A few frequently asked questions (and check back often–we’ll be adding to these):
8. Where will you be spending Thanksgiving? We have reservations for Belle Bateau at the Skull Creek Marina on Hilton Head Island. And friends Will and Susan in nearby Sun City are hosting Thanksgiving dinner at their house (and we get the guest room!). Cheryl’s sons, Philippe and Jean-Luc, will drive down from their apartment in NC to join us. We are sooooo looking forward to it!
7. Are you able to get TV stations? Actually, most times and places we are. That’s been a bit surprising. We only have an antenna, and aren’t paying for cable, and yet, we get to watch most of the limited shows we follow. That said, we have missed a few Ravens games (if they weren’t on Monday Night Football). But with the season we’re having, that’s not a tragedy (although their record is a tragedy).
6. What do you do with all of that free time, since you aren’t working? You’re kidding, right? It’s a boat, and needs constant attention. And being at the helm often requires two sets of eyes. Finding time to write and sketch is tough. If we are on a easy passage, I usually ask Dudley if he’s okay with doing a longer shift at the helm so I can grab some time to be creative. Otherwise, we try to anchor or dock by mid-afternoon so we have time to do chores and maybe, just maybe, relax and do something fun. At least, that’s the general schedule for now. Days spent at a marina waiting out weather are usually the days we borrow a car or use Uber to provision, find a hardware store, do laundry, fix the boat, etc. So that free time isn’t quite as free as you may have think.
5. Is there a way to track you? We are on AIS (Automated Identification System), a system used by ships and vessel traffic services to identify and locate other vessels. Go to marinetraffic.com and search for Belle Bateau. Just know that the position is often WAY behind where we really are. As I write this, we are docked in Wrightsville Beach NC but AIS has us north of Surf City. So AIS will give you an approximate location. We are still trying to determine why it isn’t more accurate.4. What are you enjoying the most, thus far? Cheryl: Meeting amazing people, being so close and dependent on nature, seeing our country from the water rather than speeding along in a car, our reduced carbon footprint, taking a break from work. And time to sketch and practice the guitar.
3. What do you miss the most? Cheryl: My exercise routine, my Aeron chair, reliable wifi, long hot showers, having a car, listening to music while driving a car, not having to tiptoe when the other person is sleeping (you can hear EVERYTHING on a boat), finding a place to have a private conversation.
2. How do you do your banking? We do everything electronically, including mobile deposits for checks.
1. What do you do about mail? We use an Annapolis mailing address as our legal residence. Junk mail is discarded. Mail is scanned and emailed to us twice/week. Anything that we physically need to have gets forwarded to us, once we know where we’ll be hanging for a few days. And if it sounds like heaven to have someone sort your mail for you, it is. Even landlubbers can use this service. Food for thought.