Weather Talk

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So as I mentioned before, Matt had been working on patching a ton of places on the roof of the boat in hopes of getting a handle on the leaks that we have.  He has been applying a primer, layer after layer for about two weeks now.  Then sanding edges and in the next few days he will paint over all the primer with a matching paint to our boat color.  In a perfect world all the leaks will stop and we will live a gloriously dry happy little life in our boat.  If only it were that easy. 

I’m not one to carry on about the weather but when you are living on a boat that leaks it kind of happens naturally.   I watch the ten day forecast like a hawk.  With all of the warm sunny summer weather we have had the wood of our boat has dried out.   This is all fine and normal, but when it rains it means more little cracks for water to enter.  It seems that every August right about now, a little summer storm always rolls through the San Juan Islands.  This year was no different.

We went to bed knowing that it was going to rain but I think we were both hopeful that all the patching would slow the water down and maybe make it a nonissue.  Matt was less hopeful than I was mostly because he had been doing all the work and knew that he still had more to do before it was done.  This ill-timed storm was not fitting into his boat work schedule.  We were each hoping for a miracle.  Point being, we didn’t do any prep. 

At 4:30 in the morning it started raining hard.  It sounded like marbles hitting the boat.  So loud and so much water.  It sounded close.  Like on my pillow close.  Sure enough, three leaks sprang above our bed.  We were up.  More leaks in the room and more than a few in the kitchen.  In total I counted twenty-two leaks.  We had towels and buckets and mason jars everywhere.  It was a full time job.  Jars filled quickly, towels needed moved, new drips came out of nowhere.  I was so annoyed.  I had this total little tantrum in my head over the whole thing.  I was personally offended that it was raining.  My bliss of sunny summer days on a boat came to a screeching halt and I was pissed. 

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What I did know that morning as I ran around for four hours in a less than a jovial mood managing buckets and towels was that we needed to declutter our boat again and get moving on projects for the winter.  I spent the better part of the day cleaning out cabinets, closets and dressers.  With colder temps and more moisture coming, it’s time to live with much less again.  Everything is wet on the boat in the winter so there is a greater risk of items getting ruined with water or mold.  It feels funny to have to live a different way for the winter months but it’s necessary. 

I can honestly say that in retrospect, that day of being pissy over the rain was the kick in the shorts I needed to better understand exactly why we are choosing to live this way.  It would have been so easy to let that become all consuming leading to negativity about so many aspects of our daily life.  It would have been an easy path to self destruction and I would have had all the right stories to support why this didn’t work.  I want this to work though.  I like our life on this boat.  I like the environment we live in and I actually thrive off of the physical challenges created by living on a boat.  Living this way is definitely making me a stronger person…. and a little jealous of all you people with roofs that don’t leak.


Tiny Space = Tiny Toys

This past weekend we took the ferry to the mainland to do some grocery shopping and to get a toaster oven. I never thought I would be so excited to purchase such a simple appliance however it holds the promise of baked chicken and perhaps a pizza or two. Additionally, we make our own raw food for Charlie dog and he was starting to get some interesting meals so it was time to buy a few items in bulk for the pup.

As we were making our lists for things we needed to get, it started to dawn on us that we really couldn’t purchase that much because we didn’t have the room. A trip to Costco just didn’t make sense. Did we really need 87 fruit leathers on the boat? Where would we put all that toilet paper? Certainly not on the boat, the level of moisture would ruin it in no time. It appears when our Costco membership expires we won’t be renewing. This new lifestyle is causing us to make very conscious spending choices and ultimately saving ourselves a load of money. We are discovering we don’t need much day to day.

Living here on San Juan Island has its perks. Nothing is commercialized here. My kids have zero brand recognition. It’s lovely. They don’t know what a drive through is and they don’t have a special drink at Starbucks they must have. We don’t have television so there really is no way for them to know about all the marketing of brands to kids. A Barbie doll is something they saw once at the thrift store, but she had tattered hair and didn’t seem that interesting. They don’t know she has a castle or a convertible. That’s okay though, we don’t have the room. Barbie doesn’t need a castle; she really should downsize and be practical. Minimalist Barbie probably wouldn’t be a big hit at the holidays; she would have no extra accessories.

Before we left on our day trip, both girls asked if they could get a new toy off the island. We said yes, as there are very few times in a year we get them new things. We saved the trip to Target for last and the girls were buzzing with excitement. Once we got to the toy section, we each took one of the girls and started to wander the aisles. This is something we have NEVER done. It was fascinating. They didn’t want any of the toys. They all related to characters they didn’t know and nothing looked interesting to them. They each ended up with a tiny three dollar toy from some random bins and a small net to catch shrimp and kelp. They were happy as can be. The other intriguing part of the whole trip was the fact that they didn’t ask for anything. We didn’t see that coming. We were ready with all of our reasons why we couldn’t have everything they wanted. It seemed as though the simplicity of our current life has them wanting less. Lyla even mentioned that she could keep her tiny toy on the shelf next to her bed and it would fit perfect there. She knew she needed something small for her space.


As soon as we got home, Lyla was out on the dock swishing her new net into the water catching kelp. She was thrilled. Sissy used her new faux key chain to lock everything up on our dock and “drive” the boat. The simplicity of it all was so nice. They wanted things that related to our space, not just anything to have something. It was one of the first concrete examples I have seen in our kids relating to our lifestyle change and it was a refreshing.