FOR THE LOVE OF BOATING – BY ELLIN CURLEY

I used to love traveling. I liked getting to stay in new places every night. I liked not being at home, not having to worry about dishes — and what to make for dinner.

Then we got a boat.

I learned the joys of traveling WITH your home. Now, it’s the only way I want to travel.

On the boat, there’s almost no packing or unpacking. Your “stuff” is always with you. You have your comfy chair, your high def TV. You can bring your dogs – and that’s a biggie for us. We like having our dogs with us when we explore new places. Besides, it gets expensive leaving them home with the dog sitter.

It gets complicated with the dogs when we drop anchor outside of a marina, which always has easy access to dog walking areas. When we’re “on the hook”, we have to load the dogs into our dinghy (think big inflated canvas rowboat) and drive them to a place on land where they can do their business.

It’s an adventure. The dogs love it, but it can get old at 11:00 at night or 6:00 in the morning.

Another thing I like about traveling with my house is that it comes with a fully stocked kitchen. We don’t have to stop what we’re doing three times a day to figure out where to eat. We can grab something simple for breakfast and lunch and just go out for a nice dinner when we feel like it. We can also cook on board, which is fun, or even grill on the dock since most marinas provide grills. It’s easier on the pocketbook and the waistline, too, especially if you’re away for more than a few days.

Traveling by boat suits our lifestyle. Even on vacation, we’re homebodies. We like to sit and read. Tom likes to play his video games or watch old movies. It’s so much nicer doing that on the water than in a hotel room, even a nice one. We’ve stayed in some wonderful condos. At best, a hotel or condo may feel like home. When we’re on our boat, we always feel like we’re on vacation.

That’s the best thing about our boat. We can go sit on it, in our marina, going nowhere, and still feel like we’re light years away from everyday life. It’s magical. I love the sounds of the water and the seagulls, the gentle rocking of the boat, the lapping of the waves. I love watching the water. It looks different at various times of day when the sun hits it at different angles.

I love watching the birds and the other boats too. And there’s the smell of the sea. You’re in a whole other world when you’re on the water.

Our marina has a swimming pool, picnic tables, grills, and a restaurant. It’s ideal for entertaining, so we do most of our entertaining at the dock. We take friends out for a ride up the Housatonic River or out to Long Island Sound. Then we come back to the dock for appetizers, drinks, and dinner. It’s a perfect set-up for a perfect day.

The 2017 boating season is just starting. It’s Tom’s favorite time of year – he has six whole months of boating ahead of him. When the boat comes out of the water in November, Tom goes into a form of emotional hibernation until the next season begins.

This was taken in January. The temperature that day was 75 degrees! In January!

So we’re at the start of Tom’s life cycle. Here’s to 2017 — on the water!

21 thoughts on “FOR THE LOVE OF BOATING – BY ELLIN CURLEY

    • I think for most people, the trick is to do something that takes you out of your daily routine. For us, driving half an hour to the dock does it for us. For others, driving to the woods is the change of pace they need.

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  1. I have often wondered about having a small RV so we could take our dogs, too. The problem is that they are SO expensive to drive … and neither one of us likes maneuvering a really big vehicle. The dogs loom very large in our lives, too. Sitters are not only expensive, but difficult to find … at least ones that don’t have a horde of friends you wouldn’t want in your house. They rent RVs in several places around here and we have thought about it. I guess we should keep thinking 😀

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    • RV’s are similar to boats in a lot of ways. But for me, part of the romance is being on the water. Hooking your mobile house up in the woods is too much like being at home. However, it does solve the problem of what to do with the dogs when you go on vacation.

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      • Garry likes the water, but I can’t even begin to imagine him dealing with all the issues of a boat. Honestly, I can’t imagine him dealing with the issues of an RV, either. He is not handy. This is why we tend to keep it simple.

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  2. Ellin, one of the highlights of our year is our summer boat day with you and Tommy/Pancho.

    Usually, we get decent weather and I can lie up top, dozing, dreaming and working on my tan.

    I usually have my “Key Largo” fantasy moments here. I’m Bogie/Frank McCleod waiting for Eddie G/Johnny Rocco to come top side with guns blazing.

    I’m looking forward to this summer’s boat visit. I’m ready for Johnny Rocco. My gun is quick.

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    • Lexi and our old dog, Lucky, loved the boat. This year we have to train our new puppy to live on the boat with us. She’s very fearful so I’m worried about all the new things she’ll find to be afraid of! She should adjust though. She’s much calmer at home now and loves to be wherever we are. We just hope she doesn’t love the water so much that she wants to jump into it whenever she sees it!

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      • Yes, I had a crazed water loving dog who almost went over a really big waterfall. After that, I never let him off lead when there was water around. He would just jump right in, regardless of any possible danger.

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  3. Nice boat! Fancier and more comfy looking than my grandfather’s or my parents’, but I still loved the unique life of living on the water by the bay. I miss going out there.

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    • You put your finger on it when you said “the unique life of living on the water”. That’s the key. It’s living in a relatively small space and being on the water. The miniature set up is very comforting for some reason, as is the water. It is a unique experience, especially if you are at anchor, floating in a harbor or in a bay, cut off from land all together.

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