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At anchor in Poros (Lefkas)

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Living aboard

Page 2 - Day to day

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Living on a boat is just like living in any home, except that the storage space for everything is comparatively small, limited and often difficult to crawl into to retrieve items. Daily chores are always there wherever you live but you soon develop your own systems and disciplines - you have to put things back once used and in the right place or you'll never find them again. In short you have to be tidy even if on land you are not.


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Shopping and victualling

Shopping has to be carried aboard

We soon realised that everyone has to eat wherever they live so there are shops, markets and local suppliers wherever we go; so we balance a good tin and dried goods store with fresh food bought whenever we can locally. Our fridge / freezer is essential to us and at 90 litres is sufficiently roomy. The aft cabin is also used as a store. Into it goes all the stuff that is not sensitive to temperature such as bottled water, dried food like cereals, long life milk and pastries and other things that chefs would know about but I can't imagine. ♥♥♥

When we leave the boat to top up with supplies we have to walk and so we take rucksacks, bags and trolleys to carry our purchases back to the boat. The folding trolleys are invaluable for anything weighty, from gas bottles, fuel to water bottles and of course the wine or beer. ♥♥♥♥♥

We can't afford to eat out all the time (either at home or in Greece) and we realised early on that our diet would have to align with whatever the local stores supplied. We've never gone hungry. Luckily supermarkets seem to be universal now and provide a familiar shopping experience wherever we go. Stores such as Lidl have a familiar look about them from Spain to Greece and sell pretty much the same kind of food in each country and, in Greece at least, the small corner shops seem determined to provide what the tourists want although you may have to have cornflakes instead of coco-pops.

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Extra shelf over the galley

Initially we took and tried to store on board far too much of everything, from food to clothes, shoes to tools. We soon halved the clothing and shoes and sent stuff back home - you can't wear three fleeces at the same time! Liveaboard sailors need more storage and liveaboard yachts are generally easy to spot by the amount of equipment they are festooned with. On Aderyn Glas every available area for storage has been investigated and enhanced. Shelving areas have been created in the forepeak beneath the anchor locker for the library; bedside tables in the cabin, chart and pilot book storage around the console floor area, extra shelving across the galley wall, height extension to the saloon sloping chart and book area and many hooks for coats, bags, towels ,hats and anything else that fits. ♥♥♥♥♥

We always use any available to space to store as much bottled water as we can carry and top up as often as we can. ♥♥♥♥♥ We decided not to drink the water from the tanks since the ultimate sterility of dockside water is not something we can control even with sterilising tablets, but it's a personal choice most people are not as fussy as we are. Dehydration can be a problem in the heat and we are very aware of this. We also have a good wine store for both us and visitors, usually in big plastic containers which we decant into bottles and keep cool in the fridge. Warm wine is not tolerated on our boat.


The beautiful evenings bring their own problems of the biting kind. Ann has made net covers for all our hatches and the companionway door to keep the unwanted visitors out, ♥♥♥♥♥ but the basic plastic fly swat is still the best remedy if they get in, ♥♥♥♥♥ far better than any candles, UV lights or special chemicals - all of which we've tried. I seem to react particularly badly to bites and use DEET sprays and take a daily anti-histamine until I become acclimatised. On rare occasions we've been the subject of interested wasps but they're not generally aggressive, just annoying. Until, that is, they start nesting!


Duvet trimmed to the shape of the bed

As we sleep in the forepeak Ann has cut and sewn our duvet to shape. ♥♥♥ As the temperatures rise we swap to a thin quilt, again home-made to shape and then on to a sheet or nothing. We also have a few throws, they take up little space but some evenings at the start and end of the season it can be a little cool so we can wrap up in the saloon. ♥♥♥ We found that we needed the layers to be comfortable. We also have sleeping bags for guests; they take up little space when rolled with the sheets removed and they live in deep store most of the time. ♥♥♥


A washing line around the base of the mast

If you have never washed by hand then you will soon learn and love or hate it. Water for washing is at a premium so we tend to wear items longer than we would on land but it seems to be something we can get away with in the dryer atmosphere. In the heat swimming costumes or the like are the main covering in the day. We use the guard rails, a small polypropylene rope strung around the shrouds and or a small circular plastic contraption bought in a local supermarket complete with its own pegs to hang from any convenient point for the smalls. Everything dries very quickly, but no washing is left out when we move: it's a rule! All of this physical effort makes us look very carefully at the amount of clothing we really need to have on board. However a marina visit and a washing machine can seem like heaven, except for the cost.

Health and Safety

Vouvalos Island in the Gulf of Amvrakikos

Bruised, or worse, broken toes can be the result of going barefoot on board but over the years it is our norm, until we are coming into port and then harbour dress includes shoes in case we have to jump ashore. However we still get a share of bruises during the season. Marina pontoons are often more dangerous to feet than they appear and both I and a friend of ours have speared their feet with a splint from the deceptively smooth pontoon surface.

One thing we actively hate is people who come onboard with their street shoes on: today they cover our decks with street grime and various organisms and tomorrow we walk around barefoot. These guys are thankfully rare (perhaps they are dying out through natural selection).

When guests are coming on board to stay, and particularly if they are new to yachting, we do email them written crewnotes covering all the health and safety issues with a boat, clothes to bring, idiosyncrasies of the boat, and what we think is useful information. ♥♥♥♥♥ It may seem over the top but most visitors have found it very useful to read before coming on board. When they are on board one major instruction is always 'heads procedure' or toilet training - essential for all. If you want a copy of our crewnotes click the Blue Bird at the bottom of the home page.

Some people genuinely don't seem to get seasick and they're lucky, it's the most awful feeling known. Our crewnotes includes a paragraph on seasickness and how to avoid it for anyone joining us for a sail and we always take tablets before a long passage and always have them to hand. Even after all these years different sea states can affect even the most hardy of us. Tolerance does build up over time but we try to be safe rather than than sorry.

Lastly if we want to guarantee sleep we always carry earplugs!

(>> page 1 - Pass the time)

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