March 2024: Behind the Scenes

Between our YouTube Channel and our blog, we share a lot of our life on the water. However, there are always things that go undocumented. Over the years, we have met plenty of new liveaboards who feel like they were “duped” into this lifestyle by its romanticized portrayal on social media. In our experience, living full-time on a boat is expensive, it is hard work, and it is time-consuming. Is it worth it? For us, yes. Is it worth it for you? I’m not sure!

So, in an effort to paint a more realistic picture of boat life, here is a bullet-point list of things we dealt with in March 2024:

  • Ray washed the boat once.
  • I paid $75 to visit a dermatologist in Panama City for a full-body skin check (all healthy!).
  • We spent ~$40 per night to stay on a dock at Vista Mar Marina. 
  • While sitting in the saloon one afternoon, we lost shore power. There didn’t seem to be anything wrong with the power supply, so Ray began investigating and quickly discovered a melted breaker in the access panel in our closet. We perform regular inspections of our electrical system, so this must have happened recently despite it being a high-quality breaker running far below its threshold. After a closer look, Ray found a loose connection presumably caused by the heat shrink, which extends too close to the ring (so when the bolt with a lock washer was tightened down, the washer was over the heat shrink). When it heated up (this is the first time we’ve used shore power since the system was installed), the heat shrink shrunk, causing the connection to become loose. This allowed the electrical current to fluctuate, causing power surges that ultimately damaged the breaker. We purchased a replacement breaker at Abernathy’s for ~$50. Ray cut back the damaged portion of the wire, trimmed some heat shrink off the new connectors, and installed the new breaker. 
  • Our head’s water intake was clogged by jellyfish once, and our AC intake four times. During an upwelling event, the marina became infested with jellyfish. At any time of day, there were at least ten jellyfish in our slip alone! Ray had to pull them out of the strainer by hand and was stung a few times during the process.
  • We completed our dry goods provision for our upcoming passage and remote cruising. Including first aid, hygiene products, dried and canned goods, we spent $2,000.00. Let me know if you would like to see our list in a separate post!
  • While conducting a routine pre-departure inspection, Ray discovered the block for our mainsail needed to be replaced. So, we spent several days searching for one to purchase here in Panama. Not only were we unable to find the one we were looking for, we could not find a single block anywhere. Despite being a popular stop for sailboats, the marine supply stores in Panama are geared toward sport fishing vessels. Luckily, we connected with a fellow sailor who was flying in from the States sooner than it would take to ship one. He was able to purchase the block we were looking for for $500 and bring it to us! 
  • I shimmied out onto the dinghy davits to polish the solar arch. 
  • The curtains that came with the boat are professionally pleated, and as an iron-free household, we have no way to re-pleat them if we throw them in the washing machine. Even if we could get our hands on an iron, we have been told pleating them ourselves wouldn’t hold up in the humidity like professional pleats do. I’ve spot-cleaned them for years, but they are getting gross and need a good wash. I’ve begun removing them one by one, using dish soap + water + vinegar with a scrub brush, working in small sections, and wiping the excess moisture off with a towel as I go to preserve the pleats. It has been a pain in the ass and will take me ages to finish. 
  • We paid $650.00 for one year with a new weather router for the South Pacific. 
  • After going through 3 inflatable paddle boards (one exploded in our cockpit), we finally decided to invest in one rigid board. We purchased it at Plaia Shop in Panama City for ~$1,000.00.
  • We dropped the dinghy and started her up for the first time in over a month. The spark plugs needed to be replaced, so we swapped them out with the spares we had on board. 

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6 comments / Add your comment below

  1. It is a lot of work!! Most will never understand! It just does not stop!! Thanks for sharing!! Cheers

  2. i will trade all of that for the snow predicted the next few days. But at least i am in a nice warm house with electricity and no jelly fish.

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