As we prepare for our first trip out for what seems like an age, you start to remember what is so great about being a liveaboard. When we were weekend sailors, once you had finished work, you would rush to the boat on a Friday night, get some provisions and by the time everything was packed away and ship-shape, you had a short evening before going sailing on the Saturday. Around mid-day on Sunday you would start to think about coming back so that the boat can be moored, tidied up and you could get home at a reasonable time.
As a liveaboard everything changes, as long as you have a rule that keeps the place tidy enough that you can be out and sailing within 30 minutes! You get home from work and within 30 minutes on the Friday evening you have slipped your lines and are finding somewhere to anchor down the river. You then get a full day’s sailing on Saturday and probably Sunday before getting back to your home berth. Within 30 minutes of arriving back at your berth the boat is back to being a home, rather than a sailboat, and you settle down for the evening. If you are lucky, Maria has started cooking the roast dinner on the way up the river, and you are ready to eat it by the time you are tied up 🙂 It seems that you get a lot more opportunity to be out there when you live aboard and you are out in the boat for twice as long.
Its also helped if you can work-from-home because with modern wifi and 4G technology, it is not a problem if your home moves, or even IS moving…. That can get you another night anchored in a quiet spot – with network access obviously! Also working from home in your cockpit in a marina is a pleasure in the spring and summer, even if the reflection of the sun on your laptop screen can be a little tricky.
Generally the pace of life seems very different as a liveaboard and people seem friendlier – probably because you all have one big thing in common – a love of the water. As a weekender, it seems that you get to the Marina and there’s a lot of “seeing people” and entertaining. When you live aboard, this seems to happen less (probably a good thing for the liver to be honest). You still see people, have people over for dinner but it doesn’t seem as often when you are only down for the weekends. It probably doesn’t happen much less but because you have more nights on board it doesn’t feel like you are always in company and you get quiet time. The other advantage we have is a pleasant view across the modernised docks which in the summer is fantastic, you feel like you could be in the Mediterranean and every weekend feels like a holiday whether you go out or not. I should also mention that we are very lucky with our neighbours, having some really nice people around but then, the other great thing about being a liveaboard….if you don’t like your neighbours move, and keep moving ’til you find some you like or you find somewhere where there aren’t any!