Life onboard Leela - The spaceship
22 March 2015
We are very much enjoying living on a boat. It is a small space but very comfortable (in large part due to Janaki's awesome cushion making) but there are many things that are different to living in a house. The following is a partial list of the things we do NOT have, in no particular order:
Stability (houses tend to stay where you put them....)
Personal transport onshore
Constant access to shops
Constant access to the Internet
Constant access to plumbers, electricians, mechanics, etc.
Some of these can be very stressful (waking up at 3am to deal with squall and a dragging anchor). Some can be very therapeutic (loss of access to the Internet). All of them require that you understand your relationship to, and impact on, your environment. We do well on some and not so well on others. We generate all our own electrical power using solar and we use a portion of this to make all our own water which is both extraordinarily liberating and satisfying. Sewage we store and dump far out to sea, not ideal but few options.
Trash remains a huge issue. Having to store it for fairly long periods on a pretty small boat definitely keeps us focused on the problem. We are careful how we shop and try to minimize waste but there is no recycling and little environmental consciousness in the islands. Packaging still rules and the amount of plastic waste in the environment is really disturbing, as is the fact that all waste gets burnt. Unfortunately the islands simply do not have the wealth to deal with this effectively.
Dealing with all these real-world issues takes a good deal of time and planning. We were concerned that we might get bored after a while but just living on a boat and having to maintain all of the systems occupies a good deal of our time when we are not sailing.