Friday, January 23, 2015

A whole year without...

There honestly isn't much I miss of accepted home comforts during this life we're living on Impetuous. What people who live in houses in the western world take for granted doesn't appeal to me. I don't dream of central heating or cooling, TVs, cars, limitless electricity or piped hot and cold water.

Catching our own fish and water, using only what power is produced by our solar panels, doing our own laundry by hand and finding what we can, without spending too much, comes naturally to me as someone who likes to live frugally and pay attention to our environment.

I don't find being out of contact a wrench, although I'm learning that almost having internet or patchy phone contact is much more frustrating than none at all. I love the way that if we have a problem we have to rely on ourselves to sort it out. Risk is assessed in a slightly different way when you don't have the safety nets we're used to.

I don't wish our life was easier either. I actually really enjoy rowing ashore and finding out how we will organise water, gas or recycling in each new place.  Looking around to find the cheapest shops and hunting out markets for fresh stuff or even better finding what is growing wild is never a chore but an engaging way to spend our time.

We both equally choose not to have an outboard motor, or expensive electronics such as chart plotter, autopilot, radar, watermaker, or electrical anchor winch; our 'raison d'etre' is not for our life to be as easy as possible (or for that matter to be as hard as possible) it just comes naturally to both Duncan and I to relish some challenges in our lives. We're young and need to do exercise. Pulling up the anchor chain, lugging about water jugs, rowing, walking or cycling about keeps us happy and healthy.

Nor do I long to stay in a marina in order to use the facilities. This year (February 2014 in Guatemala to January 2015 here in New Zealand) we have stayed in a marina a grand total of one night. This was Shelter Bay in Colon, Panama and cost us over $50 US for one night; we hated it. As soon as we found out there was an anchorage possible instead, we moved there.

We're not purists; we have a very efficient fridge which we can make ice in, two cheap ($200) computers and a diesel engine on our boat but in short I'm extremely content with exactly what we have on Impetuous and if I felt something was lacking I'd be working on sorting it out. Having said all this there is one thing that I have really been missing this whole year whilst we've been away from the UK...  

For an entire year I have not experienced the shear unbridled joy of a long, luxurious hot bath.

That is, until last night when we anchored off Smokehouse bay on Great Barrier island. In this bay, for free community use by any boater is a bathhouse. Built by Eric Webster and maintained by his family and the community which uses it. There is a smokehouse to prepare your fish, a campfire area with benches, tree swings, mangles and washing lines, an area to dry out your boat for maintenance on the tide and best of all the bathhouse. It's a simple system with rainwater caught from the roof, a fire with a backboiler outside which gravity feed heats a big hot water tank inside. A beautiful cast iron bath in a lovely clean, spacious yet cosy room. The water was copious and boiling hot after tending the fire for a few hours.

The joy; I cannot tell you...      


sofu branchi said...

sorry for my broken english!!!!i like what you wrote!!!!that s why we are happy on board!!!!enjoy!!!for us it s finish for a time we have sol the boat yesterday, now we go to south island by car!!we will be happy to see you again!!have fun.sophie and bernic

Mike Wagoner said...

As always we enjoy each and every word of your postings. We do hope you will not abandon the internet for fear we will never hear from Impetuous Too and Ruth and Duncan again!!! I think your lifestyle choices are special and Ruby and I often talk about how simple our life was when we lived in New Zealand in the 60s. We are always trying to simplify our lives here in Seabrook but old habits are hard to break though we have had some successes!! Keep up the simple but adventurous lifestyle as long as your health will allow - you will never regret it. As always we have a special appreciation of your postings and send a sincere thanks - Mike & Ruby

Anonymous said...

Another great blog post! I love seeing a new blog from you appear in my in-box. Everything you say about exercise, and requiring so little to live a happy and healthy life is true. However, you have made me very envious this morning!! We're spending this winter in a marina (so we can work) but I'm eager to get back on the hook in a few weeks time. I go for a walk early every morning along the beautiful beach front in time for the sunrise. I must have slept funny last night - my neck and shoulder ache and for my entire walk this morning I've been fantasising about a hot bath. I come home, turn on my computer and not only do you tell me about your bath, you show me a photo of a bathroom that looks like sheer heaven!! I am green with envy.

We spent a week once at Mayflower marina in Plymouth. It has a bath. The memories linger still!!

Happy simple sailing xx (PS...I found Jon sentiments exactly)

Mark Roope said...

All of what you say about frugal living is so true.
We have been living aboard for 5 years whilst we cruise and we do not miss those things we could not previously live without one bit.
Enjoy sailing, enjoy life.
Loved the blog