After 3 weeks on the boat in Catalina, I feel conflicting things. Yes, it still feels like we’re on a wonderful vacation, but I’m honestly a little bored with being at the Isthmus, which is the more remote part of the island. We’ve hiked, snorkeled, dived and moved to 4 different bays. We figured out how to use our small dinghy as a dive boat and also as a sailboat. We’ve tried everything on the menu at the Harbor Reef Restaurant. We’ve had many Buffalo Milk cocktails, which are the official drink of Catalina and made multiple trips to the overpriced store. I’ve watched most of what I downloaded on Netflix before we left. I realize it’s a luxury to be bored and I should be soaking this feeling in and appreciating it. I haven’t had this feeling very often for the past 32 years of my professional working life, so I don’t know quite what to do with it. Brent can’t relate because he finds one boat project after another to work on. There seem to be projects and checklists sprouting from every direction as a result of this trip!

Highlights of Catalina have been diving and having friends visit us. I had surprisingly never dived in California before, and the kelp forests and sea life is much cooler than I anticipated. Kelp is kind of dreamy looking as it wafts back and forth with the current. It seems really healthy here, which is great. Seeing so many pink abalone, which are endangered, is encouraging. Spotting dozens of lobsters and very large groupers, Black Sea Bass and schools of sardines, barracuda and yellow fin has been very satisfying, not to mention all the colorful Garibaldi everywhere you look. We enjoyed having friends visit, mostly in pairs, which was very manageable. Laundering sheets is something we didn’t really consider before leaving on this trip. It’s not the most convenient task to accomplish multiple times a week on a boat, but we managed with our little Giantex washer and hanging things on the rail. A purchase of more clips for laundry will be waiting for us when we return.

One of the only temporary malfunctions on the boat so far, involved the release for the holding tank. We went 3 miles offshore to try to discharge it and the pump didn’t work. It seemed like we had a clog, even though we could hear the pump going through the motions. We had to pay a pump-out service to empty our tank 2 more times before we tried the exercise again with success. It’s one of the unsavory aspects of boat life for sure. The holding tank definitely fills up faster with guests on board.

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges is not having the amount of power we’re used to using on land. I can’t plug in a hairdryer, unless we’re running the engine, or at a marina. We can’t use appliances that draw a lot of power or leave any extra lights on for an extended period. We’ve found that our stereo uses more power than a rechargeable speaker does, and rechargeable portable lanterns make better sense than having deck lights on. We’ve gotten a sense for how often we need to run the engine to recharge the batteries, (once a day for about an hour) even though we have 5 solar panels. If it’s overcast, the watts generated will be less than a bright, sunny day. When we get back to San Diego, Brent is going to try to engineer a way to increase our solar power with additional panels.

If you’re deciding whether you want to spend 100% of your time on a boat, you’ll want to consider what you’ll do onboard, besides boat projects. How will you exercise? How will you get some alone time without having to stare at your spouse all the time? Noise-canceling earbuds, or headphones are a good way to block-out the world for a while. Starting and maintaining this blog on our website is something we plan to do, as well as Instagram and maybe starting a YouTube channel, but the challenge of having access to the internet in remote places will be a constant issue until Elon Musk’s Starlink System becomes mainstream.

15 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Cindy Maxwell January 25, 2022 at 6:31 pm - Reply

    Congrats on your website. Glad you are figuring out these bumps in the ocean now! Bon Voyage!

    • Beth
      Beth January 27, 2022 at 12:21 pm - Reply

      Thanks Cindy! It’s been such a long process!

  2. Avatar
    Jane Hughes January 25, 2022 at 6:38 pm - Reply

    It all sounds wonderful (excepting the pump problems.). I can’t wait to read more….

    • Beth
      Beth January 27, 2022 at 12:21 pm - Reply

      Thanks Jane, we can’t wait to tell you more!

  3. Avatar
    Roger Koch January 25, 2022 at 8:29 pm - Reply

    This is a good beginning of your sailing trip diary that you share with your family and friends, I am interested in hearing your experience of life on the sea, and the challenges explorers faced without communication links. This is your adventure, may you safely enjoy it. Roger

    • Beth
      Beth January 27, 2022 at 12:23 pm - Reply

      Thanks dad, I am looking forward to being able to share where we’re going and what we’re seeing with you.

  4. Avatar
    Marcia January 25, 2022 at 9:53 pm - Reply

    Very excited for the two of you!!

    • Beth
      Beth January 27, 2022 at 12:24 pm - Reply

      Thanks Marcia!

  5. Avatar
    Ken & Lori January 26, 2022 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    I thought about naming a book “Bored in Bora Bora”

    • Beth
      Beth January 27, 2022 at 12:28 pm - Reply

      Haha, I’d read it! I’m sure no one would have much sympathy for us. Being bored is a strange luxury.

  6. Avatar
    Nellie Ancel January 28, 2022 at 3:08 pm - Reply

    Your pictures are awesome! Sounds like a good shakedown cruise. You’re a good artist- maybe water color journaling in the down times plus a kindle loaded with fun books will fill up some of the time.

  7. Avatar
    David February 22, 2022 at 12:55 pm - Reply

    This is going to be EPIC….safe sailing!!!!

    • Avatar
      sailingsteelaway February 22, 2022 at 3:46 pm - Reply

      Thanks Dave!

  8. Avatar
    Ken & Lori March 3, 2022 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    When is the departure again?

  9. Avatar
    Beth Miller March 4, 2022 at 9:20 am - Reply

    Brent is leaving with the boat and 2 crew members on Sun., 3/6 and I am flying to meet them in the Marquesas on 4/2.

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