We live on an express cruiser that has two gas engines and all the comforts of home. We used to live on our boat part-time on Lake Travis outside of Austin, TX. That was for rookies. We decided to trade in our 3300 sf, two-car garage home for a more simple life on the water. We moved aboard our boat nine weeks ago and had it moved to Galveston Bay where we started the tiny house living journey of a lifetime.
We knew that living aboard was going to be different and we used to watch the show: Tiny House Living, with interest when we had a TV. “We could do that,” we thought and started to say aloud until our thoughts became reality and we boarded our 37-foot boat with our two kids and 90 lb. service dog named Onyx.
We’ve travelled over twelve hundred and fifty miles to reach the Florida Keys, where we will remain through November when the hurricane season is officially over. We are officially living the dream! I brought out the tape measure today and took the official measurement. 128 square feet of living space, down below. It should be noted that we don’t live on a small sailboat and we have as much air conditioning as we want. (as long as we are hooked up to electric or running the generator) Continue reading
Thanks to my bad memory, I already forgot this part of the journey. Luckily, I have a wife to remind me through her mean video editing. I hear Aubrey snickering and replaying certain parts of interviews she did with me on the boat in Lake Charles, LA. It was a sad time. My memory came back and I remember the fear I had when we just started out. I remember leaving Texas and not knowing a thing about true boat navigation, seamanship or how it works on the ocean. My beautiful wife created a video that was actually spot on, in terms of the sorrow of the first couple days. I still love her but I am planning my revenge.
Being a boat captain ain’t easy. At all. The learning curve is steep and now I realize why I go to bed taxed and exhausted most nights. I always wanted to live on a boat and I didn’t let my lack of experience stop me. I tired to learn everything I could on the Internet and by reading books but there is no substitute for real experience. I will always remember Lake Charles for the experienced I gained.
It’s been a couple of months of cruising for us now and I am still learning. I know this will be a lifelong process and I look forward to it. Enjoy the video because we did!
I was interviewed by Wikianswers and Answers.com about our choice to live aboard our boat and cruise the Caribbean for years in search of a new home. It was a great interview and I decided to publish it to my Caribbean Travel Blog to allow our readers to better understand why we made our choice and what it is like to live aboard our boat. Enjoy!
Robb, you live on your boat, the Miss Lone Star, with your wife and two children. Can you tell us what life is like living on a boat?
Living on a boat with the whole family is interesting each day! The live-aboard lifestyle is fun, relaxing, hectic and chaotic all at the same time. Living in a small space with a dog and two kids can be challenging but we make the most of it. We don’t have to remind ourselves that we are living the dream everyday but our pesky kids try to give us the business, when they get the chance. We are always busy until there is nothing to do. We take the time to share some of life’s greatest moments with each other and we have grown much closer as a family aboard our boat.
What influenced your decision to live on a boat?
I had the dream of living in the Caribbean since I was a kid. I dreamed of sailing the open sea and diving for pirate gold at the bottom of the ocean. I would catch lobsters with my bare hands someday! It was a kid dream that never died, in reality. We ultimately came to the radical decision of living on our boat because of a number of factors. School violence in the US is prevalent and early childhood education is spotty in schools. We thought we could do better but why do it from a home in a suburban neighborhood? We felt guilty for having a big house, multiple cars and too much stuff that we didn’t use. It made a lot of sense to keep only what we used daily or wanted forever. We actually save a ton of money living on a boat in the Caribbean compared to our everyday life in Austin, Texas. We are creating memories that are unreachable for many people and we felt the positives outweighed the unknown. Continue reading
tame your kids pile of art
I have been feverishly brainstorming on ways to continue to encourage my children’s love of art while living tiny, on a 37 foot cruiser yacht in the Caribbean. This is what I’ve come up with so far.
Precious project from school or pieces that have special meaning can be scanned or you can take a picture of your child holding their masterpiece. Bound into hard or soft covered book through a company like mpix.com or blurb. You can order multiple copies and send them as gifts to relatives.
Teach conservation early.
Keep them creating art in a journal. A month ago I bought my kids brand new journals. Before handing them over, we talked about where paper comes from. I told them that in order to make the paper that they color on, trees from the forest have to be cut down. I spoke to them a your recycling, and it turned out to be a great time for a lesson on our environment. I suggested that on thing they could do to help keep the squirrels in their homes would be to take their time when creating their art, quality is better than quantity. Now they carry around their journal and art supplies just like mommy for their day-to-day sketches. I also like to write some of their cute quotes and descriptions of their creations. This makes a huge difference in clutter and makes a great keepsake!
Smash Book for kids
When most of us think of a smash book we imagine a hot little mess. I do anyway, but really this is a great way for kids to keep many of their “specials” in the same place. Wondering what a smashbook is? It’s sn unplanned and on-the-move . No planning is required for making a smashbook. If there is a journey you want to record in a smashbook, you just start pasting pictures and other items on each page each day. A smashbook is a journal in which one pastes pictures, embellishments, memorabilia et al on the go.
Work in Progress
Put all work that is quick art in a work in progress bin, and encourage them to add to the works that still have room on them or color or paint on the back. My kids like to cut older pieces of their art up for new montages. Think outside the box
Make mosaics’ out of things in the house or on vacation and take a picture of what they have created. This is a great thing to do with shells, twigs and rocks, after you snap a picture and leave the clutter behind. I imagine this will end up being our art project of choice, living on a boat in the Caribbean where storage isn’t an option.
The First Mate of Miss Lone Star
Look and please touch, gearing up for home schooling at the Austin Aquarium. Hands on learning is the only way to fly as far as I’m concerned. There is nothing like looking at a dolphin in a text-book and knowing for sure that they’re skin feels just like a canned olive. Although there weren’t any dolphins here at the Austin Aquarium there were so many other things that you are encouraged to touch and even hold.
(This technique is called selective color. The reason I chose e to use this style is because inside of the aquarium the lighting is very poor for tack sharp images, then caused me to choose to use a high ISO, which then produced a grainer image. In my opinion these types of indoor images look great as a black and white BUT without the color of the bird the image loses some context.. So there you have it, the method behind the madness)