Staying Afloat on Land

Friends, family, strangers, strange friends and family,

Greetings once again from beautiful Ketchikan, Alaska!


See. I told you it was beautiful!

It’s been a long time since I’ve written about our life afloat. So long, in fact, that we’re no longer even afloat! Not to worry- we didn’t sink. We just don’t live on a boat anymore and actually haven’t for quite some time.

Long story short- my handsome boat mate Rob and I moved off the boat when he purchased a commercial fishing boat that needed to live in the spot where we lived. I wrote about our journey going to get the boat in Juneau. You can read about it here if you missed it. Basically, there was only 1 stall for 2 boats so one boat had to go. So we decided to make the move to solid ground and since then, except when Rob’s out fishing, we’ve been living the cushy, land life.

You know the one.

The one where you have a normal size fridge with plenty of room for all of your sauces. The one where you have a real bathroom and a dresser. The one where you can have bananas.

Yeah- that one.

And when I say we moved off the boat, I don’t mean, like, last weekend. I mean like nearly 3 years ago. So it appears we have some catching up to do!

After we moved off the boat, I wasn’t sure how to continue the blog so I just…didn’t.

I had always intended to transition it to something else but just…didn’t.

But I have longed to write again. So I just…did.

And for you, dear reader, I really think I can still come up with ways to twist the details of our life in Alaska to hopefully make it interesting enough to read. I’m at least going to try! If nothing else, I will be honest. And honestly (see, I’m being honest already!) that should be interesting.


To give a little more background on why I really decided to give this whole blog thing another go, I recently started listening to a podcast called “The Minimalists” which is run by 2 thirtysomething year old guys who in their late 20s decided to try this thing called “minimalism.” In short, it’s the idea of owning fewer material possessions in order to devote more time to the things you value. Kind of like owning fewer things so fewer things own you.

A lot of the ideas behind minimalism actually align with our former life afloat. Living on a boat, you are somewhat forced to own fewer things, and it’s an aspect of boat living that Rob and I always actually liked.

I won’t go into too much detail about it but if you’re interested, here’s their website: And the podcast is free on iTunes!

Aside from their ideas about material possessions, one of the things these guys talk about in the podcast is how you choose to spend your time and how it should align with your values. So it’s made me ask myself questions like- am I spending time doing things that I value? among other heavy stuff.

Well, remember the part where I said I would try to make my life sound interesting?

This is not that part. This is the part where I drop an honesty bomb for you, reader. This is the part where I admit to you an ugly truth which is that all too often lately I have found myself spending hours on end doing something affectionately called “online window shopping.”

For those of you who are better people than me and are unfamiliar with this idea, I don’t mean shopping online for windows. No, no. Online window shopping is where one spends hours online perusing but not actually buying anything. And then after those hours, you’re like, “Well, I didn’t buy anything so there’s nothing wrong with it!” It somehow feels like an accomplishment to spend hours shopping and not actually spend money. In reality though, if I at least bought something, then it technically wouldn’t be such a huge waste of time.

What I have to say to this past time is “F@*# you, Amazon Prime!”

But no, I’m only joking- thank you Amazon Prime for shipping free to Alaska. Thank you for all you do. Please don’t ever stop.

In all seriousness though, one of the things that I’ve started to question more is how I spend my time versus how I spend my money. I’ve always justified this practice with the fact that I don’t really spend a lot of money. Therefore it’s always seemed pretty harmless. When realistically what I should be looking at is how I’m spending my time.

  • Do I have money to spend on things that I find online. Yeah, sure. To an extent.
  • Do I have time to spend on it? Well, yeah. Apparently I do because I just said I do it.
  • Should I have the time to spend on it? Nope. I definitely should not.

And that’s where the issue lies for me. I truly want to try to spend some time doing more of what I love and value including writing and art making. Don’t we all want to spend more time doing things we enjoy? But too often we (yes, probably you too, I’m assuming) get caught up in the idea that we “don’t have time” for things. I could say I don’t have time to write. I could say I don’t have time to paint. But often what we’re really saying when we “don’t have time” is that it’s not a priority. For example- I have time to wash my bed sheets more often. I just don’t want to. Because making the bed sucks. Fitted sheets are the worst. It’s just not really a priority for me.

That’s an easy example though. It’s more difficult for me to say, “I don’t write or make art more often because it’s not a priority to me.” But my actions have shown that I’m certainly not prioritizing things that I value and that’s a truth I’m trying to change.

In the next few weeks and months, I hope to not only take on some more creative endeavors but also to catch you up to where we are now in life and some past adventures that you’ve missed. This includes exciting things like a brief stint abroad, Rob fishing on his commercial fishing boat, and a new fishing boat in the works. There might be even more not so exciting things like living out of suitcases and coming back from your brief stint abroad to find mold in your car.

So here’s to more boats, more writing, honesty bombs, and just trying to stay afloat.



The Kitchen Situation

As I sit here writing this post, dinner is simmering on the stovetop and it seemed like a perfect opportunity to reflect on the many adventures of boat cooking. I’d like to say that I’m in the clear for dinner tonight, but with boat cooking, you’re never really in the clear until the food is on the plate. Because boat cooking is hard. Boat cooking makes me so frustrated sometimes that I feel like ripping my hair out and eating that instead because it would be easier than boat cooking. The kitchen situation/lack of kitchen situation has probably been the most challenging thing about living on a boat. Some boat kitchens are probably really nice and very normal, but our “kitchen” consists of a small countertop, a mini fridge, a sink (no hot water though), some cabinets for food storage, and various small appliances that are jammed into a little cubby hole because there’s not enough room for them to actually stay on the counter.

the boat "kitchen"

the kitchen situation

Over the past few months on the boat, I’ve perfected many techniques in boat cooking but not without much trial and much more error. Don’t get me wrong, my handsome boatmate and I eat some pretty delicious meals and have an abundance of fresh seafood to dine one. Somehow, it always works out, but not without the occasional breakdown and shedding of tears. I’m not even kidding- I have actually cried several times while cooking.

A huge challenge with the kitchen situation is that it’s made me crave ice cream way more than I’ve ever craved ice cream before. It’s not because I actually want more ice cream, but since I no longer have a freezer to store it in, I FEEL like I want ice cream all the freaking time. The mini fridge technically has a freezer, but it’s a joke freezer. You could fit maybe an ice cream bar in there, but by no means could you store an actual container of ice cream.

“The list” has also proved challenging when it comes to boat cooking. If you’re at all boaty, you know that when a boat is listing, it means it’s basically leaning one way or the other. The list is great in some cooking instances i.e. when you’re frying an egg and it all goes to one side of the pan and you don’t have to worry about it spreading out all over the place. But other scenarios are more difficult. Rice, for example. Up until I begrudgingly purchased a rice cooker out of pure frustration a few weeks ago, rice was my worst enemy. Imagine the rice sitting in the pot and half of it is out of the water. It was impossible to get evenly and fully cooked rice.

Another big issue- the mini fridge. Both my handsome boatmate and I are avid sauce lovers. In a normal fridge, all the door space is for sauces, but our tiny dorm room style fridge has gotten to a point where it is mostly just a place to store our sauces. Left-overs? No room, too many sauces. Imagine going grocery shopping and returning home to find that there is no where to put your perishables because your sauce collection has maxed out fridge space. Welcome to my life.

Sauce central


I would say the two best feelings in the world are 1.) eating and 2.) overcoming a challenge. Dinnertime on the boat just so happens to be both of those feelings, but positivity aside, the kitchen situation still sucks. It doesn’t just suck when you’re trying to cook but also when you’re trying to clean up from cooking. As mentioned earlier, we don’t have hot water on the boat. This means that doing the dishes is a big ordeal. It involves boiling the water then pouring it into the sink…all this SOUNDS surprisingly simple but surprisingly isn’t. Pouring boiling water into the sink obviously requires some cooling time. You’d be surprised how often it happens that you take the time to boil water and are literally just waiting around for the water to boil then it finally boils and you pour it in the sink then totally forget it’s there.  Eventually, after you are completely wrapped up in watching “How I Met Your Mother”, you suddenly remember the boiling water you waited on forever. And now it’s super cold. OOPS.

Boat cooking really has challenged me in ways nothing else has challenged me before. I really grown to love cooking and figuring out new ways to prepare it is a delicious, delicious thrill. At the same time, it sucks.

Delicious and frustrating. Such is life, I suppose.

So friends, I could choose to just say “Until next time, float on” and end this post now but I think it’s about time I share this video. It kind of has to do with this post because it is literally a video of me boat cooking, but it mostly just has to do with me being a big, fat loser. For Christmas, I got a GoPro. Rob and I were also gifted this amazing product called the “Sushezi” as in, sushi-easy. One lonely day on the boat, I decided to practice using my GoPro, practice using the Sushezi, and practice using iMovie to make videos. It wasn’t intended to be used for anything really, but after showing it to those closest to me, I was told that this can’t be kept a secret.

Without further adieu, enjoy “The Sushi Movie.”

After that, I guess there are no other words other than, until next time, float on.

Life Adrift

Friends, you may or may not have noticed that I’ve been absent from my blog for quite some time. Don’t worry- I’m still afloat. I’ve had a series of adventures on land (I went to visit my family in Indiana!) and sea that haven’t left me with much time to write, but alas, I’m here to tell you about my mot recent adventure afloat.

The adventure technically began in February when my handsome boatmate made an exciting purchase…a fishing boat! He’s going to live his dream of being a commercial fisherman!

My handsome boatmate's new boat, Fool's Gold, and our home for the journey from Juneau.

The new boat, Fool’s Gold. Rob’s new toy and our home for the journey from Juneau.

When he bought the boat, it was in Juneau, Alaska, so this recent adventure afloat involved flying there and bringing it home. The trip was amazing. It was my first time in Juneau and my first glacier encounter. By the way, taking an Australian person who has never really been around a lot of ice to a glacier is a pretty comedic experience. I always thought he was fearless- then I saw him standing by a giant mass of solid ice and I now know otherwise.

If you ever get a chance to hike to the ice caves under the Mendenhall Glacier, you will not regret it. Unless you are Australian in which case you might be very scared of all the ice.

If you ever get a chance to hike to the ice caves under the Mendenhall Glacier, I promise you will not regret it….even if you’re Australian and scared of ice.

My time in Juneau confirmed that there is, in fact, no good Mexican food in Alaska. This is difficult for me to accept, but I think I have to give up trying Alaskan Mexican food after all. Listening the radio in Juneau also confirmed what I suspected to be true from listening to the radio in Ketchikan…if you are literally the most socially awkward person ever, you can get a job as a radio DJ in Alaska. I also had my first northern lights sighting, my first iceberg sighting, and my first time being adrift in the ocean.

Oh, that last one? Yeah, that was no big deal. There was just a slight little incident with the boat that left us adrift for a couple hours in the dark. But after a little panic and a quick chat on the radio with the Coast Guard, a friendly fishing boat in the area came and towed us to Petersburg, AK, which was the nearest town. Some amazing things came of this little mishap though because Petersburg ended up being the coolest little town i.e. this is where I saw the northern lights! And icebergs! Plus there were huge sea lions all over the harbor.

Iceberg! Dead ahead! errr...a little ways off to the left actually.

Iceberg! Dead ahead! Errr…a little ways out to the left actually.


Huge sea lion

Huge sea lion in Petersburg


Signs all over the harbor warning about not feeding the sea lions

There were signs all over the harbor warning about not feeding the sea lions.

See? No big deal at all. I could go into more detail about the mechanics of it, but I promise it’s not that exciting. All you need to know is that my handsome boatmate is super handy and fixed the problem all by himself once he figured out what was wrong. And voila! We were back on track and out on the water for our amazing adventure.

The journey really was unforgettable. The scenery was breathtaking. We got unbelievably lucky with the beautiful weather and of course I couldn’t have asked for better company.

Oh you thought I was talking about my handsome boatmate, didn’t you? I see him all the time. But the WHALES. The whales were everywhere. Whale city. It seemed like every time you looked outside, which was most of the time, because it’s a boat,  there was another spout. Whales on whales on whales. I couldn’t even complain about having to pee into a bucket since I could whale watch while peeing into a bucket. Oh yeah, did I mention that the new boat doesn’t have a toilet?

Best toilet ever.

Most scenic/least comfortable toilet ever.

Disclaimer: this video was not taken while sitting on the bucket. This is merely an example of what sitting on the bucket could entail on any given day.

And that was just one video of many. That whale in particular kept getting closer and closer to the boat and showing off its tail. It was amazing. Ok enough about whales…don’t want to make anyone too jealous! (looking at my sister on that one…she is still bitter about not seeing any whales when she came to visit me.)

This trip also made our humble 120 something square feet feel like Buckingham Palace. Keep in mind that it’s a fishing boat and purely meant for functionality but not at all made to live on for more than a few days at a time. Hence the no toilet situation.

Just when you thought we couldn't possibly coexist in a smaller space...

Just when you thought we couldn’t possibly coexist in a smaller space. I slept on the “bed” and Rob slept on the floor underneath.


Bucket peeing and all, the journey was a dream come true. I doubt I’ve ever actually dreamed of peeing in a bucket, but regardless, this place I now call home is truly an amazing one. Now that we’re back in Ketchikan, Rob gets to try out this whole fishing thing and I couldn’t be more excited for him. Meanwhile, I’m back to work at this crazy place I told you about called Snorkel Alaska where I get paid to go swimming everyday. Paid to go fishing and paid to go swimming…I guess you could say life is good.

Until next time, float (or drift) on friends.


Welcome to My Hood

It has been straight up gross here lately- rainy, windy, chilly. This weather is pretty much the norm for Ketchikan though so a few weeks ago I took the rare opportunity to snap a picture of the harbor on a beautiful, sunny day. So there it is! The neighborhood in all of its sunny, boaty glory. Tip: if you click on the picture it gets bigger!

Bar Habor

Bar Harbor, Ketchikan, Alaska

So what do you think- won’t you be my neighbor?

Mr. Rogers

How can I write a post with the word “neighborhood” in it without including this guy? Correct answer: I can’t.


Until next time, float on friends