It’s quite hard to narrow down our favorite things about living on our boat because we love everything about it! Even the more tiresome things we have found enjoyment in due to the fact that we gained knowledge if nothing else. So here are our favorites so far…
Our society teaches us that possessions define who we are. We have this obsession with comparing ourselves with others – especially with material goods like cars, technology, clothes, homes etc. No matter how hard we try or succeed to accumulate these material things we are never deeply satisfied. Getting rid of “stuff” and material things has not only created a space for us to live our lives intentionally, but has created space for passion and values. It has also created freedom. Freedom from stress, freedom from worry, freedom from guilt, freedom from fear, and freedom from possessions. The word “Freedom” has taken on a whole new meaning in our lives. We often felt held back by our home and our belongings, knowing that we were never really “free” to do what we pleased, we had a mortgage and lots of bills to pay, we had grass to cut and a garden to tend to. These possessions were actually holding us back. Now our possessions and bills have been replaced with experiences and adventure. We may have only a little photo to show for it – but those experiences are forever within us. This has also coined my favorite hash tag #collectmomentsnotthings
There’s just that feeling when you enter the marina gates and we’re all here for the same purpose. All walks of life reside here – regardless if you own a ponga or a mega yacht. Were here for the freedom, the salt air and the love of the sport. Some retired, some work from home (or boat) some still on the daily grind commute and all. The community and comradery really make it special. It’s kind of like living on land where you see your neighbor out walking their dog every morning. Except we know each others name, dogs name, and we actually stop and say “Hello” (this NEVER happened to us on land). Even if we don’t know each others name we still stop and acknowledge each other and make time for some silly banter as we pass by. We know each other and we watch out for each other. Even when lobster season comes around and friendly competition becomes fierce, it’s still community and we love it!
Who else can say that they saw a seal catch a fish on the way to take care of their morning business? We can! There is wildlife all over and all around us all the time! We fall asleep to the crabs little feet and claws nibbling on the bottom of the boat. We wake up to a seagull on the neighbors mast every morning literally staring at us through the hatch. I’ve come home from work to find a seal in the path to my front door (and then had to figure out how to get around the thing). We’ve been startled many times by the massive Cranes fishing off the docks at night, and have watched countless gigantic schools of glimmering fish passing by on the regular. We also have to check our shoes for crabs to make sure not to get any unpleasant surprises. Not only do we get to view and experience this daily, but consume it too – lessening our carbon foot print a little at a time. Continuously being immersed in such beauty has reconfirmed this was the best decision we have made.
Since moving on board Chris and I have both lost a lot of extra weight. Though I’ve been told that’s typically the opposite of what tends to happen due to various things including increased alcohol consumption (womp, womp). Regardless – we’ll take it! We’re contributing this to the fact that now we walk at least 30-40 yards to the shower and use the bathroom one way (the shower and head are completely functional on board, but why use ours when the ones on land don’t have to be pumped and I don’t have to clean them!) We also have much longer walks up to the car and to take Charlie up to do his business. It does take more effort to maneuver around the boat, up and down the steep steps, going in and out is a balancing act in itself. Which were OK with as this has built up some great core muscles! Although we tend to do this kind of Tarzan swing thing with our body as we hold on and fly down the steps because we do get lazy sometimes.
Everyday is a Vacation
I’ve always felt in San Diego that everyday is a vacation, I mean we are a vacation destination. In fact Chris is one of those people who came here on vacation and never went home. The beaches, the beautiful people, the extensive outdoor lifestyle and the fact that we only have one season and that’s summer. Living on Shelter Island in San Diego though is something all in itself. One cannot own land on Shelter Island, the land is owned by the Port of San Diego – the island is 1.2 miles long and just a few hundred feet wide with just one street lined with hotels and resorts. With that said if you do not live here on your boat, your here on vacation. So the hotels restaurants and pools are continually full of out of towners looking to have a good time. We figured this type of environment would get old quick with different people in and out maybe not appreciating the land as much as we do, but we were wrong, very wrong. People watching does not get old… PERIOD! There’s also Humphrey’s, which is sort of a landmark here with nightly music and concerts with big headliners like Bob Dylan, The Temptations, Cyndi Lauper, Jimmy Buffet and Willie Nelson. The music can be heard from the streets where people bring their blankets and picnic while they listen to the music. Lucky for us one side of the venue runs along the water, where we can pull right up along side the stage with other boaters and jam out to music all night in the dinghy. People get creative with their floatation devices too some people full on bring their boat and barbecue, while others bring their dinghy, kayaks, paddle boards (with lounge chairs on top) and all kinds of inner tubes…basically anything that floats. We can hear the concerts loud and clear from our boat, so if it happens to be a work night we end up just dancing on the deck at home. During the Summer and Fall months there are lots of weddings, so sometimes we dress the part and dance our way through them. After long hot days at work we quickly strip down to our bathing suits and jump off the back of the boat for a quick cool down. Although we do still commute and have full time jobs, everyday when we get home were back on vacation. There’s an energy on this island and it’s buzzing.