The Ten Thousand Islands
We had been away from Happy Wife for exactly a month. We went to Maine with our family for July 4th and then worked 12 hour days to complete the tiny house for my folks to get them moved in during the rest of the month.
We left the boat securely in the Marina at Marco Island and headed back when our lease was up with everything completed in Tampa, just in time
Eager to set sail again and to check on her, we made our way back. The dock master had called us the day before with our high water alarm going off. Water was full in the port side bilge and he had someone pump it out for us. The AC’s we thought? But the bilge should have gone off. We got back to a myriad of problems…minor but very frustrating. We had the starboard engine prepped for the new impeller and brought a new hot water heater with us to begin with thinking that was all we had to do well….
Turns out the battery charger fried which is why the bilge never went off. The boat was so hot and the ac’s not working. We managed to bypass our bedroom one, throw a pump into the water with a hose and connect it that way for the night so that we could sleep. Temps were in the triple digits!
We got the diver to come and dive the bottom in the morning only to find a plastic bag sucked into the intake valve, so AC problems fixed. Then we had dead batteries because of the charger so the toilets etc which work on 12v system wouldn’t work either. We set up a portable charger of course and got those going.
We also noticed a leak in the water line filter in the starboard engine room so rushed last minute to buy a new one at Lowes just before they closed at night. Because it was leaking the water pump broke! We have spare ones onboard but that was yet another thing to fix before we could get off the dock. Fortunately Rose Marina, who are excellent, allowed us the allocated space to stay for an extra 2 days to get everything ready to go.
We very gratefully set off for the Ten Thousand Islands again to spend the following two weeks until we had to move the boat up the Okeechobee waterway to have her hauled out.
We leave for our annual Europe trip in September and this would be the best place to leave it during hurricane season. Upon our return, Shaun will head down to pain the bottom himself and then we’ll bring her home to Tampa again in after her spa treatment lol
As always, we love the solitude of the islands where we saw about 2 people the entire time we were there. It continuously amazes me that we can enjoy this in this heavy populated, but vast country! We had beach dinners, date nights, sunset cocktails like …every night lol Lunch on board, lunch on the beaches, lunch IN the water and long walks too. We went into Everglades city by dinghy twice to eat and get supplies
We’ve lived on board for almost 7 years and I would have to say that the question I am asked the most is;
How do you live together in such a small space and what do you do to get away from each other?
My answer is always the same … we don’t need to! We are so blessed to be able to share this mostly idyllic life and our Happy Wife is literally a home on the sea, just like yours but without a yard to cut
Yes, of course there are up’s and downs but we are best friends, work mates and each others confidants. I can let the small stuff go and I’m good at reminding Shaun to do that too …haha
On the sea, Shaun is the captain and I’m the first mate so we discuss everything and out in the elements you have to sometimes make split second decisions. You have to work together for a good outcome.
When we are docked in the marina at home, I like to say that Shaun is the head of the house but I’m the neck. Without me he can do nothing lol
We love passionately and argue passionately too but we know how good we are as a team on our little “island”.
Next people ask us what we do all day?? Well every single day is different and we never seem to sit still…In fact I find it hard to get through a book! A boat will keep you fit and young, that’s for sure. There’s always something to see, check, fix, visit, plan, document, workout, cook, clean, paddle board, dive, visit land, doggie potty breaks etc and much more. I cannot say I have been bored one single day!
We celebrate the big stuff but I love celebrating all the little things too. Being present and at one with nature is a gift I will treasure always and for as long as we are able to live as we are 🙏🏻🌊😃