We’re only in the first paragraph of the first chapter of our sailing life.  This is the wee beginnings of what could turn out to be several epic novels worth of life, adventure and adversity.  It’s exciting…so exciting that I feel like everyone is trying to catapult us to chapter 12.

“Where are you going first?  Are you planning to circumnavigate the globe?  Are you going to get your captains license?  What are you going to do about pirates?  What’s your hurricane plan?  Why haven’t you posted a new video?  Are you going to scrape those barnacles off of your hull?”

Whoa nelly!  At this point we’re still trying to learn where we can safely park our dingy so we can go to the supermarket.

That’s where we are now, getting in the groove of full-time life aboard our sailboat.  Learning to survive, thrive and laugh at our mistakes along the way.  Sure there’s a million and one questions (and concerns) going through our heads, but we’re trying to take it one day at a time.

Yep, newbies indeed!  I feel the burn in my fingers, and my pride, every time I watch this video.  Ouch!  I have a feeling I will never do that again (or so I hope).

We’ve been going at warp speed for weeks on end and we’re still not at the point where we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.   So much to learn, so much to do and soooo much money flying out the door to make this dream a reality.  It’s overwhelming at times but we know it’s all part of the process.  Every full or part time live aboard sailor I’ve talked with has gone through a similar process.  They all say it’s hard work now, a little less work later and 100% worth it.  Our time here at Lake Sylvia was a tiny glimpse of the joys and adventures that lie ahead.

sailboat life

life on a sailboat

Finding Balance

It was nice to have a have a few days at anchor, away from the marina to simply live.  Each day we set the timer for an hour and forced ourselves to do something fun.  Paddle around on the iSUP, sit outside and read a book in the sun or hop in the water and go for a swim.  We also made sundowners (boat talk for cocktails at sunset) part of our daily routine.  It was a lovely balance of work and play.

Curiosity the catamaran

sundowners on s/v curiosity

sailboat life

Cats On Board

Oh, and then there’s the cats.  The cats are ridiculously happy at anchor.  On land it’s all about chasing the squirrels, lizards and insects.  On water it’s plotting how to snatch the fish as they swim by, playing with lines that dance in the wind and who can score the best sunbathing spot in the cockpit.

cats on a sailboat

cats on a sailboat

cats on a catamaran

We’re itching to throw off the bowlines and sail away from this safe harbor but we’re not there yet.  Eventually we’ll have the answers to all those burning, long term questions that keep rolling in because we’re excited to see what happens in chapter 12 of our life at sea too.  But for now, we’re going to take it one page, lost fish, rope burn and happy hour at a time.

Apps, Gear and Deets From The Video

  • Anchorage Lake Sylvia is just off the ICW in Fort Lauderdale past the 17th St. Causeway bridge.  It’s is a free anchorage and there seems to be no limit to how long you can stay at this time.  There were a couple of boats that had been there over a year (however, it doesn’t sound like long term stays are encouraged or appreciated by the homeowners and locals). We were anchored there for four days.
  • Apps & Websites – For this stay we used tides near me to keep track of tides, Active Captain to find dingy parking and local information and Drag Queen as our anchor alarm to make sure we weren’t dragging to help keep us sleeping sound.  All of these are free.
  • Waterproof Handbag & Cell Phone Case – I found this Ugo bag at the boat show and I have not stopped using it since.  I don’t have to worry about sand, water, rain or anything else.  If I drop it in the water, it floats and I can pick it right up. You can find it (and a discount code) through our gear store here: Ugo Waterproof Pack
  • Insulated Grocery Tote Bag –  Our little red and white tote bag is near the end of its life and has had a good run.  We love having our insulated tote bags for grocery runs or a day at the beach or park.  I just ordered this slick looking insulated tote bag as our new replacement: Arctic Zone Thermal Tote
  • Cooler Pack –  Nu Ice packs are awesome for keeping things cool for hours on end.  We use them in place of ice to keep things cold on grocery runs.
  • Bar Tools – I have had my multi tool for making cocktails for a couple of years now and it’s like the swiss army for bartenders.  You may have also noticed my dapper looking penguin cocktail shaker, and my short and stocky martini glasses.  I am a sucker for fun drink-ware.
  • Cocktail Mixer – We love our cocktails!  The mixer I used in the video is called Owls’ Brew Pink and Black.  Its a mix of black tea, hibiscus, lemon peel, and splashed with strawberry and lemon juices.  Check it out here: http://amzn.to/28Ymu1O
  • Coffee Set up –  We’ve had our chandelier coffee pot and cups for over 10 years but the Melitta porcelain pour over is newer.  We liked this one because it holds a #4 filter and can make up to 6-8 cups at one time.
  • Happy Hour – Market 17 has half off appetizers and drinks each weekday from 4:30 – 7pm.
  • Dingy Parking – Southport Raw Bar allows dingy parking for $10 which is good towards food and beverage within the same day.
  • Camera For Filming –  We mostly used our A6000 and RX100 which you can learn more about here: Our Top Camera Gear for Travel Videos & Photography
  • Kent – He’s one of the owners of Just Catamarans which specializes in service and sales of (you guessed it) catamarans.  He’s our broker (the guy that sold us our sailboat) and his team is doing our service work (solar, composting toilet install, maintenance…).  Through the process of buying the boat and having work done, he has become a friend and a sailing mentor (which is why you keep seeing him in our videos).

Have any lifestyle tips to share for a couple of newbie liveaboards?  Maybe you’re dying to share your favorite big-fish-catchin’ rod and reel (obviously we need a bigger set up)?  Keep the conversation going in the comments below, we’re always down for tips.  If you’re in the market for a nice dinghy, let us know.  This center console is way too heavy for our boat so it’s gotta go in the near future…and it’s not just because it burned my fingers! 🙂