Now that we are back home again, with all the conveniences, I think back to our “life afloat.” quite often. Daily, in fact. There are plus and minuses to both life styles. During our first trip to the Bahamas, I wrote a blog post about living in Hope Town harbor on Elbow Cay – Island Routines. As I look back at the photos from this second trip, I see I can add a few more “life style” memories.
Environmental issues and waste management (otherwise known as “waste not, want not”)…………..
Trash collection in Hope Town is a cruiser’s dream and a social event. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, the trash truck comes to the dock. All you have to do is bring your bag of trash there and off it goes. Cruisers in the harbor take turns picking up trash from the boats in the harbor. Al volunteered quite often this winter, to the point where a charter guy recognized him on the street one day and said, “Hey, you’re the trash guy!” Not really, buddy, you’re supposed to take your own turn…….
Al handled the trash part of our life afloat and I handled the laundry. Laundry is expensive to do in the Bahamas – $5.50 to wash and another $5.50 to dry. Clean clothes, sheets and towels feel sooo good.
Water is always on your mind when cruising. (At least it is on mine.) I like having water, to drink and to use for cleaning, either the boat, the dishes, or myself. Kindred Spirit carries 250 gallons of water in two tanks. That’s a lot. Al’s water collection system provided us with plenty of water during this rainy winter in the Bahamas.
Even with the collection of free water, we were still conservation conscious. A small pail in the shower was used to save the water while we waited for hot water for our showers. That pail was then dumped back into the water tanks. We never, ever, stood under constantly running water in the shower! The system — Turn the water on, get wet, turn water off. Soap and scrub clean. Turn water back on to rinse, quickly. All done. And the water from the faucet never runs while you brush your teeth or wash your face.
I was very careful to conserve water while doing dishes.
Propane is the fuel of choice for cooking on boats. Electric stoves and ovens would force you to use the generator every time. Our sailboat had CNG for cooking fuel, which I liked for safety reasons, but there is no way to refill the tanks in the Bahamas. Propane tanks can be refilled in Hope Town —
Al handles all of the boat maintenance and I do the cooking. It’s a different kind of cooking in the very small galley compared to cooking at home, but we ate well. In a small space, you need to think ahead and get everything ready for the recipe. Since the largest surface is the top of the stove, chopping usually had to be done first, before the cooking. And a large section of the counter space is also the freezer top. You quickly learn to think ahead.
I have struggled with making coffee on the boat, trying various methods including electric drip, percolator on the stove top, the Chemex glass drip pot. Years ago I had used a French Press but it was too much to clean. I hear that the Aeropress is good and the clean up is easier, but I haven’t gone that route. Confession time – Now that we are home again we are back to using our Keurig coffee maker. Al gets his decaf and I get my caffeine. Everyone is happy.
Boat life and house life are different; each has its own merits and its drawbacks. Life is easier on land, but it is noisier, faster-paced, and more crowded. I’ve been home 2 weeks and Al has been home for only one week, but tomorrow we are heading out on Kindred Spirit for a couple of days to Stonington and Watch Hill.
Great post, love all of your clever ideas!