Writing Blog

Why am I Living on a Boat?


Yes, beautiful weather, scenery, relaxing life…but how did I get here? You might think I grew up on boats, and always aspired to this.

If so, you’d be wrong.

I’m not a water baby. I get water up my nose in the shower. I’m not a great swimmer, and I have a phobia about water plants. I’m not the person you’d first pick to do something like this.

So why am I here?

My husband.

Wait, it’s not quite what you might think. I did choose to do this, it just wasn’t my idea.

I’m a book worm. A happy little hermit. My husband is sometimes quiet, like me, and sometimes not. When he does something, he goes all out.

He’s wanted a hobby that we could do together. Years ago, he’d thought we could go fishing, the whole family, but it turned out that four people on the fishing boat, including two young boys? Didn’t work. And once we moved from Winnipeg to Toronto, finding fishing involved a trip of many hours. There is fishing on Lake Ontario, but not his kind.

We went on a vacation to the Caribbean, and he had a chance to scuba dive. He loved it. However, if you remember that water baby problem? Yeah, I was never going to be a scuba diver. He did his all-out thing, ending up using a rebreather, but those are tricky, and after a few men in the area died when things went wrong, he moved to the next hobby.

Motorcycling. He’d always loved bikes: our first date was on a Suzuki 425. But when I got pregnant, he gave up motorcycling, because he thought our kids should have a dad. With the boys well grown, he went back to that love. He bought a BMW GS 1150? 1200? He had two at different times, and I mix them up. They were bikes that could off road or spend hours on a highway. He had fun doing both.

I got a little bored on the back of the bike, though, so decided I should get my license so I could drive my own motorcycle. I went to an all women’s weekend, all female instructors and students, and I passed. A week later, I was rear ended on the bike, and ended up needing a pin in my ankle.

I got back on the bike, the next summer when I could get all the safety gear on again, but I was nervous. Like, white knuckles through the gloves nervous. So, while I’m glad I got back on the horse, so to speak, I didn’t want to do this anymore.

Then a friend took us out on a sailboat. And for my husband, that was it. The sails filled and he was sold.

I enjoyed it, though I didn’t suddenly want to drop everything and sail full time. But this was a hobby I could get into. No under water, no loud engines and dangerous roadways. It was calm, quiet, and relaxing.

Was cruising full time my dream? No. But I wanted to write. So, when he suggested we could dial back our scale of living, quit our jobs and live on the boat, in the Caribbean, where it’s warm all winter, it wasn’t that hard a sell.

No more accounting, and time to write what I wanted.

We had a test year last year, and here we are, back again. I still wouldn’t do this on my own, but I’m enjoying it, with him. It is relaxing. We use solar and wind power, for the most part. Traffic and city stress isn’t a factor. No cold winters.

There’s time, time to write, time to relax, time to explore.

So far, it’s pretty good.


Kim FindlayComment