. I admire your grit and rolling with the punches.

Laura and Hans said...

I'm really sorry to hear about Ken's brother. What a shock for your family. However, it's exciting news about becoming grandparents. As for living on a boat in this heat? It's hard to describe. I'm so glad to be out of FL but we've definitely had a hot summer here in NC; upper 90's with humidity, yuck!

Ken n Cheryl said...

Thanks ya'll! Life does indeed have its ups n downs. We're looking forward to this Fall .. cooler days n sailing!

Mark and Cindy - sv Cream Puff said...

I haven't checked you blog out for a little while and am nicely surprised to see you now live on the boat, a big first step.

Ken's brother passing is a message to all of us that life is short and we should all live everyday like it is our last day on earth. Don't delay the dreams.

Glad to see you have good neighbors in your new home. Hopefully you will be following them to the islands someday soon.


Mark and Cindy
sv Cream Puff

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