What things we do miss the most? What things do we NOT miss? And what things do we absolutely love about our life at sea?? Well, we put pen to paper and came up with quite a lengthy list for your reading pleasure.
THINGS WE MISS:
Milk - fresh milk is super expensive ($8+per gal) in the northern islands and pretty much nonexistent the farther south we go. We are going through withdrawals. In fact, we dream of ice cold milk. Yes, we can buy UHT milk (and we do) but it's just not the same and not in the same quantity we are accustom to.
My big kitchen and all the big pots, pans and counter space that go with it. Our galley is great but it's still very small. And for someone who loves to cook, it is challenging to work in a small space with a mini propane stove and a mini oven that allows you to bake 6 cookies at a time.
Long, hot, freshwater showers - in a bathroom with some privacy
Date night - when you live with your children 24/7 in a small space, it is a little challenging to have true privacy.
A vehicle - driving to the store because you forgot that one ingredient that will make your meal complete or hunt down a package or boat parts.
Dishwasher - NONE of us like doing the dishes by hand - plain and simple.
Washer and Dryer - being able to do laundry whenever I want, how often I want and have them come out clean and smelling good.
Being able to call a repair guy and have them come to you instead of the other way around.
Being able to call who I want, when I want - the cell phone situation down here is painful.
Schroeder - our soft black kitty cat. No need to feel too sad for him, he is at grandma's house in California!
Trampoline - this one's for the girls. Just being able to recklessly jump around would be nice.
Friends - we have made some life long friends out here but we still miss our land based ones even more.
Baking - Kate especially misses our double ovens and seemingly endless supply of flour and sugar
Bed - Maggie misses her duvet cover and feather bed
Library - The kindle is great but we are going broke at the rate the girls are reading!
Herb Garden - Many times I just can't find fresh herbs
Camp Champions - Olivia wants to go and the big girls miss it
Snow - At home and skiing in Colorado
Living on a boat has its challenges but then again, so does living on land. While there is no perfect place, we have certainly managed to live with less.
THINGS WE DON'T MISS:
Television - this was not a stretch as we didn't watch a lot back home to start with
Traffic - there just isn't much boat traffic to contend with and it never results in road rage
Getting up early and Commuting to work - we roll out of bed and get to work
Overnight call - this one's for Craig
Hot Dallas summer - even when it's hot and humid in the islands, there is always the water at your doorstep to cool off in
Hectic schedules and commitments - with all the driving to and from, feeling rushed and stressed to get somewhere on time.
Carpool - especially when it rains
Tornadoes - definitely don't miss the sirens!
Noise of city life - sirens, screeching tires, construction, car stereos, dogs barking, honking horns.....
Real clothing - something other than a swimsuit and flip flops
Dealing with the junk mail and the bills - thanks mom for taking care of that
Cleaning our big house - it still has to be done on the boat, but it is much faster
Coming home with loads of homework - maybe boat school isn't so bad after all
Standardized school tests - kids and parents both like this one
Fast Food - not McDonalds, but the conveniences (delivered pizza etc) we fall on when we are in a hurry to get dinner on the table. We are eating fresh local food everyday prepared by us!
Living with more than we need - I like to have nice things, go to nice places and eat great food. Who doesn't? I admit that I was more materialistic on land than at sea. It was easy to get caught up in the latest fashion or gadget. We have a nice boat, no doubt. However, we are living with only what we need which results in a more simple and clear way of being.
We are finally at the best part of our life at sea!
THINGS WE LOVE:
Sailing - moving through the water, powered by the wind is exceptional! Being underway is my favorite time.
Being able to travel in our home - no need to pack our bags
Adventure in every day - Whether we are having a good day or a bad one, it's all about the journey
Going where we want, when we want - within a weather window of course
Making new friends
Exploring new places and cultures
Wildlife all around us - land, water and sky
Sunrises and sunsets - especially on passage with nothing but the sea and stars
Eating every meal as a family - this is really hard to do as the kids get older and have busy extracurricular schedules
Living green "off the grid" - making power from the sun and wind, making our own fresh water
More self-reliant - we are the electrician, plumber and mechanic. Craig wants to say that while he doesn't love it, it sure beats paying the professional to do it.
Living simply - We have a lot of stuff back home!
Cost of living - while we still own a home (that is being leased), our daily expenses are minimal
Having sailed 1500 miles by ourselves from Virginia to the BVI's - it is the greatest feeling in the world to have accomplished something so few will ever experience.
Catching your dinner - mmmmm fresh mahi mahi
Watching our girls experience new things and become more independent everyday
Finishing school right after lunch
Embracing local cuisine and recreating it in the galley
Swinging at anchor - Listening to the wind in the rigging and feeling it blow on us while we fall asleep each night
Fresh fruit - exotic Caribbean fruit purchased from the native in a kayak right at our boat or the local market
People of the islands - so friendly and proud
Doing school work outside
Driving the dinghy - the girls love it. Liv can even start it now!
Learning about the islands - they are all unique
Sleeping in - no 5am alarms for work or 7am alarms for school.
Snorkeling - so many fish and life under the surface to explore
Beach - simply beautiful, each one different than the last.
Swimming whenever you want - within reason