Thursday, December 11, 2014

Living in a Marina - beats the hell out of the 'burbs

Since the launch almost 3 weeks ago, we've sat quietly here at the dock in our new marina as we wait on a few things.  The first thing is paperwork - its a long story and I'll save you the gory details, but needless to say, we need it.  The second thing is our Captain - he plans on joining us at the end of December to help us embark on this adventure.  Works out pretty good with the first thing we are waiting on, and gives us some time to get the very last things in order before we shove off.  And lastly, we are kinda waiting on Tami's foot to finally heel up - not that it will ever be the same, but at least there won't be an open wound to deal with.  We thought it would be closed 2 months ago, but it is being very stubborn - but she still sees a podiatrist twice a week.

So, in the meantime, we take care of a few projects here and there.  Today we got Brandon's 12 volt television mounted and powered - that finishes the project from a couple of days ago where we ran a new 110 volt plug to power both his Xbox 360 and his Xbox One.  We also got the watermaker up and running - and its has been performing rather well although we ran into a little setback when we first fired her up in the form of about 10 leaks.  It seems weird to us that when we were testing it with fresh water we had not one leak, but push some salt water through it and it looked like we turned on a sprinkler.  But after Justin chased down and fixed all the leaks, we were making over 13 gallons per hour with a TDS reading of around 250 - so we were really proud of that.   All totaled, we spent about $1000 on the watermaker rebuild including motor, fuses, relay, belt, pulley, booster pump, and membranes.  

12 volt 24" television
110 volt plug I added for the gaming systems
We also exchanged this one with a plug that has two USB's
We've also got to try out our dinghy that I rolled the dice on.  We take it out and putter around - we go over to s/v Saltrun to make sure his boat is still in place and that nobody's messing with it (his boat is parked about a stones throw from ours.)  We also give it the throttle and up on plane out in the channel just so she can stretch her wings a bit - and it gives us an excuse to jack around for just a second.  But the results are in:  while it is a nice little boat, and should carry our scuba gear ok, it is a little splashy and a little water does come up through the open transom when going in reverse or when loaded down.  Can I recommend it?  Probably not, but it should work for us for awhile.

But what about actually living in a marina, especially when compared to a boatyard?  The sad fact is, it doesn't even compare.  I knew living in a boatyard was tough - I read it everywhere - when a cruiser goes from living on the water and/or a marina and has to put their boat on the hard, it seems to make life suck.  But it was all we knew prior to the splash.  First of all, the view is much better - I am surrounded by water (who would've thought?)  And its clean here - the docks are spotless, the bathrooms smell good, the showers look brand new.  But most of all, its the people.  You would think that in the boatyard we just left, that the people there would all be friends and there would be a sense of community.  At least in that boatyard I would have thought because so many are residents there - from the longtime cruisers who aren't planning on going anywhere, to the workers that live there.  But its not the case - everybody sticks to themselves.  They're not mean or nasty, they just mind their own business and go on with their day - but maybe we were guilty of the same thing too, I don't know.  

But as I just read one of This Rat Sailed  posts, I identified a lot with it.  Its true, we have socialized more with the people here in this marina (or at least they have socialized with us) more than we ever did in our last three places we lived on land.  I didn't even know what any of my neighbors did for a living, or even their names.  But in a marina its different - and everybody has their personal "business" cards to hand out (they're actually called "boat cards") - we've already collected several of them.  And what's so odd about the whole thing, is most of the cruisers we've met are only here for a short time - one boat is heading to Tampa, another is going to the Abaco Islands, and others are heading to Belize.   But I'm anxious to actually start running into some of the people we've met here in far away places - its going to be great trading stories about the adventure each of us had in getting there.  


  1. Crazy isn't it? One of our neighbors in our old neighborhood we only met because of our estate sale. He'd lived there at least 5 years. I know everyone on the dock I'm on, have had drinks and even gone out to dinner with some of them. Much more of a community.

    I've had drinks with folks in the yard I was at too. Might be more of a task focus isn't fun living in a yard so the goal is probably to get the work done and move on. The couple I had drinks in the yard with were definitely "longer term residents".

    1. Yes....drinks....we are having to learn how to drink alcohol - seems that its a big player at marinas.

  2. Hey Kevin, just happened onto your site, love the videos! I have found that people tend to be more occupied in the boatyards as well and less sociable. I guess when paying exorbitant rents (even more in working areas) you want to git-er-done so you can join the folks in the marinas. Another thing I find funny about boaters is they will wave at you till the cows come home in passing but try getting them to wave at you in a car. Either way its hard to beat the camaraderie among boaters. 

    1. Man, thanks for checking out my blog and the videos - love to get such positive feedback like that!