Looking for a Catamaran Cruising Blog?

If you found this blog via a link from a cruising site ~ we did cruise Mexico on our Ocean 49 cat for a season. See the first text box on the right for links to our preparations, trip down Baja, life in Mexico, cruising and trip back up to SoCal. Unfortunately we are back to the grind in the USA...

Friday, March 20, 2009

No, It's Not Always All Fun and Games

I know my siblings (especially my brother) think all we do is drink fruity cocktails and listen to Jimmy Buffett while watching the sun go down.
Not so.
Cruising is actually a lot of work.
We have to be entirely self-sufficient.
We have to make our own water.
Change our own oil.
Clean the slime and growth off of the bottom of the boat.
Fix anything and everything that breaks on the boat.
Do constant upkeep.
Do preventative maintenance.
Everything takes twice or three times as long on a boat.
The needed part is always buried under 47 other un-needed at the moment but still necessary parts.
We have to be inventive.
Figure out ways to do things in tiny spaces or without the proper tools or spare parts.

For example:
Our washing machine drain got plugged with that crappy rubber backing from our small rugs.
The machine is in our main salon and we really didn't want 12 gallons of dirty water to spill out on the floor.
How to drain the water out of the machine?
So Jim thought about it overnight and came up with the perfect cruiser solution.
Use my big flat skillet to drain the water onto and then have the overflow from the skillet drain into a plastic box.Success!
We have always said that everything on a boat should have two uses.
So now after I use my skillet to make pancakes or cook bacon, I can drain my washer water.

Going to the grocery store is an all day project.
If at anchor, we first have to drop the dinghy, load ourselves and canvas bags into the dinghy.
Motor in to the beach, or if near a marina to the dinghy dock.
Walk through town.
Catch a bus.
Check our canvas bags at the front of the store.
Un-check our canvas bags.
Neatly so as to not squish the bread or break the eggs pack our purchases in the canvas bags.
Either get back on the bus or find a taxi.
Back to the dinghy.
Load canvas bags, again neatly so as to not squish the now slightly squished bread and still not broken eggs, into the dinghy.
If at a beach, watch the waves and time it perfectly to take the packed dinghy past the surf, attempt to flop our bodies into the dinghy and not on top of the prized slightly squished bread and still not broken eggs.
Motor to the boat.
Hand all the heavy bags up onto the deck, into the cockpit, into the main salon and then put it all away.
All while sweating profusely.
Don't forget to wash all veggies and fruits in the anti-bacterial rinse and dry before putting away!
By this time it is 5 pm and it is time for that fruity cocktail and some Jimmy Buffett.

P.S. And for those of you cruising and now hate me because I have a washing machine...
When we cruised those three years on "Thistle", I did ALL of our laundry (except two loads) in a bucket with a plunger ~ sheets, towels, all of it.


judith said...

YOU HAVE A WASHING MACHINE ON A CAT! I could so do this life style... washing is one of my hobbies. Your grocery buying is only different from mine in one way... I don't flop myself into the car, I hunker down and crawl in, but I do throw myself onto the front porch when I get home.

I knew by looking at Jim he was a deep overnight thinker... he looks like a genius.

Anonymous said...

You guys had a bucket on Thistle? I wish we had a bucket. That's high living.


Suzie said...

I remember years ago telling some family member that it took me all day to do the grocery shopping.....and I was kind of ticked that it wasn't believed or appreciated. I believe you and appreciate what you have to do! Ain't it fun! Especially when the dinghy gets swamped and half your food and/or clean laundry gets scattered! Oh, yes - cruising is all about sunsets and fruity drinks!

Jim and Heather on Meerkat said...

Yep Suz - I remember when all your groceries and clean laundry went floating away that night in Melaque... fun, fun, fun!

E - Poor "Makai" didn't even have a bucket... They had a big dog though! "Sea Chantey" pulled in to the marina and is down the dock from us.

J - Washing is one of your hobbies? How about scrubbing floors or polishing stainless? Come on down!

judith said...

Well one of my Aunts once said when you have to do a not so fun job a lot and you proclaim it to be a hobby then the job isn't so bad. So... emptying the dishwasher isn't a bobby.

I have my can of Never Dull ready and I'll pick up a freshly ground bag of Starbucks Morning Blend and be right down. Does Jim need an assortment of hoses and hose clamps? Surly we could jury-rig something so he doesn't have to hold the griddle like that.

Jim and Heather on Meerkat said...

Cool J! And maybe some Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. He's tired of Corona and Tecate...
And thanks for the word "griddle". All I could think of when typing the post was "skillet" and I knew that it wasn't a skillet, but it was something else, another word escaping my brain.
We don't have a dishwasher (except for me) so you won't have to empty that!

judith said...

Ohhh I don't know if we can get Sierra Nevada here, but we have Shiner Bok and Lone Star. Whenever I think of getting coffee to you I wonder how I can bring beer to Jim.... without it leaking in the luggage. I'll wash and you can dry and put away. Jim can supervise.

LOL when I read your comment from my email (without my glasses) I thought you were thanking me for the girdle! I thought maybe you'd hit your head on something. lol, it's going to be one of those days.

Jim and Heather on Meerkat said...

Yeah well bring a girdle too.
I could use one after all the fruity cocktails while listening to Jimmy Buffett...

Ray and Lucy said...

AMEN!! Sailors! I used to tell all my family and friends in the States that cruising wasn't always sipping mint juleps in the cockpit at sundown. They never believed me. They felt we had to pay for those mint juleps at sundown and we did in spades. All of that pain and aggravation made those juleps oh so delicious and the sunsets spectacular. My memories of cruising are a mixed bag of both aspects. I try to forget the pain and aggravation. So toast all of us ex cruisers with your next fruity cocktail at sundown...we are all simpatico.

judith said...

Guess what I just found at Sam's... Jim will be so happy. No, not a girdle...

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

And don't forget: any piece of hardware needed and is labelled "marine" will cost ten times as much as the same item in a standard hardware shop.

Laundry on board... Ummmmm, you mean you actually washed the clothes????? More than I ever did. I wonder why I always had lots of elbow room on board...?

Doug and Carla Scott said...

You go Girl! I am envious of the washing machine - maybe in my next life! Carla

Jim and Heather on Meerkat said...

Yes Dave we wash our clothes. Since you live in your pool with lots of chlorine I understand why you never feel the need to wash your's...

Jorie said...

Charlie especially loves the pictures of Jim working.
He wants to see many many more of working jim.
love you guys
This is the Iowa Cornfield signing out

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