The first month of travel. Impressions, experience and getting used to life on a boat.

Early October 2018

It has been about one month since we set sails in Marina di Pisa. I must say it was quite easy to get used to life on a sailboat. Sure, we have been sailing before and stayed on the boat for one or two weeks but this time we don’t see the end of the trip. Week after week after week. And we made the first 1000 nautical miles! And check out the latest video:

We prefer to be on anchor and fresh water is our most valuable resource with 300 liters only in our tanks. Without any connection to the coast we need to take care of water and power consumption. With 240W from our solar panels we can keep the fridge running all day but we think about installing two more panels to fully charge our domestic battery. Things like charging the laptop or other power consuming stuff should only be done during the day with enough sunlight. If the battery is not charged by the end of the day, we have to switch on the engine for an hour but we really want to avoid it. It’s noisy, consumes diesel, and it stinks.

There is no “taking a hot shower” every day. We take our “shower” by jumping into the sea and rinse hair and body with some liters of our precious fresh water afterwards. I started to try organic shampoo and will write a review in a couple of weeks depending how my hair will look like by then :-).  I should not take my “shower” too late as my long hair won’t dry before going to bed. No hairdryer because of no 230V. As we do not have a water maker (on top of our wish list) one of the most useful gadgets is our salt water pump in the pantry. We use it for doing the dishes and it saves a lot of fresh water.

And there is food and drinks. Every time we are moored at a marina, one of the most important tasks is provisioning and how to get all the stuff on board. Around 12 sixpacks of water, juice, coke, beer, wine, to name a few, and then one or two full carts of food. We prefer to eat fresh with lots of veggies and fruits and so we already have to plan our meals from the beginning of the next passage. What kind of food will get bad easily? Eat it first. If you want an apple, sorry, have a look at the brown bananas and you know what we will have for breakfast and snacking this day. We never ran out of food so far. Good sign 🙂

Collecting waste is a challenge. It smells and needs space. You cannot just pick your stuff and throw it into the next bin. We have to keep all of it and it made us realize that we have to throw away too much stuff every day. One important topic to think about how to change it.

Sleep. Sleep is super important. Sailing is exhausting and it is really important to get enough sleep and rest. But it is definitely not taken for granted. Even in marinas. But especially on anchor, we always have to check the winds and the swell during the night. Especially swell from the wrong direction can cause sleepless nights and bad mood in the morning. It already happened two or three times that we left the anchorage in the middle of the night because it became so bad, looking for another alternative and looking forward to some sleep at a calm place.

To draw a conclusion, it’s all about organizing. Fresh water, diesel, power, gas, drinking water, food supplies, sleep, swell, wind… Of course, our itinerary and route planning is guided by the mediterranean winds and they are crazy these days. Too much wind, no wind, wind from the wrong direction, good wind but terrible swell… Sometimes it happens being stuck at one place waiting for better weather.

Every once in a while we are in a marina to clean the boat and do all stuff that requires lots of water and 230V (vacuum cleaner and hairdryer!!). So every time we are in a marina we are pretty busy, including doing laundry and writing another long shopping list for food and drinks for the next 1-2 weeks. Even if it’s nice to go ashore and explore new places, we are always looking forward to being back at sea. No mosquitos, no noise, just wind, water and freedom. It makes us happy to live a simple life like this.

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