We’ve spent the last two weeks in California in our old surroundings, visiting with our family and friends. And it has been great. And hard. And trying. And fun. And it has given us a chance to reflect on all of the changes we’ve made in our lives in the past six months.
It’s crazy to think it’s been that long. Six months. Half of a year. And three days. Since we became official liveaboards. Of course, all of the changing came about a bit longer ago than that. Gosh, we’re rounding the ten month mark on that. How has it already been ten months?! But I’m getting ahead of myself. We’re talking about the six month mark.
Six months ago. We’d been “sneak aboards” on Willow for just about a month before we got the call from the port to let us know they had a liveaboard spot available. We were out on the boat in Liberty Bay with Jim’s parents who had come to visit us. They knew right away what the call was when my face lit up with a smile I could hardly contain. It was the moment we’d been waiting for and we began celebrating immediately!
I’d be lying if I said we hadn’t been stressing about it. In Washington, you’re allowed to “live” on your boat for 90 days out of the year, and 30 days out of every 45 (I think….we were trying to ignore that one and focusing more on the 90 days). We’d been told not to worry about it, that the port wouldn’t kick us out if it went beyond that. But we are rule followers, so we were concerned about what we’d do and what our options were.
Fortunately, we didn’t have to worry for long, and here we are, six months as legal liveaboards.
I didn’t think much about it until we returned to California. We settled nicely into life on the boat. It feels natural to us, like where we are supposed to be. But now we are in California, cleaning out the rest of our storage unit, selling more stuff, and shooting a wedding. We’ve been living in a regular old house, showering without having to feed a machine quarters or worrying about running out of hot water (despite the port’s fancy new tankless water heater), watching cable television, and preparing meals in a full-sized kitchen.
But with access to all of these modern luxuries (things most people take completely for granted, by the way), we actually find ourselves missing the boat.
I love our tiny kitchen, our fridge with just enough room for food we’ll eat within the week. Even our tiny three (though you can only use two at a time)-burner stove and tiny oven. It’s the perfect size for just the two of us. Even for four of us if we have friends over.
We’ve realized that we don’t need the king-sized bed we used to sleep on.
We quite enjoy the smallness of our space. We use all of it, and we don’t need any more.
We miss how so much of our lives occurs outside. Those walks up to the bathrooms to take a shower are inconvenient, but we love that they take us outdoors, give us a little exercise and fresh air.
We love waking up every morning already on the water. Sunrise at the marina is so peaceful and quiet and lovely. Really, it’s wonderful all day, but sunrise is particularly special.
We miss our tiny town, where we can walk almost anywhere we need to go, where we leave our boat and almost inevitably run into someone we know. We miss the sense that we belong to the community and that it belongs to us.
Ten months ago, before we began this journey, we never would have guessed that we would be living on a sailboat in the Pacific Northwest. We wouldn’t have imagined we’d be surrounded by so many amazing people or that our lives would feel so full.
And six months ago, when we were granted liveaboard status in Poulsbo, we couldn’t have imagined that it would be exactly where we belong.