Life on the boat

Rees on the bed
Writing the blog in comfort

How we would cope (as a couple, and as individuals) living aboard was one of the great unknowns we had considered prior to embarking on this year long adventure. We have lived in loads of space at Tiabunna, with huge rooms and lots of them, so moving aboard was a big change. But it has been surprisingly great. Andante is really well designed with several separate inside rooms and outside spaces (good boating terms :))  It is not a schmicko boat – the only lick of varnish is on the steering wheel but even that has worn off. There is a wheelhouse / galley with all-round windows where we spend most of our time. There’s seating around the chart /eating table for four people (although I confess to some minor claustrophobia when trapped in an inside position). The kitchen is also surprisingly good, with a three burner gas stove with oven, lots of cupboards, and a good 12v fridge. This area has side doors to the deck, and stairs forward and aft to other areas. Down stairs aft to our cabin which has the best bed ever… a square kingsize bed above storage space. The bed is raised to window level – high enough to sit up comfortably and we can see out through side and back portholes. There are book shelves either side and cupboards, even a short wardrobe. This cabin has HF radio, ordinary FM/AM  radio and a TV!!!!! We’ve never had a TV in the bedroom before – but its cool! Because we need to save power (best excuse ever) we often go to bed to watch the news, then something else…. Downstairs forward from the wheelhouse is a saloon area. This has another table and seating for 4 or 5, and the bench seat makes a good bunk. Wayne slept there for the Bunbury to Esperance episodes. Again, loads of storage including the essential wine bottle and glasses rack! And another TV. Good for when we had several people on board watching the motor bike racing. Off the saloon is the tiniest shower/toilet room. This room is 1400mm long and 400mm wide including the toilet. Extreme contortions are required to get to all your bits when showering. More storage in here, and our waeco freezer. Aft from the saloon (under the wheelhouse and aft cabin) is the engine room. This houses the engine (obviously) but also 6 x 600l fuel tanks, and a full workshop including drill press, grinder, vise etc and the essential storage lockers. The engine room has received many positive comments from all the cast of thousands who have worked with Col in it, as it has head space and a (little) bit of foot space. Many yachts require mechanics to stand on their heads with tools in their teeth to work on the engine… or so they say. Forward from the saloon is the guest accommodation. Each room has a 3/4 bunk on top of 2 x 600l huge water tanks. The bunks are big enough for two VERY friendly people, or a parent and child…. These also have storage cupboards and a wardrobe. Forward again of these, but not accessible from under deck is the anchor well. So that’s inside! At the moment I’m writing this in the wheelhouse; but often sit on our bed as the wheelhouse lets in too much light to see the computer screen. Domestic tasks are minimised. I hand wash our clothes each day in a bucket on deck and hang them on a couple of ropes tied between the rigging. I use the thermopot heaps… I’ll cook a stew or whatever in the morning on the gas, then put it in the thermopot till tea time. Lunch is generally toast and cheese. We occasionally vacuum the floor when we have shore power, or not if we don’t. I DO clean the windows often, because they get salt encrusted and I can’t see out. Making our bed is the most difficult as you have to sit on it while making it… The biggest changes to get used to are: having to walk a long way to showers and toilets as we can’t use our own in port not having a garden to get food from and spend time in sharing the living space with strangers not spending time with my favourite family and friends but some of the wonderful changes are: having all the time in the world to read and write watching a completely different life outside – different birds, animals, and boating people really being in new environments meeting fantastic and interesting new people

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