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I tried to open the hatch and it wouldn’t budge, I was literally frozen in my boat.  I had to use my back and slam it up against the sliding hatch serveral times before I could break the ice and escape my warm and cozy cabin for a bitterly cold and windy dog walk.  This is one of the many things we go through when we liveaboard full time in the Pacific North West.  If you want to live aboard in winter get a hybermate and lock them in the boat…

Living aboard

Opening the sliding hatch and having several feet of snow fall into your home. Docks that are three feet wide with a solid three inches of ice make for a deadly commute.  Wind storms, the highest I’ve seen is 89 mph in Bellingham.  It’s all part of this life, get a thick wool sweater a good pair of Carharts And get used to living in your foulies.

I can’t say why I came back here when my whole goal was to winter somewhere warm, something about a hurricane in the keys. It’s a crime that I was born with such  thin skin and a chicken heart because winter can be one of the most beautiful times of year to sail around here. Let’s face it, I’m always cold and everything under the sun scares the shit out of me, those were the cards I was dealt.

Sookie is unwrapped and put back together, a quick coat of wax on her hull, a bit of polishing of her stainless and a thick coat of bottom paint and she will again be my floating home.  My number one goal this year is to get over my phobia of the cold and do some serious winter sailing.  In the morning I will start listing every non essential item I own for sale and start a savings account for all the new shit she needs starting with new rudder hardwear and a heater.  I’m going to try my hand at sewing if I can find a teacher and make a proper sun / rain awning but mostly I’m just going to snuggle in for the long dark cold nights of winter.

I can’t say I’m exactly overjoyed to be back here but every star under the heavens aligned to get me here so I’m going to with it.  I bought a tiny amount of food which on this island cost damn near a hundred bucks but tonight’s meal was a very special treat, beef flavored cup of noodles, my mind is still in cycling mode so I’m not used to having cooking options, a warm squishy bed and real clothes. I’ll be on the ferry before the sun rises and back on island before lunch getting Sookie ready to splash into her home, the salty brine.  There is a jacuzzi just across the marina but I’m saving it for tomorrow night when I have cold beer.  I’m fortunate that what ever crazy scheme  enters my head I always have a warm and dry place to lay my weary head.

The candles are lit, dinner is put away and my home is neat and organized. Sookie is clean as a bean and ready for some pampering.  In the morning I’ll fill lthe man can with whiskey, top off my fuel tank and get my brand spanning new outboard ready to rumble, she has a whopping 5 hours on her. My sail locker is full and soon enough Sookie will carry her requisit 4 months of food and booze stores, ok she may already have the booze but man cannot live on bread alone.  After living hand to mouth on the bike it will be fun to do a bit of hoarding and man tacos will be back in the menu any day as will my signature breakfast bowl.  Come on by and let me pour you a drink and stuff some food in your face :).

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