Posted by: livingaboardspellbound | September 13, 2012

Live aboard a boat? Who knew it would happen to me!

If someone had proposed the idea of ridding myself of worldly goods, moving on to a boat, and eventually cruising the open ocean I would have looked at them and asked “are you crazy!?”  At that time in my life I really wasn’t a huge fan of being “on” the ocean. I loved being near the ocean and would go to the beach for vacations and such. But to actually live on the ocean was an absurd idea. First and foremost I became nauseous just thinking about getting on a boat. I suffered from extreme motion sickness and would even get ill in the backseat of a car. Secondly, I had an extreme fear of the water. I am not a strong swimmer and was also terrified of what was “in” the water. That combination doesn’t jive with livingaboard a boat.
Fast forward a few years and a divorce and I found myself yearning for adventure. Pretty much my whole life had been spent being scared of one thing or another to the point of never experiencing anything remotely adventurous. I spent my time on the sidelines of life watching everyone else do cool and exciting things. By now my children were almost grown and doing their own thing I decided it was my turn to find the fun in life.
Fast forward again a few months and an online dating profile that stated was looking for adventure and BAM! I found a man who was fun and loved to seek out the adventure in life. Just a few weeks after meeting him we went on a cruise together and he had me ziplining across the Jamaican forest canopy and snorkeling with stingrays! My kids were stunned to hear that I had done these things and I was pretty surprised myself. My time on the sidelines was over!
Now back to sailing and boats and whatnot. We discovered sailing through one of our friends who took us out on his 20ft supercat. We were instantly hooked and 2 weeks later were proud owners of an 18ft banana yellow hobie cat in need of some TLC and time on the water. Now, mind you, we had never been sailing on our own but that didn’t stop Darryl from trying it. He got himself a book and read it from cover to cover and after making sure the hobie was seaworthy took her out on the lake at a friend’s house to try his hand at it. Our dear friend, the other Daryl, had a powerboat and told him that if he got stuck he would come tow him in. With that, he looked at me and asked if I was coming and said “nope, not that adventurous yet, gonna see if you can sail that thing first”. So he proceeded out to the lake on his own and sailed the four points of the lake and made it back in one piece and so, that summer was spent honing our sailing skills.
That summer We had fallen in love with the feeling that comes with sailing, the freedom, the wind, and the water and each other. It was a magical time in our lives. We started dreaming of our future together and just a short 7 months after meeting this man, I married him on the shore of that same lake.
This began the dream of sailing the open seas to exotic faraway places. It hasn’t been any easy dream to turn into a reality and almost didn’t happen at all after an injury and surgery left Darryl out of commission for several months and his state job gone due to FMLA running out. The retirement we hoped for was cut drastically and our hopes were dashed on buying a boat to live on.
Fast forward to this summer. We had all but given up on this beautiful dream and had decided that maybe we should just try to get a weekend sailboat and just make the best of it. From the injury (work related) we found out we would be getting a small lump sum payment and his retirement checks would start coming monthly. We  pondered what kind of boat we could get with our meager cache and decided to start looking at boats within that price range and footage that we could possibly live on. We looked at several boats but all of them were just in terrible shape and would require major refitting not to mention a large wad of cash to foot the bill, so we just put the idea on the back burner.
I hadn’t looked at craigslist in a couple of weeks and decided on a rainy day to try again. Lo and behold there was a great sounding 32ftboat in our price range. I called the number and spoke to very nice woman who gave me all the particulars about the boat. It sounded perfect if it really was in the shape she said it was. So I made an appointment for us to go look at the boat on that weekend. Little did I know that tropical storm Debby would come that very same weekend (I don’t watch the tv much). It was storming fiercely on the appointed day but we called the nice woman that

Our first view of our new home

morning and asked if we could still come to see the boat, rainy weather is a good time to look at a boat, right? So off we trekked the hour and a half drive to see her.
When we arrived we were met by the nicest couple who gladly came out in the rain to help us. Upon seeing the boat I got butterflies in my tummy from sheer excitement. She was in beautiful condition for her age and had been well cared for. The nice man gave us the key and told us to take our time looking and to come up to the house when we were done.
Her name was Spellbound and true to her name in her spell we were. We went up the house and talked over the particulars and in one short visit she was ours. Darryl and a couple of friends and I drove up a week later and the boys sailed her home, I had to drive the car home. A month after that we had gotten rid of most of our possessions (a storage shed still exists) and moved aboard.
It has been a big adjustment, coming from a very easy lifestyle to one where just going in and out of the hatches, finding places for the few things we did keep, and cooking/cleaning are like a real life game of tetris. But isn’t that what I was looking for? Adventure and new challenges? I think I found all that and more in this sweet boat named Spellbound…


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