It’s been a few months now and although we’ve yet to face the heart of winter, at which point I’m sure this list will look a lot different, here are a few things we’ve grown to love and hate about living on a boat:
The earth crumbling around us
This week, someone asked me if it was nice being rocked to sleep by the gentle waves of the Ontario Lake. In theory, that sounds lovely, but the answer is a resounding “no.” Being rocked back and forth for hours starts getting real old, real quick, not to mention the constant sound of ropes stretching like the creaky door of an old house being opened and closed non-stop. When there are waves there’s also bound to be wind, and with our boat’s scrawny wooden exoskeleton covered in plastic, whenever a gust blows our way it literally sounds like the earth around us is crumbling. It still sometimes alarms me to the point that I’m startled awake (keeps me awake on a bad night) and I rush outside in the middle of the night to make sure everything hasn’t fallen to pieces.
Soppy Fish Syndrome
One thing I didn’t factor in at all when we moved onto the boat was motion sickness – which is insane given the fact I get motion sick finding parking in a parking lot. For the first two weeks, I couldn’t figure out why I felt so awful as soon as I came home every day. I would be fine and then I would be laying on the bed on my side, immobile and soppy looking like a dead fish. Then I had my eureka moment and I thought “crap…” Apparently being from the Caribbean doesn’t give me pirate blood and immunity from this sort of thing. I’m hoping to adjust but in the meantime, on the bad nights, I take a Gravol and pass out like a grannie by teatime. On a really bad night, I ride the subway for a few hours trying to pretend my home doesn’t make me sick.
This one I was a bit torn on whether it should be on my love/hate list as I’m quite fond of both individually. But despite the catchy name, it’s not a fly dance from the 70s. It’s what happens when you only have 30 amps of electricity to work with and you need to decide if you want to be warm or eat because you simply can’t run your stove and heater at the same time. It’s a bit of a guessing game based on the appliances or devices we’re trying to use, but we’ve kept things minimal: no kettle, coffee maker, hot–water heater or any other ‘ostentatious luxuries.’
Get ‘er done
It’s amazing what you can get accomplished living in tiny, metal box wrapped in plastic. Since moving onto the boat I’ve been able to do something I’ve just started getting back into, writing. When we both hit 30, Nic and I started to feel a sense of urgency like we never have before to ensure that we’re on that path to accomplish our life’s goals. Having a change in environment, one that eliminates many every day distractions, and making a sacrifice of comfort in many ways, has helped us become more aligned with our goals and motivated in a way we haven’t felt in years.
Views from thesix
The thing I doubt we will ever get tired of are the amazing views we get to experience every day. In the morning, a breathtaking view of the harbour and the Toronto island just a stone’s throw away. At night, a striking view of the city’s skyline dotted with a million lights. I’ve always been happiest when near water, so you can imagine how stoked I am to be living “on water.” The older I get the more I realize the importance of stopping to recognize a bit of beauty in the world, every day if possible. It can totally change how you view everything else around you.
The True Cost
One of our goals for moving onto the boat was creating a minimalist lifestyle. We were not minimalist before this and it’s definitely taken some getting used to, but I’m thrilled with our progress. It’s been such a freeing feeling walking past retail stores having the biggest sales of the year and not having the urge to grab things I would usually salivate over and complain about the hour-long lineups. I also feel so much less guilt by not lugging home something I know I shouldn’t have bought and spending money that would be better off in savings.
If you’re interested in pursuing a more minimalist lifestyle when it comes to clothing (a great place to start) please watch “The True Cost” documentary; it’s changed my life.
We’re also looking for recommendations on ethical, sustainable eco-fashion designers from Canada.