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My greatest challenges living on a boat

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Suzette, Jul 31, 2021.

  1. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Nairobi commented, on another thread, that living in a boat must be cool.
    It is
    But isn't
    Basically I signed on to my husband, and he has a dream, so I am giving his dream my best shot.
    Before I go further, I should be clear. I am on the boat of my own free will and a desire to lead a life of adventure.

    "Adventure" might not seem to suit the aspie mind. But it does in many ways. If you are an aspie you are faced with challenges of all sorts every day. So you already have the right reference point for taking on different challenges. And probably with far more courage than any NT can imagine.

    Thankfully living on a boat reduces social interaction to a high degree and I am retired so I no longer have career challenges. This means that my energy is not split and I can devote most of my energy where it is needed most.

    Boat life presents a lot of domestic challenges. We have very little storage space but must carry almost everything we need for repairs, as well as food, clothing and special interests and entertainment. Our lockers are packed super full like the ultimate game of tetris. Just making a meal might mean I have to unpack and repack an entire locker to find the food I want to make!

    We have the ability to make power and desalinate water but neither water or power is nade in abundant supply. We can't use electrical appliances for example and we don't have any ability to make hot water on demand.

    Any time we need groceries or to go to somewhere on land we have to take our dinghy. It is a little 8 foot boat powered by an electric trolling motor. It sits really low in the water so we often get splashed and can get quite wet.

    I haven't even gotten into the work involved! Haha! Living on a boat is not convenient.

    I have only just realized I might be aspie. That is too bad for me on many levels as I might have been able to learn skills at an early age that might have led to greater happiness. Maybe. And I hope, with understanding now, I can reframe some of my painful memories so that I can let them go now.

    But not knowing means I have not been able to develop a comfort zone that limits me personally. So here I am living on a boat and I have one very big challenge to address - the wind. I hate the wind. I hate, hate hate the wind.

    The wind scares me like nothing else. I have the same reaction to the wind as imaging the levels of hell.

    When the wind blows I stim like my life depends on it. I also data track the wind as I am soothed by focusing on the numbers and can almost ignore the awful freight train sound.
    It is harder to ignore the way the boat moves at anchor when the wind is blowing. I grind my teeth a lot!

    Hubby is calling but I might post more later.
     
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  2. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    You'll be fine.

    As long as hubby doesn't refer to you as "Little Buddy". :eek:
     
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  3. Nairobi

    Nairobi Active Member

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    One woman said aspies who don’t know until adulthood are kind of feral - for me that’s a good image: Unsheltered, been in rough places and had adventures and misadventures with scars and quirks and wounds to show, having survived due to 9 lives. I pushed and was pushed in ways that expanded and strengthened, but also in ways that broke, warped, and damaged.

    I am still trying to understand this: what are you guys doing on a boat other than living with the floor shifting beneath you and limited space and resources? Do you fish? Do you travel all around in the boat? Or do some people just live in boats because they just love being in/on water? Freight train noises are spooky, so the wind would be kind of scary to me, too. I am actually afraid of water I can’t see clearly down into.
     
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  4. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    No power, that'd be tricky. So it's all gas? What type and size of boat is this, and is this on rivers/lakes or ocean?

    Maybe you need a bigger better boat.
     
  5. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I guess I should give some context and backstory.

    My husband is a sailor and he taught me to sail too. At the time we met he mentioned wanting to sail the world and gave me a stack of sailing autobiographies to read. I got the bug too.
    At the time we met my husband was a software engineer for a satalite company. He was always under a lot of strain for his job and he was quickly approaching burn out. So when he suggested early in 2016 that we buy a boat I agreed. But in just a few weeks that "buy a boat" became "run away and retire on a boat". We had bought our boat, sold all of our belongings and officially retired by December of that year.

    Our plan has always been to sail and explore but, as I mentioned, my husband was burned out. So for the first year we did very little!

    Our boat is a 1979 Cheoy Lee Offshore 38. Yup, she is 38 feet from bow to stern. That sounds pretty big but it really isn't very big at all.

    Anyway the old girl needed quite a bit if work to make her sail ready. My husband has almost completely rewired her, done a lot of work in her plumbing and engine.
    There is still more to do too!

    More to come later!
     
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  6. jleeb05

    jleeb05 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It's his dream and your life. I think you have to make space for both. It sounds like this is something you're willing to do but what do you need to make it possible? Tell him.
     
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  7. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    No worries here. My husband "gets" me. He lets me grow as a sailor at my own pace and is just supportive when my anxiety is high.
     
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  8. Nairobi

    Nairobi Active Member

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    This is so interesting - I don't know anything about boats, so I am trying to picture this more and more. So you are "docked".....in a bay? Are you very close to a pier, where there are lots of shops, like a boardwalk? Or you take your dingy out to land, then have to find transportation to get places? Do you have neigboring boats in which people are living, too? Also, what kinds of places are you thinking of traveling to? I'm not sure where people can go, what kinds of water/weather that size of boat can travel to - or what happens if you are trying to go internationally. Traveling this way is pretty adventurous, for sure! It makes me think of my favorite term from Beowulf, they call the ocean the "whale road". Maybe you can use this thread to keep us posted on your boat related adventures/stories.:)
     
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  9. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    SmartSelect_20210801-075845_Bamboo Paper.jpg SmartSelect_20210801-080916_Bamboo Paper.jpg I will have to answer questions later but here are a couple of images from Google Earth.
    SmartSelect_20210801-075845_Bamboo Paper.jpg SmartSelect_20210801-080916_Bamboo Paper.jpg
     
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  10. Nairobi

    Nairobi Active Member

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  11. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Google Earth is absolutely amazing. I don't have any photos of our boat in the water. The photo below is from when we bought the boat. A lot has changed though. We added solar panels, changed the back rail, added a swim platform and other things. But it gives you an idea of what my boat is like. DSCN0407.JPG
     
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  12. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    well for all it's failings, at least you can get away from neighbours and noise. If yu wanna live in suburbia with garbage collection and shops you don't have to use a dingy to get to, they're still all psychos next door and staffing the local supermarket.
     
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  13. Martha Ferris

    Martha Ferris Seeking answers

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    Thank you for sharing! It has been a dream of mine to do what you are doing but I can only live vicariously through others.
     
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  14. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    @Martha Ferris There are quite a few women single handers. They vary in age, ability and end goals too.
    I personally know one woman who lives on her catamaran with 7 cats and one wee dog. She sails with friends when she can. Another woman I know sails her boat far and wide alone. She is very sweet but tough as nails.
    I used to follow a blog about a middle aged woman who lived on a small boat in Florida. She just liked living on the water (I could not find that link). I always admire her the most because she had some personal challenges and she still made "the dream" work for her, exactly as she is.
     
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  15. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

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  16. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    How thrilling to live like this. Yes about wind. I lived on a Navajo res. and l also learned to hate wind blowing all that red clay dirt everywhere.
     
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  17. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    My favorite uncle was adopted from Navajo. (This goes back to forced enculteration in the 50s, a subject for elsewhere)
    One of my earliest memories was being babysat by my uncles grandmother. She lived in a traditional hogan, raised goats and spoke no English.
     
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  18. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    Duolingo.com teaches Navajo for anyone interested in learning.

    Yes, l heard first hand about the enculteration. These people weren't even allowed to speak their language. Told to dress a certain way. The missionaries came and indoctrinated the Navajo people that their beliefs were all wrong.

    My daughter attended Hopi preschool nearby, so l am glad she was able to be with kids outside of suburbia.
     
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  19. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I hate to admit this because my aunt and uncle have nothing to do with me, but they lived at Kykotsmovi for over 20 years as missionaries. I really do not think anyone needs to be converted from their own beliefs! But it wasn't my gig.
    Anyway, they were able to convince the elders to let them record the Hopi language. That is a big win for language preservation. So I appreciate that. My aunt is also an R.N. and ran a clinic on the res. So that was good too. My uncle Jim was particularly by the Hopi elders.
    Before they moved to Hopi I had been there on my own and had the privledge of seeing the clown dance and participate in the feast. One of my best memories!
     
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