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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Land Pig’s 2 Words

cruising life cruising transitions
Moving vehicle?  Yup.  Straight from the Heart’s gracious loan of their mini
enabled the move of a good portion of our Spartan possessions.
Dirt Dweller. Land Pig. These colorful decriptions cruisers and live-aboards* might use to derisively describe what we’re doing for the next five months.

*Live-aboards home is on a boat, even if it’s not going anywhere.  One could arguably accuse some live-aboards of “swallowing the hook.”

It’s easy affect a sense of superiority when your home is wherever your sailboat takes you.  Your view changes whenever you decide it’s time to change it; the boat may be small, but we can justifiably boast about our awesome back yard.

Yet even for cruising misers like us, there comes a time to pay the piper.  Hurricane season (June – November in the Northern hemisphere) is the perfect time to support our lifestyle with that four-letter word called work –or, more quaintly -- rebuilding our “cruising kitty.”

Last year we lived aboard when we worked, in Jacksonville Florida’s lovely Ortega Landing Marina. 

Wayne worked a graveyard shift, 11 pm – 7 am.  It made car sharing easy; no conflict with my West Marine hours.  But graveyards really wreaked havok with Wayne’s sleep patterns.  His desire for no sound, vibration or scent during his sleeping hours, which could occur anytime within an 18 hour window.  Cooking, accessing anything on the boat, phone calls, getting on or off the boat were all potentially disastrous sleep disrupters.

Miraculously, our marriage survived that rough patch.  Part of it was a mutual agreement, which Wayne might fairly call my “Never again” (work a graveyard shift in a boat whose only two rooms are “inside” and “outside”) edict.

This year Wayne again landed work (4 pm – 2 am; in between a swing and a graveyeard shift) in Jacksonvile for hurricane season (and once again I will return to work at West Marine).  We’re glad to be back. 

Despite our logistical challenges last year, Jacksonville echoes much of what we love about Pacific Northwest hometown Portland OR (Vancouver WA, technically).… Friendly folks.  Eclectic walkable neighborhoods.  A thriving arts and creative culinary community. Even a strong preservation of architecture and a port town big river running through it.  Jacksonville exudes its own quirky, local sense of identity.

The two clinchers for us? 
  1. Relative affordability.
  2. When it comes to (re)entering the Caribbean for cruising, Florida’s a whole heckuva lot easier from the Southeast than from the Pacific Northwest.


It’s nice, though a little different this year reconnecting with our Jacksonville liveaboard friends as “landpigs.”

As with boats and nearly all life’s choices, there are tradeoffs.

cruising life, boat maintenance

Bottom line benefit most land pigs take for granted.We give our thanks multiple times daily.
While we are “land pigs,” these are the two words we’ll revel in multiple times daily, until we return to our watery nomadic life:

Two ply.**

**Some cruisers manage their bottom line by not stowing rather than flushing their t.p. (toilet paper), opting for a stinkier bathroom in exchange for healthy head hygene.  Bigger budget cruisers may invest in spectacularly robust heads (marine toilets) that require neither stowing their used wipees aboard nor one ply to keep their head happy. Your average cruiser, however, will secretly groan in envy, at least in this one respect.

Location Location
June 18, 2014.  Jacksonville, FL.  Until this Sunday, our boat will remain docked at the JAX Naval Mulberry Cove Marina (N30.12.980 W81.40.234).  Then we’ll put it “on the hard” (store it on land) until November, when we’ll begin preparation to cruise the South Pacific.  We are, meanwhile, (gasp!) moved into a one bedroom apartment in Jacksonville for the interim.  Now that we’re moved in and my Mac’s dead power cord’s replaced, expect more frequent blogs, especially after the bulk of my yet-to-be-published cruising photos get resurrected.