The Great Wander

One Family's Journey to a New Life

One Life — Part II

We made the decision to go to One Life for Spring Break.  Sandy and I drove for about 30 hours and had some great experiences cross country driving.  It’s something we haven’t done in a long time.  One benefit of the cross-country drive that we did is that gave me some reassurance that we can sleep for a few hours, wake up and be functional enough to continue driving. Once we set sail this will translate to overnight passages on the boat, sleeping for three or four hours and then getting up to go on watch.

Before we left, someone asked me, “What’s your goal for the week?  You know you’re not going to launch, so what do you hope to get accomplished?”  I thought a little bit about it and replied that our goal was really to go through the lockers, lazarettes, and cabinets to see what we have on board.

 If you’ve never been on board a sailboat, every possible place on board is turned into storage.  You can’t have lots of cabinets and closets the way you do in a house, so boat builders are creative in adding storage.  Those creative places include some hallway cabinets, under the bed storage, under the bench seats, open areas in the forward part of the boat that are only accessible from the outside with a step ladder to go down.  In some respects, it’s like a little kid’s dream fort!

The disarray in the salon as we look to figure out what we have and move things around.

And while we spent 15 hours on board in November during the buying process, we didn’t really remember everything that was left on board.  We had some idea, after all we had taken some pictures of the dishes, pots and pans, etc.  But we didn’t know what was there for fishing gear, spare parts, extra tools.  We needed to know what was on board so that we knew what we needed to buy and what we had already.

Even though One Life is on land, we were still able to stay onboard.  We arrived on Sunday and arranged a cabin for us to sleep in.  The first night was a little rough because of a few hiccups, but we managed to overcome those obstacles and get some much-needed rest. 

Monday began the work in earnest.  We emptied every cupboard, locker, bench seat, and anything that had any storage to start sorting through what was there.  As we began going through the interior of the boat, we found all kinds of spare parts for the engines, the plumbing, the electrical, almost every imaginable system on board.   We found spare radios and even backup speakers.  The galley was well outfitted with dishes and silverware.    And we found plenty of swim fins, mask parts, and fishing gear.  We are excited about everything that is there and can see that if we really wanted to, we probably could set sail without having to buy too much more.

Everyone has their own organizational patterns.  As we emptied lockers, we also began thinking about what would be better for our organization.  Some of that reorganization is likely to change too, but for now, we have things combined in such a way that make sense for us. 

As a reminder, One Life is 41 feet long by 23 feet wide.  So, the overall square footage of the boat is a little over 900 square feet (interesting, because even though we are renting an 1800 square foot house, we are only living in about 900 of it).  But the 900 square feet is not all livable space.  I would guess, we are probably at about 700 square feet of “livable” space.  This means that all tools, fishing gear, food, clothes, pots and pans, all of those things that you have nice tidy spaces for in a house, have to find a home on the boat and that’s not always easy.

We did get room made for a lot of things.  There are still things that we are wondering about, like clothes.  It’s not like you can just drop a dresser in the cabin and load it up.  We’ve got to get creative about a few of those things, storage space is a little bit at a premium, and as a result our organizational creativity has to be stretched!

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About Me

An English diarist and naval administrator. I served as administrator of the Royal Navy and Member of Parliament. I had no maritime experience, but I rose to be the Chief Secretary to the Admiralty under both King Charles II and King James II through patronage, diligence, and my talent for administration.


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