July 3, 2001
We have had more than just a few inquiries about our "normal" routine on the boat. This is just a quick e-mail in response to those questions.
It might be easier to describe a typical day by distinguishing between a day when we are underway vs. a day when we are staying in one location.
Cruising day: We always start with coffee! We usually take the time to have a cup and recap the cruising plan for the day before we get underway. But if we need to leave early to catch a tide or get to a location at a certain time (this is rare), we will make coffee once we get underway.
When cruising, Brian and I do one hour shifts at the helm. Brian does an 'engine check' every hour, just to make sure everything sounds and looks OK. When not at the helm, we are both typically still on the fly bridge helping to navigate, watching the scenery, etc. But it is understood that the time you are off, you can do whatever you want (e.g. nap, read, etc.).
We try to keep our cruising days to 5 hours or less. Although longer days aren't a problem, it is usually about that time when we are ready to anchor or dock and do something else. We try to get to our new destination as early as possible. This gives us time to dinghy and/or walk into town (to get groceries, visit the libraries to e-mail, check out the hardware stores, etc.). If the weather is nice, we usually also do some sort of chore or maintenance project. Examples of chores include: caulking, cleaning, waxing, repairing items, improving something, etc. There is always SOMETHING to do on a boat.
By late afternoon, we try to call it quits. We often take either a sun shower or use the shower in the boat, and then settle down for a beer, wine, or drink (see below). At this time, we write in the log and update our budget/planning sheets. During and after dinner, we look at the charts and cruising guides, talk about the next day, and look in general at the upcoming week or so.
We are typically in bed by 9:30 and up by 6:30 in the morning.
Non-cruising days: On those days when we decide to stay wherever we are for another night, the day is basically the same, minus the cruising. The only difference is that we either walk more on shore to explore the area or do more chores. And every once in awhile, we spend a rainy day just reading and napping.
By the way, weekend days are now our LEAST favorite days. The reason is because there are more boats on the water and we have to plan more around where we will anchor or whether we need to call ahead to a marina to reserve a transient slip. Since we tend to avoid crowds any way, Friday and Saturday nights are probably our most 'stressful' ( realizing that everything is relative ).
The routine is working great and has become quite natural. We are becoming more and more flexible and are definitely relaxed.
We are probably eating more, but healthier, than we did prior to this trip! And, even better, we have both lost a few pounds and have toned up a bit! For those of you who haven't seen the boat, we do have a four burner stove, an oven, a microwave, a toaster oven, and a grill, i.e. we are not lacking methods of cooking!
Breakfast: Brian has never been much of a breakfast eater so he normally just has coffee in the morning. If we don't leave the dock/anchorage right away, I typically have a packet of instant oatmeal. Otherwise, I'll grab a bagel to eat underway.
Lunch: I rotate four basic lunches:
1. Tuna wraps,
chips, fruit (e.g. apple, pear, grapes)
Dinner: Dinners are more varied. When we get to a town that has a decent grocery store, we stock up on meats (steaks, chicken, pork, fish - - usually whatever is on sale!) for 3 - 4 dinners and the fresh items (veggies, potatoes, atypical ingredients I don't normally keep on board) that I need to prepare meals with those meats. For example, last week we bought two good sized steaks and four boneless/skinless chicken breasts. The first night Brian grilled the steaks we marinated in fahita spices and we had one of them with baked potatoes and fresh steamed veggies. The second night, Brian grilled the chicken in BBQ sauce and we had two of the breasts with rice and canned peas. The third night, I made steak nachos. And the fourth night I reheated the remaining to chicken breasts, made Stove Top, and we ate the remaining green pepper from the nachos. And we have yet to be without cookies for dessert!
In keeping with our normal routine, we have pizza about every Sunday. Either we make it on board with Bobolis or we go out. And every once in a while, when we don't know what we want, we have cereal for dinner!
For those odd times when we don't have fresh meat, we have lots of canned/boxed things on board - - soups, canned hams, salmon, Spam, pastas, rices, canned fruits & veggies, etc. And we are looking forward to getting lots of fresh fish in the Great Lakes!
We planned to eat out approximately four meals a week. Although this has varied based on where we are and what options are available, we are averaging out to about that number of meals off the boat.
I hope this helps answer some of your questions. Jeri and Brian