Sailing Mango

Life on a boat: from a kid’s perspective.

Whenever someone says “What’s it like living on a boat?" I (Adam) usually answer “Different" or “Fun" but a more accurate answer, albeit being a little obvious, is “Small" or, to be completely honest, not very good. In this post I will explain to you the ugly behind the beauty.

When my parents first asked me if I wanted to buy a boat and sail down to Mexico I was like “Of course!"; I sort of forgot about the boat part and I imagined living in a giant house in Mexico where there were really good taco stands selling fish tacos for eighty cents and good weather all the time. I imagined my Palm Springs vacation that I had taken about a year before in the Winter and even in the Winter it was super warm, we had a hot tub in the back yard, there were people driving around in trucks selling ice cream (seriously? In the Winter? Well I guess it’s warm enough…), and I just kept on telling myself “You still got four days left", because I was dreading the end. What I didn’t imagine was walking the dogs in the pouring rain, rowing them to shore so that they can explore an extremely crowded city with lots of people that isn’t very good for dogs, and doing both at once. Not only that, the boat is a huge pain to clean up (especially without a dish washer!) and taking showers requires walking all the way up the dock (believe me it’s a pain) and using a public shower because our shower doesn’t work very well. Obviously there are the ups, such as sailing, which can be really fun as long as it isn’t too rocky and you aren’t getting sea sick, and seeing the Milky Way, but especially when we were in Shilshole (the marina where we stayed for a winter) and we didn’t have any of those ups it was pretty rough. Not only was it the wettest winter ever recorded in Washington (not even joking), the boat was… well… small. Moving from a huge two story house with three (so many!) real working bathrooms all of which had a shower, five bedrooms, two kitchens, a garage, a ginormous backyard that we never got to taking care of, to a boat with two and a half bedrooms, two bathrooms one of which actually has a working toilet and a semi-working shower (basically you put a shower curtain up so that not everything got wet and you hooked up a tube with a faucet thingy at the end to a big container of water), a kitchen with four square feet of counter space and a fridge that isn’t very cold with a freezer inside of it that can’t keep most things frozen and no dish washer (worst of all!) is pretty hard, not to mention all the stuff we had to get rid of.

When we went to Canada it started to get better. Although we had to take the dogs to shore we had a motor that usually worked so we didn’t have to row most of the time. The weather was great and there were a lot of good food and ice cream places. I’m not too sure where we went to be honest, besides that we went from place to place and somehow ended up in Vancouver before going back down to Washington. It was pretty fun especially now that that very rainy winter was over and like I said the weather was good. I also remember meeting up with some friends from Shilshole in Vancouver which was really fun.

The San Francisco trip again had great weather but kind of in a different meaning. When I say great weather I don’t mean really warm and sunny (although it was like that for a lot of the time) I instead mean moderate winds for most of the trip, enough for sailing but not too much so that we all got really sea sick (or more than we already did) and it wasn’t very cloudy at night which made the stars so easy to see. It was the first time I had ever seen the Milky Way and it was awesome. When it comes to sea sickness I’ll admit I did throw up once but it wasn’t all that bad. Paul (a friend of ours who came with us on the trip) got really sick towards to beginning and threw up a lot but he took the patch (a little square of fabric that you put on your neck and is like the ultimate sea sickness medication) and he felt better. Kristen also felt pretty bad but she never threw up and once she used the patch she felt great as well. The only times the waves were really bad were when we were almost there and surprisingly enough it was only for one watch (one of the three hour long night watches in which two people (or three in my case) watch for boats, the day watches were for hours long each) and it was the only three person watch (due to the fact that we had seven people we needed a three person watch), consisting of my mom, Stuart (the captain we hired to go with us) and me, however this was the only watch that I didn’t go on and by the time it was over the seas were already calm.

So that’s the story from a kid’s perspective. I might make a part two about the great adventures of Mexico but for now I think that’s long enough.