Italy 2013 Map

While our boat is at Island Packet Yachts for ReFit, we are at home…

We are on the launch pad for our Italy 2013 planned tour. To study the trip and locations, we have made a detailed Google Map. This map is available here: 

Our trip is being run by a colleague and friend from Radeen’s school district. It will be great to tour Italy with someone who knows the country so well. We have cashed in frequent flyer miles for free flights and will arrive before the group catches up to us in Sorrento. Ater the group leaves from Lake Como, our extra week will be spent in a condo in Tuscany where we plan to drink wine, eat bread and cheese and photograph the beautiful scenes. 
This is a test blog post using the Samsung Tab 2 and a Google Nexus GSM unlocked phone. We will be traveling very light with one small carry on for international flights (20″ x 14″ x 7″) and one mini bag/purse for tablet and passport docs. We do not want to check any bags and Air Berlin is strict on these dimensions!
So, let the next adventure begin…we plan to blog and and share photos as we discover!
Thanks for traveling along.
Here are some screen captures of our map (testing photo upload via mobile blogger)

EV visits

While our boat is at Island Packet Yachts for ReFit, we are at home…
Our good friend and teacher/professor Colleen stopped by our home to introduce us to EV, her wonderful daughter. We have enjoyed watching EV grow up over the year as she brings so many smiles and laughs our way via our Facebook feed. Thank you Colleen and Matt for making the world a better place with EV.
See for yourself, and we are sure these few photos will bring a smile to your day. Enjoy….

Boat vs Home

While our boat is at Island Packet Yachts fro ReFit, we are at home…
We are so blessed to be able to share both of these worlds……..

We have been at home and off our cruising boat for over 2 weeks now, still adjusting to life on land and the many contrasts we observe. It may sound crazy, but we are really noticing the differences of life afloat vs. life in a house. No longer are we certain which is the “REAL LIFE” as we honestly are not sure what real life is or is supposed to be. We do know that we like this option of coming home as an interesting counterpoint to the cruising life. Living between these opposing worlds will certainly make us appreciate both worlds more!

Here is a comparison: Boat vs. Home

Living on a Boat Living in a Home
Manage water usage, trying to conserve. We used about 5 gallons per day for two of us. We think about water constantly.
Unlimited water flow, we have a well that delivers 38 gallons/minute! Our showers heads deliver 3 gallons/minute. Take a 10 minute shower and use 30 gallons! WOW!
Electricity running on 12 volt power. Create and make your own electricity and hot water via solar panels or by running the diesel engine and alternator. Lights are all LEDs, which are low power. Router and network are turned on only when needed.
Power company delivers endless electricity to the house! The water heater is maintained at 130 degrees F. Lights are left on, network is on. Cable boxes powered, routers powered, all these items are on 24/7.
The Refrigerator
Refrigeration is run on 12 volt and is very efficient. Freezer is small and holds minimum amount of frozen foods. Temps in the frig are around 45F and in the freezer around 25F. This is the biggest drain of electricity. Refrigeration takes about 75 amp hours per day at 12 volts, which is about 75% of our total usage.
The Refrigerator
Refrigerator with a large freezer. Temps are held very cold with the freezer around zero, refrigerator around 40F. Do you have any idea of the amount of electricity your refrigerator uses? I don’t!
On a sailboat, space is limited, especially on a 35 foot boat. Two 6 foot sofas, two double beds, kitchen, bath w/shower, outdoor seats in the cockpit and on deck. Small for two people to be sharing this space.
Crazy large, even if the house is modest like ours. We have about 1800 sq.ft. with family room, kitchen, dining room, sunroom, 3 bedrooms, two bathrooms, large deck and a two car garage. We each have our own places to work in. You never seem to be in each other’s space, like on a boat.
Outdoor Living
On a cruising sailboat you are always living in the outdoors. You know exactly what the weather is doing. You know if it is windy or not! You observe nature at its best. You watch and enjoy sunrises and sunsets every day. You live and love the outdoors. This is one of the true beauties of cruising on a boat.
Outdoor Living
In a home, you are inside much of the time. You rarely ever worry about the weather. You don’t even know if the wind is blowing! You spend more time online. You may work on the lawn and landscaping beds, but you rarely take time to watch a sunset or a sunrise. When was the last time you sat on your deck or lawn and watched a sunset…the entire sunset?
The People
In the boating community, everyone helps everyone else. If you see someone in trouble, you call or stop by and offer your help. If you hear someone on the radio who needs help, everyone rushes over. People in the cruising community really care about one another and look out for each other.
The People
Life in a community seems more private, more secluded. People do not go out of their way to help others. People tend to shy away from helping others, as they feel too busy, too rushed. Land life people can really learn some lessons from the cruising community.
The Car
On a cruising boat, the car is your dinghy and the dinghy is your way to shore around the harbor.  And then, you walk! We have not driven a car in nearly a year. We walked for our groceries and our sightseeing. We walked 3 miles for a store, that would be normal, and even to go to the movies. Life is slow, easy, and peaceful without a car!
The Car
This is the number one most stressful aspect to land life. You get in the car to do everything. Run to the store for groceries. Pick up more items for house repairs. Drive to the store that has a sale on stuff. Run out for a coffee….because you can! Drive to the gas station because you need more gas to run around more. Drive to go out to lunch when you have food at home. Drive, drive, drive…..this is CRAZY!

These are a few observation after being home for two weeks living in a house vs. living on a cruising sailboat. It is not that we haven’t enjoyed this time at home, it is just more stressful and more rushed than we are used to. Is life better at home? Some aspects are, but it is also very wonderful to be cruising and traveling and exploring on a sailboat.

…and I did not even mention the four letter word……S N O W…..