Our trip began way too late. It was already November… and November in Portland Maine is WINTER! We traveled south fighting cold, snow, wind and waves till finally arriving in Key West in January. Here’s a little video I took along the way.
Hello my darlings, I know it’s been a while since I talked about living aboard… so, I thought I’d discuss it a little.
While on the boat I’m on, we’ve pretty much been rough camping. As this is a project boat, (an a big project at that), we’ve gotten used to living without running water, using a port-a-potty instead of a real toilet (including using the marina bathroom whenever we can), only cooking with a hot-plate and toaster oven, all having to share one room as both a bedroom and living space, washing dishes out of a bucket… along with many other things. We’ve also had other benefits that we won’t have ‘soon’ (as we don’t want to stay in a marina), like an abundance of electricity, ease of being on land, and a number of other things.
…But things are about to change for us. We’re looking at getting another boat, one that isn’t anywhere near the project that this one is. Of course it will have it’s own challenges too, as we’ll probably be moving soon after as well… It’s really got me appreciating the things we’ll be able to do that we haven’t been able to in about 5 months.
- We will have a working stove and oven! (Baking cookies, here we come!)
- A “real” head (aka bathroom)
- running water in the bathroom and kitchen. (we haven’t had ANY running water, except a hose outside, so to get it in TWO places seems almost a miracle)
- There will be a rig, an not only that, it will actually be for the boat AND already up!
- There are 2 staterooms, the girls get one, the grownups get one… an a totally separate salon, (livingroom).
- We’ll be able to get through the whole boat without ducking!
ok, there are probably a ton more, and once we get the new (to us) boat, the list will probably grow! LOL
Lately, in my life, there has been a lot of stress about, well, EVERYTHING, including living on a boat. We have so much work to do on this one that it’s really been more a point of stress then relief.
Some of the good parts of being on a boat aren’t going on right now, due to the extreme “project” nature of the boat. However, refocusing on the good, even if momentarily out of reach is a great way to bring it back INTO reach. (I believe in the divine nature of creating ones own reality.)
- I love that living aboard means I can move without packing! That means if I don’t like my neighbor, I lift anchor and move. If I don’t like the town I’m in, I can move… Or I can move just to move. It is a level of freedom that few allow themselves. Doesn’t mean I WILL move, but I have an undeniable knowledge that I can.
- When out on “the hook”, I’m forced to leave technology behind, and live. Ok, not entirely left behind, but it’s much more limited. It cuts me off from my internet addiction. We can only watch limited TV. This means that we read more, we spend more time with one another, and life slows down so we can enjoy it more.
- I can drive (my boats) barefoot. I know this one sounds silly, but being a “barefoot” kind of girl I love the freedom of the wind in my hair and my tootsies being free.
- Back to the “moving”, I have big plans as far as being able to travel. There’s so much of the world I want to see, and I want to see it in the same way as the explorers of old… I want to see it rising up from the horizon. Appearing to me as a miracle being born into existence out of the sea.
- Dolphin play in my “back yard”. When we were in Key West (and are headed back to)… we would regularly have dolphin come play right around our boat, (harassing our dog). Granted, with the dolphin, came the dolphin watching boats… but it’s because my yard was so cool they couldn’t resist hanging out near my place!
Yup, can’t wait to get back to Key West and living at anchor in the harbor. There’s a peacefulness about it that really is indescribable.
All this week the take has been going on. “Are you ready for a storm?” They’re not talking about a normal storm of course. we have those often enough that no one would thing to mention it unless is was something BIG or if we were in the middle of one. (We did have our neighbors tease us one day as we ran home in the pouring rain and they sat safe and dry in a little screened hut in the marina… ‘Is it wet enough for ya?” one said. “Run! Run!” chimed in another. … Not funny, guys!) Anyway, yes, the storm we were being asked about was Tropical Storm Irene, expected to become Hurricane Irene.
As I checked again to make sure that we’re in the clear for Hurricane Irene, (which we are unless she makes a major change of course). I noticed the pink and orange tones to the sky. “Ladies, get your shoes on NOW we’re going outside.” My girls weren’t thrilled, however since they’d gotten in trouble for fighting, and wanted to earn brownie points so they could call their best friend, they obliged me.
You see, I have my first sunset photo session coming up this coming Monday. I’m going to be driving out to Fort Myers Beach to photograph a lovely couple. In light of that, I haven’t gotten much practice in using my flash, as I usually use only natural light. However, as I am growing my little business, I’m also growing in my skills, by really working to learn my flash as well as ambient light. (I’m also starting to learn to play guitar if that counts for anything.)
I was finally able to solicit my girls to help with shooting in an area that I’ve been wanting to the past few months of living here. (Has is really been 3 months here? Wow! Time has been flying by.)
But before getting to that, we have finally proved that I an a genius. YES I AM! We’ve had an issue with the battery in the truck. Ok, it’s not really with the battery, it’s some kind of a phantom draw on the battery. We’ve tried tracking down what it is, but haven’t been able to. I’m thinking it might be some kind of a short in the system, as the electric window system isn’t working right either… only the driver’s side controls are working.
Back to me being a genius… So, when we first discovered the issue, I suggested adding a battery switch to it, like you have on a boat. (And of course Steve doesn’t remember it.) But I had no idea how to be able to get something like that to work. Instead of being able to directly deal with the issue, we begin unbolting the battery every time we let it sit for more then an hour. Well, this works fine till the battery bolts start stripping the battery terminal. We end up getting a new battery and after a month or so, the same issue (with the bolt stripping) occurs.
By this time I’m freaked about the whole thing. (Things like the car stopping in the middle of traffic with NO ELECTRIC is not good.) I began researching my original idea of a battery switch. Low and behold, they make them!! It’s usually used as an anti-theft device, (you can take the knob off and the car won’t start). So we got one and it has solved this issue thus far. Granted, I still need to lift the hood to start my car, but it’s turning a knob, no tools or worries about stripping a terminal.
So, the moral of the story is I ROCK! HA!
On to the pictures
Now, as i said, I’ve been eyeing up this area for a while… well, pretty much since we got here. It’s right here in the marina I live in, so it’s pretty much part of my yard. The kids finally decided that they weren’t too offended by the idea of me getting some new pictures. We headed back down the path that leads to the little private beach (if you can call it that), and did some fabulous pictures there.
actually, the first set is right by the car. The bush with the flowers is right by where I park, and the field with the palms in the back (and the angry sky) is right behind the parking lot.
Being on a boat, you come to learn to appreciate the little things. Like being able to have long hot showers… or BATHS! However those aren’t want we’re talking about today. Today we’re discussing laundry.
Now, I don’t have a laundry system on the boat. (I day dream about it sometimes, but in reality it would never work with how I live my life aboard.) There IS a laundry system at the marina, but it’s like $3 a load and they’re little loads. When you have 4 people, a little laundry system only works if you’re doing a load every 2 days or so. Yeah, that doesn’t really happen around here… it ends up being cheaper to do a few loads all at once at the local laundromat.
Yes, the laundromat. A place of soap and reflection. A time read or socialize with strangers, and spend too much on something to drink while you wait… In Key West the laundromat we used was 1/2 a block from the library, and we would hang out there while we waited. But here in Fort Myers, we decided to get a little bit to eat between wash and dry… then to wait it out.
This last trip was the most amazing laundry trip I’ve ever had. Yes, ladies and gentlemen… it was laundry and it was AMAZING. “Why was this laundry trip so amazing?” you ask. Well, my love, it’s because I got to take pictures through it and my honey and my girls DID the laundry! I didn’t have to lift a finger… I think they were being kind to me, as my birthday is coming up, and we probably aren’t going to do much for it. Whatever the reason, I wasn’t arguing. I was just enjoying getting to watch my family work together.
Ok, I don’t know what’s up with me posting my Live Aboard posts late the past two weeks… Ok, this week, for some reason, my little reminder didn’t go off yesterday. Just another thing that isn’t working… (I’ve been having issues with my car for weeks.)
There hasn’t been too much going on with the boat. Though, I have to admit that I’m impressed that our tarps have been holding up. We’ve had some nasty rain the past few days.
And in other good things, honey has been working the past couple weeks. And my children are thrilled that he’s working right down the road from the beach. When we take him to work for an early shift, we’ve been going to the beach! (Of course, with how the car acted today, we’ll see if we can keep doing that…)
In being at the beach, I started playing with self portraits, as well as getting one of my girls… That’s all they’d let me get before running for water.
I’m kicking myself about blogging a day late this week. I’ve gotten to be so good with my updates, at least my “Live Aboard” updates… I’m working on other ideas for the blog too.Granted photo-stuffs haven’t been happening as much as I’d like yet, (especially for a photographer’s blog), but I’m doing what I can… My internet hasn’t been working, and my computer gave me a scare this week. It started acting funny, it was typing a “g4” when I typed “g” and a “h5” when I typed “h”… now I’m down to having only one shift key working and no “v”. I’m having to copy and paste every “v” I use. (I never realized how much I use that letter!!)
Since I haven’t been able to get online, ( a silly little glitch I fixed by looking the issue up on my iPhone), I’ve been thinking a lot. In listening to all the ‘proper’ things, I’ve changed what the original goal of what I was planning to do with RMP. It seemed natural to do the destination portraits in Key West, but for some reason seems more awkward in Ft Myers. So, I started doing all the work to be all ’boutique-y’… Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with a boutique business. I love boutique-y stuff having to do with photography. However, the original goal was doing destination photography…. I want to share in the joy and freedom of vacation! Make sure that tourists have beautiful pictures from their trips!! (Not saying I wouldn’t work with locals too… but they wouldn’t be who I was marketing too…)
Once again i work on re-doing and re-thinking everything to get back on track with that I was planning for my business! There will be some changes around the site, some long brain wracking brainstorming sessions, and some apologies that will need to go out.
And now (hopefully) back to our originally intended program…
This week has mostly been getting ourselves back to organized. We’re having to work on figuring out some of the little things I was putting off… like how to do laundry when you can’t afford a laundromat. Well, you hand-wash… (I wish I would have gotten pictures of it). I made Steve string a clothes line between two of the pilings, and we’ve been starting to hand wash clothes in a bucket and hanging them out to dry… as well as hanging out to dry the clothes and such that are getting wet from our boat leaking.
I need to really start taking pictures documenting the joys and trials of living aboard. I have to admit, I haven’t had my camera in-hand in about 5 days, and before the 3rd of July, a week or so… It was nice having a little bit of a break… being able to see things differently. And of course with having the camera back in hand… I’m feeling even better!
Today, I finally did something I had been telling myself for over a month I wanted to do… follow the path in the marina back to the beach and get some shots of some places that would make AMAZING locations for portraits! I’m hoping to get the kids dressed up soon and do their portraits out there, (pictures for both my mom, as well as test shots for the location).
I think we’re heading home next week. I’m not sure just when yet, but I’m both looking forward to it, and dreading it. The drive is SO long (about 20 hours), and I know we’re going to have work to do as soon as we get home. I also don’t want to leave Alan behind again. I want our family all back together again… and in FL. On the other hand, it’ll be nice to be home and sleep in my own bed… and to be back on the water.
This week has been interesting. I’ve been working on getting over this summer cold. Most of the symptoms are gone except sinus congestion, which for me, is the worst one… and I’ve had it all week! this was the double wedding weekend! Saturday, I got together with my friend Marisa, (of Marisa Taylor Photography) and 2nd shot a wedding for her. Then Sunday, my baby sister (who’s obviously not a baby anymore), had her wedding! I got some great shots at both of them! The one with Marisa I will share at some point in the future (as I don’t want to conflict with her showing them… But I’ll share some of the ones I got (and Alan got for me)!