In the tradition of facebook notes and myspace surveys, I've decided to create a list of 25 random things I'd like to share... not necessarily about me or us, but instead about "boat life":
1. We DO NOT HAVE a shower on our boat. (We instead pay a monthly fee for access to the showers/gym/pools/hot tubs/sauna at the Sheraton hotel less than an a mile from our mooring field).
2. We DO NOT HAVE hot water.
3. The icy cold water that we DO have on board is carried BY US in 6 gallon jugs (36 lbs. when full) from the dock to the dinghy to the boat. These are extremely heavy for me and I am not physically able to lift them from the dinghy onto Mother Culture. Ben always takes care of that part.
4. We get ALL of our electricity from the sun. This means that we never leave things plugged in when they aren't in use and we are very conscious of every bit of electricity we do use.
5. We do not have a heater on the boat. We stay warm with body heat and blankets.
6. The square footage of the cabin (enclosed area) of the boat is less than 200 square feet. (Probably a lot less than).
7. We can't flush toilet paper down our toilet. And, we learned this the hard way. (I'll let you use your imaginations here).
8. We don't "flush" our toilet. It requires pumping.
9. We live downstream. Everything you rinse down your gutters ends up in our "yard". (This includes chemicals, oils, trash, etc.)
10. When it rains here in San Diego, the water gets contaminated (see #9) and if you want to stay healthy, you best stay out of the water.
11. Two of our live-aboard friends fell in the water during/after the last rainstorm and both contracted a flesh-eating bacterial infection and had to go to the emergency room for treatment. Now, I make sure to always wash my hands after touching the water during rainstorms.
12. Ben cleans the bottom of our boat. He uses his scuba gear to go underwater and scrape all the algae, animals, etc. off the bottom of the boat. It takes him a lot of time and elbow-grease. He also cleans the bottom of both dinghies.
13. Many homeless people live on the benches and sidewalks along the bay where our boat is moored. Most people I know are disgusted by homeless people. I'm intrigued by them.
14. Lola is so well potty-trained that she will not go to the bathroom on the boat (even when we ask her to). 99.9% of the time, we MUST bring her to shore to potty. In other words, we have to make trips early in the morning and just before bed. (We're still working on this one...)
15. Ben has an inflatable dinghy with a motor but most of the time, we use my plastic dinghy and row to shore. (I recently purchased a trolling motor and once I get a battery for it, I will use that when the current is too strong to fight against).
16. We live completely off the grid, which means we don't rely on any public utility services. (Go GREEN!)
17. We have the best view of the San Diego skyline. And we pay the cheapest rent within city limits (with the exception of the people living in motorhomes).
18. On major holidays, we can watch (from our boat) 5 synchronized fireworks shows at various points around the bay.
19. The Coast Guard Station is very close to our boat and on many a day, they run their helicopters for hours on end. They are loud, they create blustery winds and rotor wash, and they sure seem to be wasting a lot of fuel during their drills.
20. On holidays, it's fun to turn on the VHF radio and listen to all the goings-on in the various waterways around San Diego.
21. We don't have an oven. Instead we have one butane burner to cook on.
22. We have a propane grill. Unfortunately, we lost the control knob in the water the other night and a new one costs $30+.
23. We live on the water which means if you drop something, you probably aren't going to get it back unless you go diving for it.
24. One day I realized our bucket was missing and I concluded it must have fallen into the water and drifted away. Later that day, on a walk downtown, we found our bucket across the bay, anchored in the rocks. We got our bucket back. :)
25. My dinghy has been "saved" once by a neighbor. Ben "saved" his own dinghy with my dinghy. And we have "saved" three other dinghies on the run... Always pay it forward.