picture of besom

Liveaboard vow #1 – in sickness and in health

Deciding to liveaboard is a bit like a marriage to a new lifestyle. Tamaha enchanted us from day one and we evolved in ways we really didn’t expect. While most of our metamorphosis and “aha” moments came via lessons learned the hard way – through mistakes and experience – I’m hoping that some of you may benefit from hindsight as I share our Liveaboard Vows over the next few days.

Vow #1 – I promise to take care of me

We cannot afford to get ill. We rely quite heavily on one another to keep things ticking over and working smoothly. When one of us is ill, everything is impacted including our ability to liveaboard Tamaha. That’s not so bad while we still have relatives living 50 miles away but what if it happens when we are cruising miles off the coast of anywhere?

As I mentioned yesterday in celebrate the small things, we moved aboard in the cold, dark depths of January. Kevin was so fired up he just put on an extra layer and worked every hour, in all weather conditions, to get Tamaha ship shape.

Kevin in hospital – Feb 2014

When he started coughing, I urged him to see a doctor, but as we were not registered with a local GP (see my post on registering for local services) he kept putting it off and carried on working. The cough got worse and worse. He couldn’t sleep and was hardly eating. When he had torn the muscles in his stomach from coughing and was struggling to breathe, he agreed to me calling an ambulance.

A ten day stint in hospital followed a diagnosis of pneumonia. A two week recuperation period at my mother-in-law’s was next, followed by even more weeks of slowly easing back to full health. I hadn’t been such a health angel myself and while Kevin was in hospital I struggled to manage the daily chores aboard Tamaha due to a chest infection.

The shock and pure awfulness of this episode quickly brought home the need to look after ourselves better. We learned to work with, instead of fighting against, mother nature. Winter has now become a time for us to acknowledge our achievements and plan for the future – a time to slow down and work to the rhythm of the season.

1930295_27510782540_2749_nThe first vow we made to our liveaboard lifestyle was,  “I promise to take care of me”. We stopped smoking and working outside in crazy, extreme temperatures. We take care to ensure that below decks is ALWAYS warm and dry – condensation is kept to the minimum. We follow a healthy diet and acknowledge instead of ignore our food intolerances. We get an annual flu jab and rest when we don’t feel great. I’m pleased to say that we both cruised through this last winter with nothing worse than a head cold and a few extra winter pounds.

You can follow the liveaboard blog by pushing the “follow blog” button below and you’ll get notifications of updates. I’d really love to hear from you too so please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts. If you’ve had any similar experience and can give advice on taking care of yourself as a liveaboard, please, please share with us. Have a great day x


6 thoughts on “Liveaboard vow #1 – in sickness and in health

  1. Comment on vow 1 Ventilation and combatting condensation is vitally important you must keep the boat dry cooking, breathing and bodily heat all create condensation, burning gas produces water as a by product. Ventilate, ventilate ventilate pleased kevin is Ok

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Many of Judy and my lessons on the boat have been learnt the hard way — through experience. However, when we live through those lessons it allows us to focus on related matters. In the Sea of Cortez, in he summer months, there is a weather phenomena called the Chubasco. It is something like a squall. We were heading down the Baja side of the Sea in the middle of summer 2014. We took an open anchorage in shallow water. Next morning, about 0600 a Chubasco blew in. I was sleeping in the cockpit because it was so hot so I wasn’t surprised. At this time it should have been getting light. It was pitch black. Lightening was breaking overhead. Rain was flying at us horizontally. We had winds in excess of 50 knots. The only thing we could make out was the surf breaking on the lee shore and, even though we were further away, that looked about 50 feet away. Because we were so close to the lee shore and in shallow water, less than 15 feet when we anchored, the boat was surfing in the breaking waves. That exercise made us reexamine our anchoring procedures. For instance, where possible, we will now anchor in 30 ft plus water even if that means a bit more distance to the shore.
    You are right on the money about health. Keeping yourself healthy on the boat is just so important. Living onboard has stresses that you will not find ashore. However, it sure has a lot of benefits that those people living on shore will not experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your contribution Wayne. That must have been pretty hairy! These are all things that we have still to experience so learning from you in advance of what to do and what not to do is so valuable (and not only to us). If you and Judy are interested in sharing more of your lessons learned, I’d love to hear from you for a series of guest blog posts I’d like to do with experienced cruisers/liveaboards. If you already have a blog, let me know and I’ll also link to it. Thank you again.


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