To water, to land, and back to water again?

Like my father says, we might just be water people. We is my husband, my dog, and me - former liveaboards who sold the boat and bought a pretty new townhouse on land. Our 35.5 boat had gotten a bit small and we were unsure of what our futures held. When people asked me when we were going to have children, I always responded with, "when I have bedrooms". On our first boat, the V-berth and aft cabin didn't provide enough space for sleeping a growing family.

Our first boat, Furyan, was renamaned because my husband felt the orignal name, Somewhere, was too tempting for pirates (should we ever decide to sail the seven seas). Furyan is the name of an ancient warrior race found in sci-fi, and apparantly a deterrent of danger. Yet, having to explain the name to too many who walked by on the dock, we decided to be inspired by our minituature schanauzer and revise our name to, Doggie Paddle.

This name worked well for the boat and us. I felt that I only "doggie paddled" when it came to sailing. My husband is a life-long sailor, growing up on the Chesapeake Bay and spending his free time in boats of all shapes and sizes. I'm a Michigan girl and living aboard was an extreme adventure to me - one that I really enjoyed. The simplicity of living aboard is refreshing. Yes, sometimes common chores and errands take more time but time just feels different when a home is aboard a boat. Once we sold Doggie Paddle and bought our townhouse, it didn't take much time for us to miss having a place on the water. So, we purchased a 23 ft Beneteau boat as a fix-her-up.

She needed work, and much of it my husband has completed. Yet, in almost two years we've only spent one miserble night aboard and haven't spent much time working and sailing on her. Having a dirt dwelling is a lot of work in itself and we just haven't been able to be back on the water as much as we like....and that time is missed. Our lives now involve the opposite of what it was like on the boat - lots of money going out, so much time consumed by upkeep of the house, countless hours spent in front of the television while on the couch, etc.  We find that the majority of our time is spent indoors, when in the past views like below were every night occurances.

I've heard people say that "you have to be careful because the stuff you own ends up owning you". It's happened! Our outgoing bills for "easy living" (as my husband says) are abundant. We work to pay for the house that holds our clothes that we wear to work. We have two cars that get us to and from work. Work has to occur for us to have our stuff.  We live to work right now. To each his own, of course, and we are just finding that we want to feel like we're doing more living than working.

We have been married for seven years. We still have conflicting answers when people who love us ask about the kids that they think should have been here by now. At this point in our life we really are at a turning point - keep going with the "you shoulds" and work to keep up a house and the life that provides (which is, easy living) or plunge back into liveaboard life so we can head in a different direction. The new direction includes an exploration of new careers that feel purposeful, a decrease in bills that have to be paid, and a reconfiguration of time. My husband and I feel ready and we're looking at a good old boat this weekend - a 1983 sturdy and structurally sound 40ft cruiser that needs a lot of TLC. There's room for us, for a new member of the family (should s/he come in a few years), and the opportunity for a revision of our lives. Edward (the pooch) may not be very happy as he's come to love his couch, stairs, and pillows in the house.

The miserable night aboard, mentioned earlier, was caused in fact by Edward whining all night. He wasn't comfortable on the 23 foot boat. Hopefully a larger boat will help him to feel cozy and at  home. Plus, I think he too will enjoy all the time that he'll again spend outdoors. His favorite space was on top of the boat, sniffing the air and watching the birds.

And, I can bring along some pillows....

A home is where your heart is. Ours is with one another, our lives, and we're realizing now, with the water and the comfort it brings. I'm excited to see what happens this weekend. I'll keep you posted.

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