Editor's Note: Thanks in advance to Tina for the quote that inspired this rant.
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I believe I have mentioned that life on a boat is rarely convenient. There are no convenience stores around the block, Starbucks across the street, or groceries nearby. The head is too short and always very very cold to the ass of the newly awakened. The refrigerator is small, the oven is smaller, and the counter space is non-existent. Half the food is stored under the buttocks of your guests and the other half stashed willy nilly with the school supplies in the starboard hull.
But I think probably the most inconvenient bit about boat living is that you are always on a boat.
And a boat is like a paranoid lover -- needy, demanding and requiring constant attention. It can be oh dark thirty after a particularly memorable evening carousing with friends, but you must not neglect checking the anchor when the tide shifts. Someone has to get up and to verify that you aren't swinging into your neighbors, or worse, drifting out into the Pacific Ocean.
Don Quixote likes to ride strong winds at the dock, but before she withstands all that Mother Nature cares to blow over her, she insists on a thorough makeover. Dock lines, sail sheets, hatch covers, nails, hair, hemline. You can spend an hour just reassuring her that she looks good, ready to meet the in-laws Mr. and Mrs. Gale. Then after the relatives have passed, you spend at least twice that time coaxing her out of her funk and scrubbing the wave smutz off the foredeck.
Also, if you can believe this, you frequently can't leave the house when you live in a boat. Let's say you want to just go for a walk to cool off after a particularly heinous fight with your children or spouse. You grab your purse, keys, and glasses, only to be brought short by the two hundred or so yards of open water between you and the next solid object. Sure, you could drop the dinghy, install the outboard, start the cranky bitch, and motor over there... where you will then drag the 100-pound boat onto shore over the rocks after dunking your feet in freezing water and cutting at least one on a piece of broken shell. After which, I challenge you to find a sidewalk.
Here are a few other things that are inconvenient when you live on a boat: you can't get cable, snail mail, or reliable cell phone service. Nobody picks up the trash and there is no broadband service. There is no garage to put all the junk that doesn't fit in your house, no backyard shed for all the old tools and toys, and no attic in which to hide birthday gifts and offerings from Santa. And decorating the house for Christmas is tantamount to taking your life into your own hands as you get hauled up the 56' mast in a flimsy bosun's chair to string the lights.
But the single most inconvenient thing about living on a boat? You can't plan an ocean passage around your PMS.