The view I am enjoying as I write is of Mark and his two sons at our Saloon table watching Man U v Arsenal – warm and cosy with family on board – lots of laughter and Man U are 1 – 0 up which delights all. This is the first time we have had family on board and it feels fantastic – a taste of many happy days to come as we travel.
…I am writing from the chart table on my Mac and the boys are watching the game on Sky Go on Mark’s Mac – Sky Go on a Mac is a revelation – really great service. We have a fantastic TV but currently the sound doesn’t work – which is a shame as we have just invested in MacTV and a FreeView box – so we have more entertainment than we could wish for – just not sound!!
This leads me to 10 new things that we have learned (things that those who live aboard already know )
1. What ever can break will and just when you need it the most- everything breaks and needs fixing. The TV you know about and our central heating has not been working for the last two weeks and it seems that engineers are hard to find – one is coming on Monday …. possibly. My hands were so tired that when I picked up my 1T of storage I dropped it – it smashed onto the beautiful Saloon table chipping it and then hit the floor – 14 years of stuff – lost –
But yes – i had a mirror of the hard drive PHEW – PHEW PHEW – I must find out how to put all my stuff on the cloud.
2. All your muscles will hurt and you will be tired all the time. Another new experience is the sheer physicality of living aboard. Every muscle hurts – especially – and this might seem weird – my hands. I am using muscles that I haven’t used either , ever or certainly for a long, long time. This – I have decided is a great thing as I hate the gym and now I will tone up and get fit just with the every day living things on board. Just climbing up and down – lifting and pulling – carrying and stowing things away, crawling in and under things….fantastic
3. However much you think you will need to spend – quadruple it. We have been so surprised at how much new stuff we have needed – some of it we still don’t know what it is or why we need it! If I hear one more person say ” what your boat needs is a ….” or ” Oh no ..you bought that from ‘them’ shame – you could have bought it MUCH cheaper from x or y” We have met some wonderful people who have helped us – and some not so great who have hindered us and confused us. As we are on a very steep learning curve and are only here a short while we are feeling rather like a carcass that is being picked over ..
4. How ever much stuff you have – cut it by half. There is lots of storage on our yacht but compared to a house there is about 80% less – have a think about down sizing everything you own by 80% – clothes, jewellery, cosmetics, shoes, bags….
5. You can work on board (rats!) So I have found that it is possible to conduct our businesses from the yacht (mobile home) we have been working with clients and using SKYPE to great effect…so this really is just a different way of working. Mark and I are already booking in work into the new year. Turns out that Faro airport is easy to use and creates a journey that is cheaper and faster than taking trains in the UK to see clients
6. There are two main modes of living aboard – at sea and in the Marina. At sea everything is put carefully away – including May! In the Marina we can set out our rooms like any smart home with accent lighting – pictures – plants and fruit in bowls – we like having two modes of living!
7. Learning a lot of new things really fast is wonderful. Even though we discuss doing new things often with our clients – we only have done a few new things in the past few years. In the last few weeks we have done literally hundreds of new things – and the learning continues. Navigation, electronics, Yacht maintenance, weather, fixing TVs, fixing Webasto heaters………
8. There are some wonderful people who live aboard. There is an entire community of exciting and interesting people who live aboard. This is a lifestyle choice that is tough to make and it is great to discuss the ups and downs with others who have also done it.
9. The new toys you get are FANTASTIC! There have been some purchases that leave you cold – rubber buckets, bilge cleaner, deck brushes, storage solutions for the fridge and freezer, but there are some that are really exciting – two foldable bikes, a transceiver, a new OLYMPUS touch stylus camera ( thanks Sanna for showing me the fantastic results you get), MacTV, Freeview Box, A Go Pro4 Silver, Cool Henry Lloyd Oilskins and we have also invested in Jackets, TShirts, PoloShirts and Hats with the ‘Magic’ name on it – and of course we have got a T Shirt printed for May!!
10. Finally – this is the best decision we have ever made – even though it hurts – financially and physically. It has been hard – at times really hard. We have been tired and grumpy. We have been mentally and physically exhausted – we have been cold and damp – we have had a lot of minor injuries – my legs look like a dalmatian – my heat has dents and bumps – banging it on the spray hood – the chart table ( which is really heavy slamming on it – twice!) fingers burned on the oven. But despite all of this we know we have made one of the best decisions of our lives.
We cannot wait for the next phase – Our deliver skipper and crew arrive on Wednesday and then we leave the cosy safety of Port Solent Harbour for the sea.
I asked him what route he is planning and what food we should get for our 8 – 12 days at sea – thought you might like to see his reply:
Dependant upon wind direction either staying closer to the UK coast and then crossing shipping lanes in the western approaches, or crossing the channel sooner and following the French coast. I would like to stop in Camaret, which is a pretty little French fishing town just west of Brest. Here we can obtain the latest forecasts before crossing Biscay. After Biscay, dependant upon fuel / food supplies, a nice place to stop is Baiona, which is just in Spain. Earlier places to pull into if weather is no good are Vigo and surrounding rivers. From here it is a relatively straight trip to the majestic Cape St. Vincent, where we turn towards Lagos! The nearest airport to Lagos is Faro, approx 50 miles away.
Food wise, I do not have a specific list on paper, however items which work well are usually fairly quick meals with little input of preparation time – especially if it is bumpy! Generally speaking, just the normal type food eaten at home is fine. Porridge for breakfast is always nice especially at this time of year! Cup a soup / sandwiches for lunches / larger meal for dinner – pies / pasta / lasagna / stews etc. Some of these can be made beforehand and frozen, so all that is required is to heat up in the oven. Bottled water / fizzy & still. Energy drinks such as Gatorade is about the best for keeping hydrated properly.
Lots of snacks – cereal bars, chocolate biscuits / energy bars etc are good. Ribena or similar for hot drinks is always good! Ginger biscuits and ginger cake help with seasickness ( and morale!!)
Foods to avoid would be greasy / fatty foods as these are harder to digest and stay in the stomach longer which quite often make people feel unwell!
Grab bag foods would include cereal bars, energy bars and water / gatorade / electrolyte type drinks.
I would imagine it would be around lunch time when we will be arriving next wednesday.
I am very much looking forward to it, I hope you have a waterproof video camera to record the journey! I have always thought about one of those drones would make for fantastic shots of the boat sailing along! I’m saving up for one!
RYA Yachtmaster Commercially Endorsed & RYA Instructor
So, here we go… On Sunday I am going to take the Landcover to London and Stay with Sanna and Phil it will be odd to be next to our home! then train on Monday to do some work with Morgan Sindall in Cambridge – then home to Magic in Portsmouth
Mark is then taking the car to Leeds on Tuesday Morning – and flying home on Tuesday night to Southampton a train from Leeds is over £100 and takes over 5 hours but a flight is £50 and takes 45 minutes !! mad
So – Here we go!!!!