Originally Posted by Goosebumps
............... I would love to hear about the experiences of others who have lived minimum a year on the hook as that qualifies them, in my book, to have real valuable info. ....................
We don't actually meet Goosebumps criteria of remaining on the hook for a year at one length of time, but we have anchored for terms of about three months at a time for 45 years. There are many topics addressed so I'll keep each response as brief as possible.
& Immigration: Our most frequent entry experience is the Bahamas
, but there is no one experience. I have cleared customs
by arriving from my anchored boat
on a sail board with my papers in a zip-lock bag, a smile and a wave .... and we've had a formal search of our vessel by uniformed officers. We comply politely and never have problems.
Community: We like to participate with the communities we visit. We actually have library cards in numerous different ports
. We visit local museums, tourist offices and use local services.
: We chain & lock our dinghy
and bicycles ashore and on our boat
. We judge our anchor
areas with security
in mind and often don't lock our cabins with this judgement about our location.
Life Raft: As coastal cruisers we do not keep a designated life raft, but we keep our dinghy
with a quick release option from our davits
and a safety
Clinics: I recall
a couple of events
& an ear infection. We've always had excellent and inexpensive care in foreign ports
Choosing anchorage: We don't like to divide the spaces by entering the middle of a pack of anchored boats. We prefer the fringe areas and out of the current
so that we will remain facing the wind
for a breeze below. Most of the sandy areas in clear water
of the islands can be identified as having a deep layer of sand over the hard pan by looking for the ubiquitous holes made by marine
worms. In turbid water
we are more subject to catching snags or debris. I do keep a trip line on my anchor
, but not often a float marker.
Gunkholing: With our 4'3" draft
we are often lured up rivers or lagoons to isolated places. We poke about in sand & mud, but not the rock & reef.
: I keep a good number of tools and parts
aboard as well as an oiless compressor
with a 50' air hose to a regulator
. As I have a 7KW diesel generator
aboard so I can use 110V power at anchor to complete projects and maintain the underwater areas. We once removed the transmission
from our Yanmar
at anchor and took it to shore by dinghy for repair and then returned it by dinghy to reinstall at anchor. I'm always working on my list of projects whether at anchor or the dock
: For 13 years we had a great boat dog (schipperke) that would bark at other boats in the Maine fog
that we could only see on our radar
. I trained this dog as a puppy to leave his product on the aft deck
for a quick rinse. I would absolutely not be put in the position of requiring to dinghy ashore for a dog!
: We raised our children
from newborn to adults on board. It was easy for them as this was the only home they knew. Our daughter now lives on her own boat with her husband and child.
Living space organization: Small space works well, but I can't advise anything here because my wife and I have never lived ashore as adults since small college apartments.
Potable water: We do not have a water maker, but we have enough water tankage to do well for a month without other sources. We have transported water in jugs by dinghy, docked briefly to refill tanks
and collected rain water. We often bath in sea water while anchored and then use a small amount of fresh water for rinsing. We never take anything with salt water
supply: We find local fresh markets and bakeries suitable for us. Buying
US brands in foreign ports can be extra expensive.
Food Preparation: We keep a propane
range & oven
, and electric
microwave, fry pan, toaster oven
& coffee maker. We time some generator
time with cooking
and charging batteries
. We also supplement our power with a solar
panel and wind generator
: This just is not a recreational activity for us. We buy locally.
Leaving boat for travel: When we travel away from our boat for more than a week, we rent a mooring
or a slip. For stays less than a week at anchor we can keep our refrigerator
running with the wind generator
panel. For longer times we empty and turn off our refrig/freezer and we can maintain our anchor light, a deck
light and keep our bilge
dry. Of course we could not maintain 12v supply for a constant bilge pump
We've enjoyed our life aboard since 1972, but with age and some physical challenges, it appears that we will be selling Aythya this next year and moving ashore. .... 'a new adventure for us!