It’s Raining Again….INSIDE?

It seems like not so long ago when everyone was complaining about the drought in California.  I can say with confidence, it doesn’t feel like a drought anymore.  In fact, we have more water now than we know what to do with!  Dams and reservoirs are overflowing, and yet the rain is continuing to bucket down.  Guess I have no excuse not to wash the boat this summer.  haha.

When the weather is not so great outside, it makes a perfect opportunity to do boat work inside.  Usually I catch up on baking, and hubby does something with his tools.  I make every effort to stay out of his way; Lord knows I don’t want to get roped into one of his multiday projects.

I was on my way to bed, and noticed water dripping from above.   Actually, it was more than a drip.  It was raining inside.  This had to be rectified and quickly.  The next morning, we pulled out the ceiling panels and opened up crawl spaces to track down the source of the water.  It was condensation, and LOTS of it.  We racked our brains trying to figure out what would cause that much moisture.

As I was checking out the crawlspace behind the oven, I happened to look down.  The oven wasn’t vented.  When propane is burned (like in a propane oven) there are two byproducts: carbon monoxide, and water vapor.  Bingo.  We opened all the access panels, plugged in the dehumidifier, and hopped online to order the necessary bits to fix this.    The boat dried out overnight, but I was banned from using the oven until it was vented.  This is a big deal, as I bake a lot of gluten/dairy free foods for the kiddos.

Finally, our order arrived.  Guess who spent the weekend with half their body  shoehorned into a crawlspace, and the other half dangling out over the sink?  That would be me.  I drilled a hole into the outside of the boat (SCARY) and hubby and I worked together to get the vent line in.  We caulked the outside hole and pronounced our project complete.  Firing up the oven for a test run only confirmed the high quality of our work.  Yay us!

The condensation issue is not completely resolved, but we put a big dent in it.  I think we are going to install a small fan later.  Until then, I’ll fantasize about a back massage and ice the new bruises that have sprung up.

Living in a small space as a family

One of the greatest things about kids is how flexible they are.  I’m amazed at how mine adapted to life afloat so effortlessly, when I still feel discomfort from time to time.

Before moving onto the boat, we lived in a 2400 square foot home, and then a comparably sized flat in London.  It was a comfortable amount of space for us.  Then we decided to liveaboard.

Initially, it felt worse than cramped.  I woke up a few times at night feeling horribly claustrophobic.  Oh my, how times have changed.  Being aboard for over four years now, my boat feels quite large.  I’ll confess there are even times when I have thought we should really scale down; usually that is immediately followed by a tiff of some sort between the kids.  My thoughts then flip flop, and I consider picking up a small island archipelago somewhere so we can all have our own land mass.  (Mine of course would be staffed with attractive Cabana Boys bringing me fruity beverages and waiting on me hand and foot.)

As things settle down, I get to feeling we are just where we are supposed to be.  We have 600-ish square feet to live in, and that includes two heads/bathrooms.  Both kiddos have their own rooms/berths, which offer them the personal space they are craving more as they get older.  We couldn’t ask for anything more.  One of the great things about a small space  is that it forces a lot of interactions.  Since we are all in the same area, games happen with greater frequency, and I get so much joy out of hearing the kids singing and playing together.  I ALWAYS know what they are up to.

The biggest thing people wonder about is how to scale down.  I don’t know how to answer that except to say that you just do it.  Bringing something onboard, you have to ask yourself if you have room for it, or if you can make room for it.  We are all thus very  conscious about bringing things home.

While sailing, we are constantly aware of each other and looking out for one another.  That’s led to a special closeness.

Overall, I think this has been a great experience for our family so far, and am looking forward to what the future brings.