Living on a Sailboat: For Me or Not For Me?
by: Nancy (Drena’s Mom)
My daughter, Drena, and son-in-law, JR, invited me and my daughters best friend, Flavia, to visit them in George Town, Bahamas and asked us to stay a night on the boat to see what boat life is really like.
On Friday morning, they had a taxi driver pick us up at the Exuma Airport and drive us to the Peace & Plenty Resort in George Town. I can’t tell you how happy I was to see my daughter and son-in-law waiting just outside of the hotel when we arrived. I almost jumped out of the taxi in front of an on coming car. Oh, and they drive down the wrong side of the street which alone scared me to death!
Peace and Plenty allowed us to store our big suitcases at the hotel the first night because we had planned to stay on the boat. From the hotel, Drena and JR took us for a short walk through George Town to their dinghy, which they call their “car.” We got a little wet on the ride to the boat, but the view was breathtaking and the weather was so perfect I just can’t describe it in words.
When we arrived at the boat, we had to climb from the dinghy to the boat! Hee hee, that was a little tricky but Drena and JR provided a lot of assistance and instructions. “Hold on to this, step here, put your leg over this, turn around, step down and hold onto anything silver”. OK, we did it!
Once settled on the boat, I realized my pants were a little wet but Drena was able to find me some shorts to change into since we had left most of our clothes back at the hotel. After I changed, I had the pleasure of hanging my wet jeans on the clothes line on the boat. It went like this: First you take a clothes pin, then you step on the seat and walk carefully around the edge of the boat, and clip your clothes on some wire thing that was part of the boat. I refused to hang my wet underwear up until I found a place I could hide them.
Now we could just sat back and relax… The weather was perfect and the water was more beautiful than I could imagine… We talked, talked, and talked some more. I began to understand why my daughter would want to do something like this. I was just so happy to know that this was a dream that many people cannot live.
As we were sitting back relaxing we happened to see a dolphin swimming around the boat next to us. Then it came close to our boat (Hee hee… Notice I said “our” boat). JR decided to jump into the water with his flippers and underwater mask. He swam and swam and he was right next to the dolphin! That was so cool!
Then Drena decided to swim with the dolphin as well! That was priceless because she was doing really well until the dolphin decided to reverse the game and turn around and start chasing her! She began to squeal and swam away from the dolphin. Then she decided to get out.
Later they made us an awesome steak dinner. Yes, they have a little grill mounted to the back of the boat. It was fantastic. I was so tired after the beautiful sunset, I don’t remember much. I know we spent the night on the boat and the next morning woke up and had a nice breakfast before heading to our hotel.
I realized that there are a lot of rules to learn when living on a boat. Here are 8 of them:
- In order to flush the toilet, you have to pump to put water in the toilet and turn this thing and pump to take water out.
- You cannot put toilet paper in the toilet, there is a special place for that.
- Even if the boat has great water pressure, you should not turn it up and let it run… OK, they have a limited supply
- They don’t have ice, so get used to drinking warm drinks unless they prepared ahead of time and put one or two in the little refrigerator for you.
- You cannot use the same knife in a jar of mayonnaise that has just been opened unless you plan on putting it in the refrigerator which they may not have room for it (they call this double dipping.)
- Get your body in good shape before you start climbing in and out of the boat,climbing up and down ladders, swimming, and hiking.
- You can throw your left over food into the water for the fish to eat.
- Don’t plan on getting drunk and then climbing in and out of that dinghy unless you know what in the heck you are doing!
My overall experience on the boat was wonderful and I would do it again, but I personally could not live on a boat. I am the hotel type of person, but you have got to try it if you have a chance. I cannot put it all into words… It is beautiful, fun, fantastic, and a lot of work! I want to thank my daughter and son-in-law for dealing with us and for allowing us to eat up all of their food.
We did a lot of things other than being on the boat. We went swimming, sailing, snorkeling, dancing, site seeing, found out the sand is so soft, and does not get hot (see slideshow at the end of the post!) Beer and food are very expensive on the island and they don’t sell power ball tickets!
My First Night on Journey
By: Flavia (Drena’s Best Friend Forever)
Nancy (Drena’s Mom) and I arrived to George Town, Bahamas Friday, March 21, 2014 and were greeted by a Taxi driver named Vencill of Bal Sound Taxi. Dude was pretty cool. He gave us a little history about George Town like where he grew up, the streets he played on as a kid, and where the hospital, the local pizza joint, and the church were. He also told us what time mass started just in case we wanted to go. The views where amazing! The water was crystal clear blue/green. We also saw a lot of unfinished buildings, hotels and homes. It was fun to see Nancy freak out about everyone driving on the left hand side of the road!
The ride was about 15 minutes to our hotel, Peace and Plenty. We finally arrived to our hotel and were greeted by Drena and Jake (JR)! I haven’t seen them since October and missed them very much!! After our hugs and kisses we walked into our hotel to figure out the situation with our luggage. Once that was figured out Jake escaped and came back with Bahamian beer called Kaliks and we walked the streets with beer in hand! We took a short walk to a dinghy dock and made our way to Journey!
On our way there we saw a cute sea turtle and were surrounded by beautiful water! Getting on and off the dinghy was a little nerve-racking. I already have horrible balance but I think I did okay… Right Drena? Once we got on the boat I couldn’t wait to see Leo!
We hung out on the boat for a while and noticed a cute dolphin near another sailboat. Once the dolphin came over near us JR didn’t hesitate to jump in with his snorkeling gear and underwater camera! Jake probably swam with the dolphin a good 45 minutes! Drena jumped in soon after Jake was done, but kinda’ freaked out when it swam right up to her!
Soon after they dried we jumped back into the dinghy and headed to Stocking Island to a beach called Volleyball Beach where there is only one restaurant called Chat and Chill. Walking to the restaurant we saw kids feeding stingrays! It kinda’ freaked me out! The bar was super cute and had stuff written all over the bar and had a bunch or t-shirts hanging from the ceiling.
After meeting some of Drena’s and Jake’s cruiser friends we headed back to Journey! We settled in and I watched them have a few beers and then it was dinner time (time flew while visiting them!) Jake had steak on the dinner menu! I LOVE ME SOME RED MEAT! I hung out with Jake while he grilled dinner and Nancy and Drena where down below doing I can’t remember what.
It was pretty neat to watch Drena and Jake work as a team. If JR was in the cockpit, he would yell to Drena who was inside the cabin to get things. Like, “we need plates, forks, cups , blah blah blah.” The boat is close quarters and you definitely need to work together. Dinner was delicious!
After dinner we chatted a little more and got ready for bed. Sleeping on the boat was not as bad as I thought it would be! I guess my doses of Dramamine worked ’cause I didn’t get sea sick at all! My bed was extra comfy and I had no problems sleeping!
The next morning we woke up early and heard some announcements over the radio about the weather, upcoming events, people coming and going, and a cute story using the names of the boats around us. Drena even gave us a shout out over the VHF radio!!! It was pretty cool! Jake made us a bomb breakfast of French toast with coconut bread, sausage, and bacon!
It was a once in a life time experience for me to stay on a sailboat in George Town Bahamas with my bestfriend, Jake, and Nancy! I would definitely do it again! Next time I’ll meet them who knows where!
More Pics of our George Town Adventures! (In no particular order… Click to see captions!)