Life Aboard


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Per Hayden's request our web sponsor, we have attempted to write about a typical day in the life of a cruiser. We're not sure we qualify as typical cruisers (!?!) or even if a typical day exists, but we will pontificate anyway as to what the pace of life of the Pettersons is like.

Our day usually begins around 0630 (Eric) & 0700 (Carleen) with coffee & reading for awhile. At 0800 we turn on the SSB radio to 8104 where there is an informal hailing frequency. We may or may not contact friends or vice versa. Then at 0815, the daily "Safety & Security Net" is broadcast. As the name implies, this net receives reports from cruisers concerning issues such as thefts, navigational problems (missing buoys, etc.), helps locate missing or overdue boats, and even reports on current volcanic activities (if any). The net coordinator at this time is Melody on Second Millennium, anchored in Prickly Bay in Grenada. One can call in and receive latest info on any security concerns about a harbor, island, etc. where you might be planning to visit. At 0830 the "Caribbean Weather Net" with David Jones is broadcast. He gives a synopsis of the weather throughout the Caribbean and then gives individual, localized weather forecasts to sponsoring boats as they call in. Some! time during all of these broadcasts breakfast is prepared, eaten & the dishes washed and put away. By now its 0900.

Next, we may do some boat chores such as cleaning the cabin or we may work on an outside project such as polishing the stainless (salt is a real problem) for a while. There also seems to be a continual backlog of boat repair and maintenance items to be addressed. Just like at home, you have all those maintenance and cleaning chores to do.

Before you know it, it's lunchtime... preparation, consumption & cleanup.

The afternoon might be spent swimming, snorkeling, reading a book, preparing e-mail communications, playing board or card games, working on a hobby, etc. Or the afternoon (or morning) might be spent doing laundry, grocery shopping, going to the bank for money, or other such necessary tasks.

Allow us to digress here ... One important thing to understand about boat life is that everything takes more time than you are used to. Say you need to go to the grocery or to the marine store, get the propane refilled, etc. If you're new to the island then the first task is to find out where the store is located! Then you need to find out how to get there! This will entail going to shore in the dinghy (to a dock where you can safely leave the dinghy), walking (most likely) or riding a bus (or renting a car or whatever) to get to the store, doing your shopping and getting your purchases back to the boat. Because of the time involved, we try not to do but one major activity per day.

In the late afternoon, we might have friends over for refreshments or we might be invited to someone else's boat. Then it is time for showers & dinner preparation, dinner, and cleanup.

We usually read for awhile or listen to music before going to sleep (around 2100 hours).

Of course every day is not hard work (otherwise why would we do this). We, also, may take a day off to rent a car and sightsee around the island, or just explore by foot the town or community near where we are. Seeing new sights, different cultures and people & eating different foods, etc. are a major part of the attraction to cruising. The other aspect is meeting other cruisers from all over the world. It is an interesting lifestyle and well worth the added effort.

So there you have it, everyday life aboard a boat is essentially doing the same things you do in your life on land. Hope this helps a little bit in better understanding life on a boat.

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Last modified: April 05, 2006