One year aboard and ready for a change…or Let’s rethink this plan!

We just spent our 100th night at anchor. And after a year living aboard and 4 months out cruising the Pacific Northwest, I’m ready for some refinement…some tweaking…some clarification of our plan.

I have been thrilled with all the extra time cruising has let us spend with our little ones! They just turned 4 and 2, a day apart. We had a little party on the beach with my mom and dad and my sister and her family (who were visiting on their way to their new station in Korea). The amazing driftwood here provided the party venue, structures for shade, and even an impromptu volleyball net. Then their cousins visited the boat and they all attempted to pile into Byron’s pilot berth!

Days here are usually full…with a morning exertion of some sort, IMG_8566

back to the boat for lunch and naps, and play aboard or on the coast in the evening. IMG_8702


But it’s all day…everyday. And I’m feeling it.


Without daycare, preschool, babysitters, or friend’s houses to go to, it’s been stressful at times when I’ve just needed a break. Too much togetherness can be just as destructive to family harmony as too much time apart.

I do have blogging time at a local coffeeshop (there are some good ones in the PNW!), a night out to see a play now and then, or a solo stroll around town (to get groceries or do laundry). Gene and I got a whole afternoon out exploring Friday Harbor, sans kids, when my family was in town!

But, I am missing work terribly. Missing giving energy to something other than the boat and my family. The renewal creative expression brings to my bones.

Gene is having trouble with the routine too. Wanting more time for boat projects (his creative outlet) and to get involved with local builders.

We are planning to land soon in Port Townsend and tuck in for the winter there. So, that will give us the opportunity to rethink how we want to do this. And an opportunity to get involved in a community that has been nothing but welcoming so far. To get to know a place and see how we fit.

Being able to take your house with you wherever you choose to go is an incredible luxury. To have that mobility and freedom. To be able to live away from the electrical grid, with very little fossil fuel use, with a deep connection to the weather, the sea…all this is incredible. But, we are both missing community something awful.

The boating community has overall been welcoming and helpful (especially when someone was in need). But it’s felt disconnected and everyone is always going somewhere else (duh!). It’s a different kind of bond. Instant, for the mutual understanding of each other’s hardships and delights. A kind of shorthand. Built on mutual need to stay afloat (and rum), the sharing of stories and information…but then off you all go to your next port.

I’m just missing seeing the same people from day to day. People who are not my family. Who bring other flavors and scents into my world. Other stories and perspectives.

Hopefully we will find a bit of it this winter in PT. And come spring, we can decide what form our life aboard will take next.



9 thoughts on “One year aboard and ready for a change…or Let’s rethink this plan!

  1. Our thoughts exactly after living aboard for a year….and we didn’t even have kiddos! We were just ready for community again. We still think sooo fondly of that time in our lives and the connection to each other and the sea it gave us, but it also made us realize how special people, friends and community are to our lives. We hope to get out to PT to see you all this winter!

  2. I think you’re very brave … all of you. In the first place, to launch this adventure (no pun intended) In the second place to persevere for a full year. And finally to have the courage to say “this isn’t quite what we want/need, let’s figure it out.” Whatever you decide, it’s not likely to be forever and you can face up to it and change, if that’s called for. You’ve proved you can manage that!

  3. Gene it was very good to chat with you here in Langley. This sailing community extends around the globe and sometimes our anchors drop for longer than we had planned in order to share stories, learn from others, and/or earn more freedom chips. All in all each day afloat and each new friend met is worth more to me than 10 times that on land. My best wishes to you and crew.

  4. I have enjoyed your Blog Crystal!! I hope my reply finds Brio snug in Port Townsend and that you will have a chance to consider all your options for this next year. As always I enjoy your pictures of the kids. How easily they adapt at that age. The amount of challenge and all the daily hard work that you two have taken on to make this adventure happen has been mind blowing compared to cruising at 50. We already had years of preparation and grown children that visited occasionally. Take care and hope we see you sometime in the fall.

    1. Sherry,
      We are crossing over to Port Ludlow now and on to PT tomorrow.
      I know you appreciate how much work it is each day aboard 🙂
      We are looking forward to some time to reflect. And we also hope to meet up again.

  5. Hi Guys, are you going to live aboard over winter? A 100 days at anchor is pretty good with two kids who are still dependant on you. It gets easier when they can entertain themselves, but even then some days they still drain you. One thing for sure there is there is no just laying on the bunk and reading while there are kids on board.
    Good Luck and it will be interesting to see what you choose to do next spring.

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