sailing - sailboat - boat life - boat work - live aboard

Living Aboard & Boat Work | The Hard Truths

I can’t believe it has been a month already! We moved aboard our sailboat at the beginning of April and since then, the time has just flown by. Looking back on the last four weeks though, it’s easy to feel like we haven’t really accomplished anything of significance.

As far as everyday living goes though, we are nailing it!
sailing - sailboat - boat life - boat work - live aboard

“Normal” things such as cooking, sleeping and generally keeping ourselves alive and functioning are going great. Even bathroom habits, although our setup is a little different (I might explore our means of pooping in more detail another time – because who doesn’t love that!) is running smoothly.

Getting the boat mobile and functioning on the other hand has proved a bit more troublesome and time consuming that first anticipated. Aside from the whole experience being a foreign and steep learning curve for us, we are trying to deal with Canadian/American systems from the 80’s here on the opposite side of the World! There have been a couple of major setbacks that we have had to call the professionals in for. The frustration really starts to kick in while we are stuck on our mooring and there is so much around to explore!

Only one sail in 4 weeks!!! It is like some cruel kind of torture!

sailing - sailboat - boat life - boat work - liveaboard

Nevertheless, slowly but surely we are pushing through and have something on land to collect tomorrow that should HOPEFULLY have us sailing by the weekend! But don’t let me get too excited yet.

Let me share a few things we have learnt in the last 4 weeks about living and working on a sailboat. To be fair, nothing has come as a real surprise from what we had read and heard, I think we were just secretly hoping it wouldn’t all be true.

Jobs really do take 100000000 times longer than you think.

I’m not even just limiting this to boat work. It’s EVERYTHING. Cleaning up, cooking (although I am starting to perfect this one), going in to shore, small silly jobs that should take 10 minutes. It all takes FOREVER. Whether it is from getting used to living in a smaller space or the fact working on one job usually brings another to light.

Either way, something in this floating bubble turns small tasks into day long jobs.

sailing - sailboat - boat life - boat work - live aboard

I know we aren’t really on a timeline…. but we do want to leave here eventually!! It can be easy to start taking where we are for granted. Pittwater is such a beautiful place but that can be quickly forgotten spending the better part of your day in a small locker covered in hydraulic fluid from a forever leaking steering system. Now we just assume things will take the allowed 100000000 times longer so get a pleasant surprise when they don’t!

sailing - sailboat - boat life - boat work - live aboard

It (whatever “it” is) will never go exactly to plan

Hopefully this will improve a bit as we become better sea-farers in general… but for now… very little goes to plan. You just have to go with it. Otherwise everything would be completely miserable. Plans are great, but unless you are willing to be flexible, this lifestyle is not for you. Things are already becoming a little easier and we have more realistic views of how out jobs or plans will turn out. This makes for a happier crew!

We can look back at our mistakes and laugh (there is a lot to laugh at so I’m not sure why I don’t have a six pack already!). I guess this is part of what makes living on the water exciting. You never really know what to expect or exactly how everything will turn out.

sailing - sailboat - boat life - boat work - live aboard
These idiots didn’t look at the tides and spent longer on land than expected. With a dinghy as heavy as ours, it is a mistake you only make once!! That was a LOOOOONG way to the water!

Getting things to and from land is a major event so be prepared!

The downside of being moored in a lovely bay away from the mainland, is ironically, being away from the mainland. As much as we like to be away from the crowds, at the moment we need them to get our jobs done! So when you need to get something from land you make sure you stock up on anything else you might possibly need to avoid coming back again anytime soon. Before we set out on our dinghy expeditions, we have lists, supplies and appropriate footwear.

Why is it so easy to forget shoes?!!

sailing - sailboat - boat life - boat work - live aboard

The key is an early start to avoid returning home in the dark. I wouldn’t exactly call our tender a safe vessel after dark. In theory we have the requirements but me waving around a light so other boats can see us while trying to keep myself and all our pillages from exiting the dinghy doesn’t quite spell safety to me.

sailing - sailboat - boat life - boat work - live aboard

As a rookie, finishing jobs is a rare event that should be celebrated

It’s no secret we have no clue what we are doing. Luckily I have captain with an obsessive personality and some skills to match. We all have to start somewhere and all I can say is thank god for youtube and some really helpful people we have met along the way.

I guess not having any idea what we are doing might be part of the reason why jobs seem to take such a long time but it makes it pretty exciting when you finish something!

sailing - sailboat - boat life - boat work - live aboard

I think it is so important to celebrate any wins we have at the moment. So no matter how small the job was, you have that glass of wine and chocolate and you bloody well enjoy it!

sailing - sailboat - boat life - boat work - live aboard

BOAT: Bring Out Another Thousand

Ohhhh we have been told this time and time again. This is one of those “not a surprise but had really hoped it wasn’t quite true”… Yep. It is true. 100% true.

Let me introduce you to a boat unit. It is a legitimate measure of currency and is the equivalent of 1000AUD.

Now the trouble is, we don’t have an endless supply of these units. This area isn’t exactly filled with others like us though. Folks around here have boat units coming out their ears so the cost of things tends to match. Hopefully we can get back to familiar waters soon where there are fewer rich and famous and we can stretch our boat units a little further.

sailing - sailboat - boat life - boat work - live aboard

And there you have it. A little insight into the last few weeks and the reason my Instagram hasn’t been flooded with dreamy sailing photos of all the exotic places we are visiting. We are getting so close to at least being able to explore our new stomping ground so fingers crossed it isn’t too far away!

Until next time.


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