Saturday, September 1, 2012

Why Liveaboard?

Yesterday, I wrote about "Living the Good Life" by Scott and Helen Nearing.  They left New York City in 1932 and moved to a farm in Vermont, living a pretty much self-sufficient lifestyle.  Their book has been said to have resulted in the hippy commune movement of the 60s and 70s.   I don't know if that's true or not, but its certainly possible.

There are stresses in modern everyday life.  Not that there weren't stresses in the old days, what with dinosaurs chasing after you and all, but today things are different.   In ancient times, you'd simply move with the herd.  If the buffalo moved 100 miles south, so would you.  People don't do that anymore.  Something about boundaries.  People (most people) nowadays work for wages, often at jobs they hate, or at best, wish they didn't have to do.  Annoying coworkers, demanding customers, unreasonable bosses... we've all been there.   And then we daydream.

Wouldn't it be nice to live in a cave and club our dinner?  OK no, that's too extreme.   How about buying an old farm in Vermont like the Nearings?   We could yank boulders out of the permafrost and stack them up to build a house and...   yeah, too much work.   OK, then how about we sell all of our stuff and buy a boat?   I could quit my job and we could just meander around on it without a care in the world.

Yeah, that's the ticket!   Just ask my wife, Morgan Fairchild.

Actually, as you know, many people do exactly that.  There are three kinds of liveaboards.  Some are cruisers and continually move up and down the coast.   Some are vagrant liveaboards and anchor in front of Mitt Romney's house and never move.  Ever.   And then there's people like Pam and I who cruise in slow motion.   We winter in Connecticut and summer in Georgia, because that's what we do.  No point in rushing this.

Speaking only for us, and not other cruisers and liveaboards who have their own reasons, we like our lifestyle.  We like staying in one place for a time and really getting to know the community.   We have our two vehicles (Toyota Tacoma truck and 1956 Thunderbird) so we can get around.   Here in Brunswick, for example, we've been sightseeing St. Simons and Jekyll Island (a lot).  Soon we'll be visiting St. Augustine and Cumberland Island and whatever else this area has to offer.

Many cruisers visit these places by boat, of course, but we have three large dogs.  We need a place to take them ashore.  That's not always possible.   It's much easier to leave them on the boat and drive to where we want to explore, with our daughter Megan as a dog sitter.

But getting back to the lifestyle, we love it.  We stay in a place until we feel a need to move.  When we move, our home goes with us.  

We meet people from all over the world, from all walks of life.  And, if you stay in marinas at a monthly rate, its no more expensive than living in a home or an apartment (if your boat is paid for).  Last month's dock rent was $770, and that included $25 for cable (cable that actually works!) and $190 for electric (half the price of the previous marina).   No property taxes, no lawn to mow, no snow to shovel.

Is this lifestyle for everyone?  Nope.  Why?  There's no room for all your stuff.  If you're the kind of person who needs their stuff, you need to keep your home.   Now, many people do, especially people with money.   Pam and I do not.  We shed most of our land bound stuff.   Except for the '56 Thunderbird.  That was my dad's, and that we will keep.

As a matter of fact, yesterday Pam and I drove to Savannah to fetch the T-bird and bring it to Brunswick.  It's now September, and we Georgia folk will be crawling out from our A/C to do things like car shows again.

And... I suppose... tackle boat projects.   Like painting the decks, and the topsides.  Man, I miss summer already.


  1. I don't get why you would winter in Connecticut and summer in Georgia. That is backwards. The idea is to follow the climate. If it were me, I'd winter in the Caribbean and summer in the Georgian Bay.

  2. Plenty of us get it. Since we retired and sold our "big" home and business, we just go where we want, when we want. We were certainly "accumulators" until we retired... hard for some folks to image getting rid of "stuff" can be freeing.

    Today will be our last day in the San Juan Islands (NW Washington), and what a pleasant summer it has been. The calendar says it's fall. The nights are getting chilly. It's time to move. In another month or so, we'll get back to south Texas, and have "summer" all over again. :-)

    Do what you enjoy, when and where you enjoy it. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. Definitely live aboard is for all of us. Let's dive and get the best of the underwater. I remember our recently live aboard experience in PNG. It is one of the best experience we ever had.