Sunday, February 3, 2013

Raft-UP: Relationships

53 feet. I wish I could give you a square footage number of what that means but I really have no idea. Big in terms of a cruising boat but small in terms of space, especially when you start thinking of having any sort of dedicated personal space.


When you live on a boat with someone you spend hours and hours and hours together but really I should say we spend days and days and days together It is completely possible for us to go multiple weeks without having any time apart. But everyone needs “me” time.

Mark and I are lucky I suppose because we just work. We know each other so well that we know when the other needs space and this is very important to not only realize but make happen.

Marks “me time” tends to be spent working at a coffee shop. If we are in a port that he has found a nice spot it isn’t unusual for him to get off the boat every morning and spend a few+ hours working. This used to allow me time to have the boat to myself for whatever it may be I needed to do, usually chores. But a year ago a little creature came into our lives and he changed everything. No longer do both of us get “me” time at the same time.

If we lived a “normal” life on land I would probably have a beautifully organized craft room that I could retreat to with all the fixings of the things that make me me and make me happy. On the boat not only do I not have that space but in order to do any of the “me” things I have a lot of work to get them out. So sometimes I just have to accept that getting a chance to do chores on the boat without someone sitting at my feet is “me” time. Being able to put away provisions without worrying about leaving the compartments open is now a great treat.

Mark is great in giving me this time. Most days he does take MM for an hour or two. I’m usually up at 4:30 or so with MM and I try to let Mark continue to sleep for a few more hours. Once he is up he usually take MM for an hour or two and gives me a break. Sometimes I go back to bed, sometimes I do chores, and sometimes I do whatever it is I want to do. Mark will either sit and play while reading the morning news or take a walk to a park. I doesn’t really matter what they do. What matters is that I get a chance to get a few things done totally uninterrupted.

With parenting you need to be a team. With boating you need to be a team. Relationships really come down to teamwork. When sh*t hits the fan on a boat you need to be a team.

Mark and I make a pretty good team. We don’t have a lot of arguments but they do happen. They are sometimes unavoidable. In such a small space what is there to do? Our cabin is the division point. When an argument is happening one of us, usually Mark, retreats to the back of the boat for a while. We take a little forced space to think things through but there is no space on a boat to let things go for days.

There is no work or friends or activities to put in the middle of a disagreement and hope it’ll go away. Disagreements stare you in the face until you do something about them. We are forced to work it out. Some agreement has to be made and fast. The best way is to just look it in the eye and lay it all out there. So that is usually what we do. For us we never argue for more than a day. Even if we don’t agree on something we have to put it behind us and there are a few things we’ve spat over that when they come up in conversation we quickly say “let’s not rehash that one.”

I’ve known people who have moved aboard thinking it would help their relationship to spend time together but if it wasn’t working on land I can almost definitely tell you it won’t work at sea. There is just to much together time and you pretty much need to agree on everything and I mean everything because there rarely is a meal that you don’t eat together.

See what everyone else has to say on the topic:



1 comment:

  1. Dana - Great point! We HAVE to be a team weather we like it or not. I can totally sympathize with you on having a little one running the show. Hogging your every waking second and with another one on the way, Your braver than I!! I stopped at one, but believe me it will get easier especially at about 4 years old! I think that was the most fun we had with Gia because she was able to voice her needs and excitement about our cruising lifestyle, swimming, snorkeling, fishing!!

    BTW 53' for a sailboat would be about 600 Square feet. Our last boat was 36', about 375 Square feet, not we have about 800 Square feet, MAN DOES IT FEEL HUGE!! Granted we still get annoyed with one another but it's mostly when we are sitting not cruising!;)

    Take care of yourself after #2!! And enjoy what little rest you get before your return to your floating palace!;)xox

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