Moving Aboard—What Do You Really Need?





I’ve always wanted to live on a sailboat and cruise to white sand beaches and aqua blue water destinations.  I wasn’t worried about the details of what to bring and what to leave behind because I am a “get rid of it” person.  My husband, not so much.  Compromise, compromise, compromise.

We’re newbie liveaboards so we’re learning as we go.


At first we had enough flatware to host a dinner party for 12, only our table only comfortably seats two; everyone else gets to eat in the cockpit.  We sat down and sorted through all of our galley drawers, got rid of a large box of redundant items and things just don’t work.  Like that baking pan that would never fit in our little force 10 oven or the silver plated pickle fork that aunt Mabel gave to us.  Pro Tip: If you have an electric kitchen knife keep it.  It’s really good for cutting foam for mattresses or cushions!


Brian insisted on bringing our huge flat screen from home on board despite my pleas to sell it because it was a power-sucker and took up a whole wall in our cabin, besides it would never last in the rough weather that tends to be prevalent around here in Morro Bay, California.  The thing lasted about three weeks and then came crashing down, despite the large mounting screws he had used, ruining the screen.  We now have a much smaller smart tv, that suffices quite well for the few movies we stream on it. It’s also easy to stow, thank God!

We have two bluetooth speaker systems for music.  Our GOAL ZERO is a solar unit that plugs in with a USB.  It is water resistant and we can hang it up in the cockpit and not worry about it getting damaged when banged around a bit and it only costs around $24 USD.  We also have a Bose Sound Mini Link for better quality sound and those romantic dinners by candlelight.  (I bring out my skort for these special occasions).


This can be a tough one, especially if you are used to having a huge and versatile wardrobe. Continue reading “Moving Aboard—What Do You Really Need?”

On the Hook in Port San Luis


The small harbor of Port San Luis is located adjacent to Avila Beach, a quintessential California beach town.  It is also the closest harbor to our home port of Morro Bay, at a distance of just under 20 nm.  Our schedule suddenly opened up on July 5th, since the 4th was on a Wednesday this year, and it broke up our usual weekly list of things to get done—we’re still preparing the boat for cruising and adding to our kitty.   The biggest draw is the weather, Avila is much warmer than the summer fog of Morro Bay. 65 degrees in Morro Bay equals 90ish in Avila.

We had an uneventful downhill sail on a beautiful day, enjoying the rugged coast line of Montana de Oro,  Point Buchon and being careful to stay off Diablo Canyon Nuclear power plant by at least a mile.  The dogs settled in nicely,  as the seas were fairly calm for the area. It was about a 4 hour trip, arriving well before the sun set.

We decided to anchor instead of moor, to save the $17/day for the guest moorings, and also to enjoy the quiet solitude of being further out from port.  After staying there a few days and shuttling the dogs in our dinghy, I think we’ll pay the mooring fee next time.  Continue reading “On the Hook in Port San Luis”

Hiking the Sand Spit in Morro Bay

Hiking the Sand Spit, March-Sept (snowy plover protection period)
*This is the North end of the Morro Bay sand spit and not part of the State Park.  Access by water.*

I’ve got itchy feet. I’ve always been short on patience, but we are “stuck” here in “Beautiful Morro Bay” until the boat and we are cruise ready.  That’s what the locals call it , “Beautiful Morro Bay.”  It’s a tiny hamlet on the central coast of California with a small fishing fleet, a narrow channel of moored boats, some in better shape than others.  Don’t get me wrong, I like Morro Bay, I’m just not in love with it. I long for aqua clear waters and white sand beaches and warmth.  (Ask me again when we’re sweltering in the Sea of Cortez about the warmth thing, I’m sure I’ll have a different perspective).   It’s our first summer on the boat here and it has been cold and foggy.  The water is too cold to swim in.  We light the diesel heater every night. In. July.  Granted, I could drive for 45 minutes to Paso Robles where it’s 104, but there is no water there, so I regularly take this hike with the dogs and thought I would share it with you so that if you find yourself here waiting for weather, or just enjoying the surroundings you can get away from the crowds on the Embarcadero.   Continue reading “Hiking the Sand Spit in Morro Bay”

Installing and Maintaining A Dickenson Newport Deisel Heater

Installing the Dickinson Diesel Heater

I bet you never thought about how to heat a boat.   No?  Yes? Anyway, before moving aboard our sailboat we decided it was a must have.  After all, we’re living in a vessel surrounded by cold water, we’re talking fifty or so degrees, and the air temperature doesn’t get too high here on the Central Coast of California.  Need heat.  Need cozy. 

We decided on a Newport Dickinson Diesel Bulkhead heater.

It’s a great little heater with a glass door that you can see the flame. Sweet!  Continue reading “Installing and Maintaining A Dickenson Newport Deisel Heater”

We’re Not Normal—By Choice!












We know we’re not normal.  We’ve chosen this lifestyle at an age where most people are looking forward to a quiet retirement, spending time with the grandchildren and enjoying the comfort that their earnings provide. Our life is nothing like that, nope, not gonna happen. 

We moved aboard our Sailboat, the Jessie Marie in April of 2018  Continue reading “We’re Not Normal—By Choice!”