Just what do you do when the snow accumulation has reached a record 80 inches in the Chesapeake region and you can't even get to the road to the marina, let alone on board the boat? Not much, but there are a few things than can be done away from the boat. Before all of the snow started we brought some of the drawers home that were really bad so we could refinish them. We had also started to renovate the renovated shower in the forward head. But the three page todo list before the boat is to go back in the water has not seen one item checked off. And based on the forecasts for the future, we will need to prioritize to get the items that MUST be done prior to launch. Obviously several things will have to wait until haul out next year, and lots of items will get done after the boat goes back in the water. Typically we try and do all of the tasks that would be really inconvenient while we are aboard, after the boat is hauled out for the winter and we are living ashore. With this historic weather we probably will not accomplish much this time.
There may still be cruisers out there that light their way with oil lamps, use a bucket instead of a head and sail without a motor, but in 18 years of cruising we have not met them. Today, most cruisers are like us, preferring to take the comforts and conveniences of life ashore with them when they cast off the dock lines to sail off into the sunset. Long ago we made the decision to cruise in comfort and not turn our sailing trips into a camp out on the water. This meant we would need a means to power our small appliances, power tools and entertainment devices. There is more than one way to accomplish the same end depending on the level of your power consumption and what your budget might be. For us the requirements were simple. The cost needed to be kept down, the system needed to be as simple as possible, and we needed to be able to install and maintain it ourselves. Additionally, it should not interfere with our piece and quiet, or that of our neighbors. OK, maybe not so simple after all.
Susan and I are both long time sailors with tens of thousands of miles under our keels spanning the US east and west coast, Bahamas, Caribbean, Central Atlantic, and US Gulf Coast. We have been freelance writers for major boating publications, including Bluewater Sailing, Soundings Magazine, Sail Magazine, Southern Boating, Lats and Atts, MarinaLife Magazine, Nor' Easter, Good Old Boat, Living Aboard Magazine and a host of internet sites. We have spent over 17 years living aboard and cruising our Mariner 40 ketch, Sea Trek. In the not to distant past, we sold her and after much soul searching decided a change in lifestyle and scenery was in order so the search was on for a new boat. We knew a trawler was in our future and after doing a lot of research and looking at a lot of boats we found a very well cared for 1980 Marine Trader 34. We have named her Beach House for Susan's love of the beach and the hopes that the view from our new house will always be pleasant. Our plans are to continue our lifestyle and to change our cruising grounds a bit and visit those inland lakes and rivers we never could with our sailboat.