Archives for posts with tag: DC

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.


When we came home today, it was immediately obvious there was something different – and wrong – about the water. There were what looked like large logs floating in it
and the water looked heavier than I’d seen before. Sure enough, as the evening goes on, there are increasing amounts of some type of discharge in the water. The neighbors are all on the dock discussing it – it simply can’t be ignored. We don’t know if it’s sewage or another type of human or farm waste, but it smells like manure and carries with it all types of trash and dead fish floating on top due to the heaviness of it. I’ve never seen a river look like this before.



The weekend started off with a relatively unexpected surprise when my sister and her family called Thursday to see if they could come up. By the time they arrived, around 3:30 Saturday am, we had readied the cuddy, toddler-proofed as much as possible, and assured my mother we would not let the baby jump overboard. Although I made fun of her fears because I thought them utterly ridiculous, by the end of Saturday I realized they were completely reasonable. I like the doors open on the boat all the time and a crawling one year old can move awfully fast. If not for her two year old brother who shut the door every single time I opened it, I’m sure the fearless baby would’ve already swam the Potomac.

After a Sunday at the Eastern Market (a DC “flea market” for Etsy-esque crafters and lovers) and the Smithsonian Museums of Natural History and Air and Space, we put the family back on their way to Tennessee and sat down to enjoy our boring, quiet life on the boat. A visiting egret and the southern-sent Katia rains kept us from being too lonely for those who’d whirled through the boat like a southern storm and left us just as quickly.

A storm is rolling in, it looks ferocious. Sirens are going off, lightening is amazing, JM wants to stand naked on the deck to fully appreciate the storm. Reminds me of Mama encouraging us to play barefoot in the summer storms.