Living aboard a cruising boat
Hello upcoming Blown Away guest(s)! You are reading this because you are considering a visit to our floating home! We are really looking forward to having you aboard. But, first we need to address the pink elephant on the flamingo floatie. Visiting a boat is a completely different experience to visiting a house and we want to do all we can to manage your expectations, communicate about how to prepare for your visit, and assign you some homework (we were educators in our former lives)! Who said visiting the Councill's would be easy? Please be prepared to spend about 45 minutes reading this page, watching two videos, and reviewing the packing checklist. It's important to do all of this BEFORE you book your flight ticket(s) because we want you to be BLOWN AWAY by your visit!
Please watch this very entertaining and informative video from experienced cruisers about how not to be a guest from hell.
COMING ABOARD BLOWN AWAY... WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Unless you are an experienced, live-aboard sailor, visting us on Blown Away will not resemble visiting a house on land. At a house, most people know how things work and enjoy an unlimited supply of power, water, and wifi; flushing a toilet and taking a shower do not require any brain activity, and good weather is not paramount to a great visit. BUT, life on a boat is completely different with all kinds of new systems and ways of doing things that need explanation and intentionality on your part.
Something as seemingly simple as showering or using the toilet requires its own orientation and training. Nothing sets the tone for an adventure like a full-on toilet training with adults! Our mantra for toilet training is, "If it didn't come out of you, it don't go down the loo." But, more on that later.
It’s a lot to think about and review but, if we do a good job of communicating and setting realistic expectations, then your visit should be fully enjoyable and you should ace the "Visiting Blown Away" written exam....just kidding, there's no exam!
Traveling and living full-time on a sailboat is an incredible experience and we’re super excited to share it with you; it's literally the greatest and hardest thing we have ever done and our hope is that you will gain an appreciation for the surrounding beauty and simplicity of life AS WELL AS the ever present challenges of a floating home.
Watch this next video starting at 5:01 until the end to see what the Wynn's have learned from visiting family and friends.
Please understand this is not us trying to scare you out of coming as we would not have extended the invitation. We really want you to come join us, but we also want to make sure we all like each other when you leave.
So, we believe that brutal honesty is the best way forward. Read everything thoroughly and take some notes on any concerns or questions you might have. We would be happy to talk things over with you!
THE CAPTAIN RULES
Brown and I are the acting captains of our ship and the captain always gets the final say. Period. We are liable for our vessel and for the safety of every passenger. It’s a great responsibility and one we take seriously. Safety is always the first priority.
WE’RE OFF THE GRID
We have limited resources that we carefully manage. The sun provides our electricity, but the sun doesn’t shine all the time. You must be cautious about using anything that requires electricity and unplug when something is charged. We encourage you to leave high voltage electronics at home like blow dryers, flat irons, etc. Enjoy a little wind blown hair drying!
We turn sea water into drinking water and that is no small feat. We take quick (sometimes room temperature) marine (get wet, turn off water, soap up, rinse off) showers. We use water, but do so thoughtfully. We do our best to conserve water because it is a limited resource.
We use propane to cook things in the oven and on the stove top. We have two canisters on board which is more than enough for our cooking needs. We can teach you how to use the system, but we are careful to turn off the gas after each use.
Trash can build up with a lot of guests on board. We hold onto every piece of trash, load it up in the dinghy and then find somewhere to properly dispose of it once arrive on land. The goal is to try and create as little trash as possible. We use very few paper towels (our goal is one roll per year) and avoid buying things with lots of packaging or discard the packaging prior to returning to the boat. Please help us minimize our carbon footprint.
We enjoy eating out, but we cook 95% of our meals on board and 'Brown and serve' loves to make a big event out of it. Prepping, cooking, and cleaning up take an enormous amount of time and energy so we will ask for each boatie to support the process in some way; don't worry, we will discuss this when you arrive to ensure your level of comfort. If possible, we will try to provision prior to your arrival, so please inform us if you have dietary needs and we will do our best to fulfill them. We like to eat healthy, balanced meals, but not every location provides every food group. If you have specific foods that you must or want to consume on a daily basis (i.e. chocolate, sweets, etc.), please bring them with you.
Some boat parts or other items are really difficult to obtain and/or are quadruple the price we would pay in the United States. Every visitor to the boat will be asked to carry items for us. In some cases, they might fit in your suitcase, but they may also require an additional bag to check. We thank you in advance for agreeing to help us in this way.
Toilets are called heads on a boat, and while very different from what you are used to, they are nothing to fear...as long as you ONLY flush down the loo what comes out of you. Toilet paper and sanitary napkins are thrown into a plastic bag in your trash can. We try to change the trash bag only once/week to reduce the plastic waste. When you use the marine toilet, your bodily deposits go into a holding tank which can only be emptied when we are 3+ miles out to sea. It gives new meaning to feeding the fish!
EXPECTATIONS ARE EVIL
Expectations and schedules can be a joy killer. If you come with an open mind, prepared for anything, we will have a great time!
Your cabin will sometimes feel cramped and your personal space will be small. Sometimes it’s hot, wet, cold or all around miserable weather. Other times it’s like something out of a dream, with perfect, clear, blue skies and turquoise water. Think of it like camping on the sea with a really, really nice tent.
Being cooped up in a small space will cause us, at some point, to get irritated with each other. There will also be indescribable moments of connection and bonding. No matter what, at the end of the journey, we will have stories worthy of sharing for years to come.
THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE
We typically stay at anchor because it’s free, offers the most privacy, provides cool, evening breezes which make sleeping comfortable, and is usually the most scenic. Your lovely cabin room complete with ocean view is provided by us. A lot of our entertainment and adventures will be based around nature and also free.
WE SPEAK MARINER
It is important you know some of the boat lingo basics before you come aboard. It’s for safety reasons and we also want to encourage your growth as a sailor. Familiarize yourself with the following terms and know what they mean so that we are not speaking Greek to you.
Port & starboard
Galley, Salon, Cockpit, Cabin, Head
Forward & Aft
Bow & Stern
Bonus points and special treats if you know how to tie a Bowline & Clove Hitch before you come on board.
NO SMOKE SIGNALS
There is no smoking on Blown Away. You’ll have to go to land or be willing to risk burning a hole in your floatie while you puff away in the ocean. Not that any of our guests would ever consider this, but we still feel it’s important to say: DO NOT bring any illegal drugs on board. As the boat owners, we are responsible for anything on board and we would be the ones hauled off to prison and the boat will be seized. This situation would completely ruin your visit as well as our lives.
LAST, BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST…
We’re going sailing and this trip is going to be an experience of a lifetime, as you venture into our amazing water world! There will be wind, water, swimming, diving, fishing, snorkeling, free diving, and you will get wet. Please be sure to read over our sailboat packing list so you don’t forget anything important or bring more than you need.
We look forward to your being BLOWN AWAY!
Eileen & Brown