Behind the Scenes

Field Trip has become our home, which means that we are really settled in and feeling cozy.  It also means that it is time to reorganize and de-clutter. We often give you glimpses of what we do outside the boat, but I thought you might be interested in seeing what happens behind the scenes.  It is nothing very exciting for us, that's for sure, but perhaps interesting to some of you 'landlovers'.
Our boatschooling cabinet, finally organized!

In between guests visiting and our traveling down the East Coast, we have days that we deem "work days."  In our house in Colorado, it seemed like every room had a "stuff it" drawer or cupboard that hid the clutter and miscellaneous items brought by life.  Inevitably, there have become areas such as this on board as well.  But, unlike home, we don't have room to store clutter and miscellaneous.  There's barely room for my necessary shoes!   So, on these days, we do organization, cleaning, and fixing. 

The kids have their chores, such as cleaning their room and bathroom, putting away laundry, and helping us with projects.  They get a big charge out of making their room/bed look “like a hotel!”  Hey, whatever it takes, right!?

They try to keep everything in its place, but inevitably we find toys everywhere.  Thankfully, there's not room for much, so the few toys they have are more manageable than what we had at home.  Amazing how they can entertain themselves with so little!  One of the many unexpected blessings of cruising.

We are very thankful to have a washer/dryer on board.  This is definitely a luxury on any boat, but having kids aboard made it top on our list of amenities.  It is a small machine, not anything like those hefty front loaders that will wash 10 pairs of jeans (more like 10 pairs of underwear), but it works.  Each load takes almost 2 hours, though, so we try to do a load a week, or haul things to a Laundromat on shore when available. 

Other things we do on board are NOTHING like housework at home.  Just a few weeks ago, we went up the stick to check rigging and lubricate the main.  Of course, everyone wanted to give it a go, so a small chore turned into an afternoon adventure! 

Our refrigerator and freezer accumulate condensation and eventually have to be defrosted and dried out again. We have saved that gem of a job for when we will not be aboard for a few days.  It is looking a bit like an icy wonderland in there right now.  I had to pry the pickle jar out from out of the frozen wall last time we had tuna salad!  And we haven’t been able to get the bottom shelf of the freezer out in at least 2 months!  Not sure what food is lost in the frozen depths, but I’m sure it will be freezer burned beyond repair when we rescue it!  Thanks to an article I read on The Boat Galley, I will be using these two items to take back my fridge and freezer!

Elizabeth has become very interested in whatever Mark is tinkering with.  Last week, they tackled some of the dings in the wood floor.  (Turns out, zooming hot wheels DO make dings in the floor – no more stair-jumping car races allowed!)  Elizabeth watched carefully, and then exactly imitated Mark’s work.  She meticulously pulled out the pieces of varnish that Mark cut around, and helped him paint on new varnish.  She was very careful, and Mark was so proud of his little apprentice.

We also have to air out the mattresses as often as possible.  In the humid air that accumulates on board, things tend to attract mold and mildew quickly.  A mild bleach solution takes care of it easily, but it is quite a struggle to prop up the mattresses and let them air out long enough to fully dry them when you are sleeping on board every night.  We might turn this inconvenience into a game of musical beds!  For our pillows, a day out on deck in the sun leaves them nice and fresh!
Airing out the guest bed, and storing extra clothes underneath
Cleaning out the bilges and servicing numerous boat systems is another job that is new to us.  We were the type to take our car in whenever the little “service needed” light came on to remind us of the necessary tune-ups.  While the Volvo diesel engines have warranty work that needs to be done by professionals, there are many other maintenance items to do personally.

And unfortunately, they have not invented the drive-thru boat wash.  Swabbing the deck, washing the windows, cleaning the vinyl and polishing the stainless steel are all part of our cleaning duties.  That’s not done on a weekly basis, but often enough given the amount of time it takes!! 

On our basic boat cleaning days, I am always surprised at how quickly we can pick up and clean the entire “house.”  It is then that I am thankful to be living in such a small space - only 2 toilets, 4 mirrors, 3 beds, a living room and a galley?  Piece of cake! And still time to fish for comb jellies and make cookies!


  1. Love these types of posts, very interesting to see all that is involved when living on a boat!


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