A Day in the Life of a “Boatie”

Let me begin by saying I do realize I lead a uniquely blessed life in this tropical paradise I get to call home. But much like that mouthwatering, juicy burger in the magazine ad, the real deal isn’t always quite as delectable as it looks in the picture. Here’s more of a realistic snapshot of a typical day in my life as a “boatie”:

My days usually all begin in a similar fashion – the rays of the morning sun peek through my forward hatch, and the boat gently rocks back and forth with the waves. A musical mix of seagulls and distant roosters bring a smile to my face. As I gaze out on the horizon, admiring the sunrise, I think: Yep, life is good.

stt sunrise boat

And then life gets moving…

Realizing I can’t possibly put off laundry any longer, I succumb. Living on a boat gives laundry day a whole new meaning, hence the reason it usually gets put off for as long as I can manage. Take it from me – getting a large bag of clothes out to the cockpit, over the stanchions, and down into the dinghy is truly an art form. It takes years of practice to develop control and balance to do it without an accident (ie. without your clothes falling into the sea).

Once me and my dirty laundry (still dry!) make it into the dinghy, it refuses to start. Oh yeah… that’s right. I thought it was a good idea to have that proverbial “just one more” last night instead of hitting the fuel dock before it closed.  Oh, well. It’s not that far to shore – paddling it is.

After laundry (and fuel), I head back to the boat and out of nowhere, like a mystical wave of some nefarious magic wand, the Heavens open up and I (and my now-clean laundry, I might add) get drenched. I wonder to myself how it is even possible that it manages to rain only during the two minutes I spend commuting in my dinghy. Upon returning to my floating abode, I cringe as I notice that I left the forward hatch open – a classic “newbie” move. Now there’s an unwelcome puddle of water right in the middle of my bed. Sigh! A little water never hurt anybody, right? I’ll just have to sleep up against the wall tonight.

Shower time consists of a date with the cockpit and a solar shower bag. As I squeeze out the last bits of water to rinse my hair I think, Man, I better go buy some more water! But before I can head back into shore like the responsible sailor I sometimes am, my good friend from two boats over dinghies up. That new thingy-what’s-it he ordered for his engine finally arrived from the states and he feels like celebrating. Well… he does have a bottle of Cruzan rum with him, which is my favorite… I don’t have to go get water right this second, do I?

cruzan

Our chatter and laughter attracts the attention of the neighbors and pretty soon, there are four dinghies tied up to the back of my boat. We all take turns telling stories – some true, some not so much. Before I know it, the evening sky releases its parade of colors and I reflect on my day: running out of fuel, running out of water, getting caught in the rain, and a  soggy bunk waiting for me down below. I look around me and realize that I not only live in the most beautiful place in the world (according to me, of course), but I also have the best friends I could ever hope for.

Oh yeah, I keep forgetting… I need to dinghy in for more water before it gets too late. Ah, well. No worries, I’ve got plenty of time…

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Rebecca Anderson

About Rebecca Anderson

Rebecca falls into the classic category of “permanent vacationer”. She first arrived in St. Thomas with friends in 2001, and after seven days of vacation, she waved goodbye to her friends as they boarded the plane back to the states. She knew this was where she was meant to be. Her life on a rock began with learning the ropes in the charter boat business where her first original title was “Swab”. Here, she perfected the art of toilet foreign object eradication, wrote a book called 1,001 Answers For ‘Do You Live Here?’, and discovered through distant family members that she is actually related to Anne Bonny. Being a natural free spirit (and related to a pirate), she has collected a few interesting happy hour topics over the years: hanging out with Kenny Chesney on the beach in Jost Van Dyke, getting caught in a tropical storm at sea, and of course, waking up in the morning and trying to remember which island she was on (and why is the rum gone?). After 12 years of hoisting sails and weighing anchors, she decided it was time to step down and let the next generation take the helm. She now lives on her boat (named Annie B, of course) and writes stories about her adventures, secretly comparing herself to Bilbo Baggins and his tale There and Back Again. Rebecca spends her free time exploring the mangroves in her dinghy and often wonders if her former life in the states was all just a dream.

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3 thoughts on “A Day in the Life of a “Boatie”

  1. Rebecca, Enjoy your work, and just arrived St.T last month, now officially a man on a rock, who lived on a boat for 7 years in San Diego. Happily living in jungle cottage! Are you still on your boat? -Dave

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