Lessons Learned Living on a Boat in Northern Europe

So far, as I learn something new every day;  I’m sure to keep on learning and  even on my last day on Earth,  I know I’ll learn something new;  like how I die!

Having kicked the cans down the road of Greece and the Ukraine, we can now talk about boats again.

So, what have I learned up to now living on Dauntless in Northern Europe:

Waterford has turned out to far exceed my expectations and at this point, it is hard to think that I could find a better place anywhere in Europe for next year.  I have 10 minute walk to the bus that whisks me to the airport in Dublin for only 20 Euros.  In NYC, it takes 90 minutes to go 12 miles and that includes three train changes, which means many staircases, up and down. (We got a man to the moon 50 years ago, but NYC still cannot keep an escalator running more than a day or two before it breaks down for three months).

The Waterford City Marina, being right downtown, has given me the best of all worlds.  On one hand, I am five minutes from downtown and only a 15 min walk to my favorite bakery and butcher.  Yet the dock itself is very secure with a gate that is electronically activated, but it also has a chain and lock, making it really secure.  The first few times I left Dauntless for any length of time, I was really nervous, but now only a little bit.

The people in Ireland are very nice, like Midwesterners, but with a NY attitude, meaning they are loud,  talk fast and curse a lot, and really nice in doing it and helpful all the time.

Having Julie in NY, Dublin is only a 6 hour plane ride away and the tickets are about 60% of the cost of flying to the continent.  So it’s terribly convenient and already, while I like exploring new places, for our next and last winter in Europe, I will be hard pressed to find someplace that has all that Waterford and Ireland offer.

I’m fluent in the language, for the most part.  There have been a few times, that not understanding something and having them repeat it three times, I am still clueless and just hope for the best at that point.  The first time this happened, one of the passengers on the bus could tell that I did not understand and explained in words I could understand.

I haven’t gotten run over yet crossing the street, only because I look in both directions three, that’s 3 times, before I step off the curb.  And every time I do, I think of all of those who thought crossing the Atlantic was dangerous.  I’m far more likely to die crossing the street here.

The Lexan storm windows that Julie, Richard and I made and installed in the last days and hours in Rhode Island, have really made a difference.  While on the ocean they gave us peace of mind, since I have been here, I am so pleased that they really insulate the boat.  Dauntless is far warmer, having the double pane up.  In addition, I so not have any condensation problems, as the glass windows stay just warm enough.  Two of the storm windows in the pilot house are 4 inches short, and it that one spot, I do get some condensation on really cold days.  Well, I did, but have not seen any in two months.

Even without the Wallas heater, this Krogen stays warm and dry.  I have been using a little 2000 watt electric heater when I am on the boat.  But I have been so pleased that I do not have the dampness and condensation problems I have read about by many who live on their boats in the winter.

I have like 10 lines on the boat, all 5/8” thick.   The Fastnet boat docked behind me, a steel boat used to ferry crew to the oil platforms, about the same size as Dauntless, has 4 lines, and they are not even ½”, probably 3/8”.

I suppose that’s the difference between docking a boat that is also our home and a work boat.

 

 

Published by Richard on Dauntless

I’m an eclectic person, who grew up in New York, lived overseas for many years and have a boat, Dauntless, a 42 foot Kadey Krogen trawler yacht. Dauntless enables me to not only live in many different parts of the world, but to do it in a way that is interesting, affordable, with the added spice of a challenge. Dauntless also allows me to be in touch with nature. As the boat glides through the ocean, you have a sense of being part of a living organism. When dolphins come to frolic, they stay longer if you are out there talking to them, watching them. Birds come by, sometimes looking for a handout; sometimes grateful to find a respite from their long journey. I grew up on the New York waterfront, in the West Village, when everything west of Hudson St. was related to shipping and cargo from around the world. For a kid, it was an exciting place of warehouses, trucks, and working boats of all kinds: tugs and the barges and ships, cargo and passenger, they were pushing around. My father was an electrical engineer, my mother an intellectual, I fell in between. I have always been attracted to Earth’s natural processes, the physical sciences. I was in 8th grade when I decided to be a Meteorologist. After my career in meteorology, my natural interest in earth sciences: geology, astronomy, geography, earth history, made it a natural for me to become a science teacher in New York City, when I moved back to the Big Apple. Teaching led to becoming a high school principal to have the power to truly help kids learn and to be successful not only in school but in life. Dauntless is in western Europe now. In May and June, I will be wrapping up the last two years in northern Europe, heading south to spend the rest of the year in Spain & Portugal. Long term, I’m planning on returning to North American in the fall of 2017 and from there continuing to head west until we’re in Northeast Asia, Japan and South Korea, where we will settle for a bit. But now, my future lies not in NY or even Europe, but back to the water, where at night, when the winds die down, there is no noise, only the silence of the universe. I feel like I am at home, finally.

One thought on “Lessons Learned Living on a Boat in Northern Europe

  1. Just thinking how lucky you are to be living the dream in the land of the leprechaun. It’s coming up on St. Patty’s Day here and it made me think of you guys. I’ll be sure to tip a Guinness to you!
    George

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