Archives for category: Houseboat

I’m sure you’d think the last place you’d like to be during a hurricane is on a boat, but I am convinced otherwise. Most of the things that worry other people about hurricanes are not worrisome to us – not that we don’t have worries, but just that they’re different than what most land dwellers worry about. Below are the top 5 reasons to live on a boat in a hurricane:

1). You don’t have to worry about power. While most living on land have to worry about their power going out, most on boats don’t. This is a huge relief – I know that when the power goes out, we just rev up the generator and have power. When we move back to land, that’s one thing I’m going to insist we have.

2. You don’t have to worry about flooding. Pretty obvious, right?! No matter how high the river gets, we float. Just call me Noah.

3. We always have clean water stockpiled. Because we don’t drink the shore water (ugh, it comes through a water hose), we have two five-gallon jugs of water delivered each month. If we’d lived on land, we probably wouldn’t do this, but again this is a habit I will make sure to carry with me once we move back to land.

4. We don’t have to worry about trees falling on our roof. Because the boat is in the middle of the water, we never have to worry about a tree coming uprooted and crashing in on our heads.

5. Hurricane shopping was easy. We didn’t have to worry about buying the same foods everyone else was competing for, because we can heat our food. Also, because we didn’t have to buy water, it was just a regular shopping day…with the exception of the line of hundreds of shoppers weaving through the aisles for checkout.


So far, the neighborhood has been busy preparing for this storm. We’re all determined to stay aboard during the storm, with the young’uns encouraged by the 7-20 year boat veterans. We had trouble out of our generator last night and couldn’t get it to start, but after a night of rest and liberal applications of starter fluid, this morning it cranked right up. I never knew the sound of a generator would be so pleasing to someone who is generally only this excited by shoes and clothes.


We also winterized our water lines yesterday, with multiple trips to Home Depot, where we acquired two 30′ heat cables, eight tubes of insulation, and three rolls of Gorilla tape. This, we’re told, will keep the lines from freezing this winter. And yes, under all that black tape is a regular garden hose wrapped with a heating cable…pretty nifty!!


So far, it’s very calm, the water more so than normal. If we didn’t have all the warnings on the TV and Internet, I suspect we’d still know something was amiss, simply by the stillness of the water and air.


Three years ago my sister and I braved Snowmegeddon together in Alexandria. We stayed in the house only up to the point when we knew we wouldn’t die by stepping outside, and then proceeded to spend the next several days walking around the shuttered city. When we weren’t walking, we drove (the Jeep can go ANYWHERE…..almost), or rode our bikes (Jania was not especially skilled at this skill). The whole event was a blast.

Now, three years later, I understand we’re under the watchful eye of a Frankenstorm. Except this time, I live on a boat. I’m a little worried about how this will play out, but my neighbors are all confident and excited. I bribed one of them with stockpiled water in case I get scared and need to escape to the comfort zone of those who look forward to once-in-a-hundred-years event. We have secured a location for the poochie just in case we need to escape to my dads, but at this time, it looks like we’re going to see what Sandy has in store for us.

Last week I walked up the steps to see Siku growling at the door. I opened the door and she crouched down in this hilarious stalking position and began crawling outside. Anytime she does this, I laugh, because it’s normally a small dog, a fish, a duck, or something else equally innocuous. Sure enough, after poking my head around the door, I grabbed her and pulled her back in. There was a tiny swallow stuck on the walkway by the door. I hollered at JM, who promptly picked the bird up and out him in a cupcake holder lid. After giving the bird quite a bit of attention, we sat it on the ledge and went back to cleaning. Siku crouched down to keep watch on our visitor.

A short while later, I came back in to Siku growling menacingly. The bird had apparently come to its senses (I think it had crashed into our door), and was now hiding behind the tv.



I was texting Dad at the time, who said, “Well, a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush! Just open the door and it will fly out.”

Turns out, he was right…after about an hour and the dumb birdie getting it “wrong” several times. It’s a wonder he didn’t knock himself out multiple times and never get out.

Least he’s better off than this one….



At probably the last possible minute, we got Trusty Handy Man to come by and show us how to winterize the boat. He was supposed to come by tomorrow so I could watch, but showed up bright and early this morning instead. Even yet, JM watched and we’re pretty sure we can do it next year. Dadblasted boat. Or, as JM would say, “Merde.” Actually, he would say more than that, which doesn’t sound bad to me because it’s in a different language. I’ll save it in case someone might get offended.

I am starting to really love this darn boat though. What a blissful peniche.

My fellow boat dwellers are incredibly festive, I’ve discovered. I never expected these boats to be decorated the same as a house, but I have been pleasantly surprised. See pictures below.




The difference between literature and commercial fiction is that the craft and style of literature plays no lesser role than the plot, whereas in commercial fiction craft and style are often dismissed for formulaic and proven patterns. Another difference is the longevity of literature, where words written a hundred years ago are no less applicable now than then. The following portion from Moby Dick is just such an example and speaks to my soul on these cold November days. Even though the boat is often a headache, I can’t deny the water soothes my ire away in a unique fashion.

Call me Ishmael. Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen, and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off—then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me.