Sunday, July 13, 2014

Weeding the Garden

Scrub the boat bottom and clean grass off of the boot stripe.
Pull weeds from the garden.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Pace of Cruising vs Pace of Life Ashore

Individuals each have their own personal rate of foing things or pace.  On top of that is the rate at which things occur in the place one lives.  As the appliedsailor moves ashore he finds the transition between the seagoing pace and land based pace different.  When I was a charterboat captain, I knew it would take my guests or student-crew a few days to acclimate.  They knew they were leaving in a week so the personal pressure to adapt was low.  For a long voyage, the situation is quite different.  There are few parallels with shore based living.

We live ashore and plan to sail away, in most cases.  When you buy a boat with a plan to sail for parts unknown, there is a burst of energy to get the craft ready and off you go.  There are bursts of refit energy and then it's off again.  Life aboard is fairly quiet punctuated more by the rhythms of the sea environment, calms and storms.  One can never "stop" sailing until, at the very least, one is at anchor.  (Sailors will have endless quibbles with that statement, let's hold them for later.)

With a house, you aren't going anywhere.  The distraction is the work on the house so it is what you do.  The environment is much more controlled.  Buy everything online and the package company delivers the goods a day or so later.  Too hot, turn on the AC.  Too cold, settled down to the fireplace with a cuppa.  Bored, head for the movies, a bar, the mall, or just out onto the open road.  Options abound.  Want to travel?  Turn on the TV and pick a show about a place.  One never has to leave the house

The Pace of Cruising is a rhythm of activity.  No matter what, one must go out and interact with the sea, wind, and local culture.  There are few filters.  The Pace of Life Ashore is very different.  Unless guests are coming to visit; each day seems to be get up and work on something around the house, go to bed, repeat the next day.

Thank goodness for guests.  Can one thank goodness for far shores?

Friday, July 4, 2014

Cost of Cruising, Cost of Living Ashore

Regulatory Cost:
One of the interesting things about life ashore is regulatory cost.  Living ashore involves an awful lot.  Electrical, plumbing and building changes repairs and installations all have a regulatory component.  Afloat, one is more self reliant and also assumed to be so.  The building inspector isn't visiting every once in a while when you least expect it... and then not to be found when you need him to sign off on a job.

When we lived in Medford, outside of Boston, I asked the city building department about having some work done in the kitchen.  Short answer, everything needs to have an inspector involved.  Technically, I was not permitted to remove the cover from a light switch or wall plug much less change one out without hiring a licensed electrician and scheduling a building inspection at cover removal and before the cover was re-installed.  Three days minimum!  Before landscaping, the "digsafe" guy has to come by and make certain all the underground stuff is identified and located.  I get it, a lot of stupid stuff is done by incompetent amateurs.

In the voyaging world, the group self-selects towards competent if not down right expert.  Incompetent gets sorted out pretty quickly.

Living aboard involves no such costs in time or personnel.

One regulatory cost of cruising is customs and immigration.  Or, as my South African shipmate used to say, comedy and irritation.  The regulatory cost is safety equipment is another.  Some places, like the USA are very minimal.  Others, I am told, are very rigorous.

As I explore the difference between living ashore and living aboard, regulatory delays and costs become apparent.  Ashore, regulations are pervasive.  Afloat, regulations are seem almost remote.

July 2014