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On Living Aboard

June 30, 2020

It’s been an interesting couple of months. After our short trip to the east   end of Long Island we haven’t been anywhere other than the boatyard, except for groceries, during the lock down. The Blonde, my wife, was sent home due to her job being non-essential.
A few days later she received

a call from her boss asking her to work from home. So that’s how she has been spending her time.  For me, it’s a little different.
Although marinas have not been ruled non-essential, our yard has shut down with only one person, Ray, the foreman, on duty. All others have been laid off temporarily. Not that this affects us directly. It does however mean that anything we would want at the store or done in the shop has come to a screeching halt. It also means the yard’s Wi-Fi is shut down. We have a good hotspot connected to my cell phone, and there’s a large amount of data attached. That being said, the Blonde’s work takes up a good deal of that, so while I do spend some time on line poking around, her use of data must take precedence, as she’s the one making money.
It’s pretty lonely in the yard, we being the only liveaboards. We do our best to keep a low profile not drawing attention to our situation. The owners are well aware of our permanent status. They do appreciate that we are here 24/7, particularly now. We do, as we’ve always done, keep an eye on the place. Nothing has ever been said, but it’s clear to us that what we do is noticed.
Now that the Blonde has taken over the table in the salon for her ‘office’, I’ve taken on the cooking responsibility as well as laundry, which we’ve split in the past. Also, there are times, several times a day in fact when she becomes involved in video conferencing with her peers, as well as clients. I have been careful to make sure that what those on the other end see in the background is in no way representative of how we live. To do so would, I’m sure, invite all sorts of questions, which would take away from the issue at hand.  We are well versed in how to be transparent. We both have become weary of the endless questions regarding our lifestyle. I’m sure it would be different if we were constantly underway. We have friends who live aboard and travel south in winter and back here in warm weather. We also are close friends with a couple who live full time in their motor home. But they travel, we do not. Makes a rather large difference.
Although access to resources is limited, I have attempted to get some of the routine maintenance projects that pop up from time to time completed.  One thing was, I wanted to do something about the lack of flat working space in Patty O’s galley. This stay in place thing means that all our meals are put together aboard. There is, of course, the option of calling for food to go. Not something I feel comfortable within this situation. Besides, it’d be hard to improve on meals made here.  As I said before, we’ve stocked up quite well. I bought a small apartment sized freezer which, along with a similar sized refrigerator, now resides in the cockpit against the cabin bulkhead. Once all this is over and we get back to whatever is going to become normal, I will relocate them to the storage unit. Well, the freezer anyway. We already have an inordinate amount of canned goods stowed there.
Buying things on line has always worked for us. Luckily, my friend Ritchie McGill has generously allowed me to use his address for online shipping. When something comes, he calls or sends me a text message whereupon I pick up the item in his barn, for which I have the key. That way, we can maintain our social distance. He has been keeping busy constructing stock items of the high end furniture and cabinets he sells.  The majority of his work is custom work, but there are a lot of things that can be made ahead of time, and modified if necessary. He has told me that once things settle down, he’ll have several months of work. Many, of his customers, by staying home, take a good look at their kitchen and decide that changes are necessary.
Although I’m officially ‘retired’ I keep current and do some consulting work from time to time. I’ve been away from the mainstream for a good many years now, but I have kept current. The software may change, or so it seems, but in reality, it’s just the words that are different. I have kept current with things mostly because I like the challenge and to be frank, it keeps my mind from going stale.  That being said, it wasn’t much of a surprise to have my phone ring on a Monday, and after the pleasantries, he offered me a project updating some stuff that wasn’t being used much these days.  The gig wasn’t all that hard, plus it was something that could be done at home, which is why he called me. Tempting, but inasmuch as the Blonde was also working from home, there was no way we could both share the hotspot on my phone. My data plan is limited, albeit at very high usage. There are unlimited plans available but the speed offered is somewhat slower than mine, and if the usage is great the speed is throttled down further. Of course, if one wants to spend the money, problems like that go away. However, I don’t plan on getting involved other than once in a while in the short term. So after a pleasant chat, he asked me to call him if I changed my mind. Pushing the end button on my phone I thought about how nice it was to be wanted.
The Blonde chuckled when I told her. “We can share if you like.” she said.
“No way am I going to share an office with you.” I answered. “We’d end up setting the boat on fire.”
“You know, “she said, “Somehow I think you’re right. Now, what’s for supper? And if you say grilled peanut butter sandwiches again, I’m gonna brain you!”
Laughing, I said, “Not a chance. But because it’s such a nice night, I thought those tenderloin filets I’ve been marinating might be nice. Oh, and there’s some asparagus that might be good grilled right beside them.”
“That does it!” she said, closing her laptop. “Bring it on, medium rare.”
“You got it.” I said. “You pour the wine.”


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