Searoom, a woman's houseboat journey
by Andree Jeannette Hardy
Searoom, my houseboat with a sailboat neighbor
Being a woman, living on a houseboat was not on my bucket list of things to do. I moved onboard "SeaRoom" out of necessity, following a series of unfortunate events, financial and personal. What seemed a nightmare at first, moving onboard that old 1969 Thunderbird, an unfinished project, turned out to be a dream come true.
Waking up to the seagulls, the sun piercing through the palms and watching the panoramic views of sunsets on bay side where I was anchored out, in Sunset Cove, Key Largo, being rocked to sleep at night as the waves brushed my hull.
I fell in love with the simplicity, the space that surrounded me; the efforts taken to get me there each day after driving 120 miles round trip to work in Miami. It was worth it each day to come home to a vacation. I rowed my Walker Bay sometimes backwards when the wind blew against me, but I loved the challenge, every minute of it.
I had a large solar panel on the roof top, connected to my inverter, a small blender, a fan directly connected to the battery under the floor boards, turned constantly for my cats were onboard with me. Out there with the windows all around, the breeze never let me down and I was comfortable at night while I heard the fish jumping and music playing from shore at Snook's a water side restaurant and bar. I was close enough and far enough for my taste.
I was able to live on nothing, my needs were minimized but my rewards were worth more than any gold could buy. In my life never had I have so little and been happier. For a woman alone, it was a challenge.
It is important to stay on top of things, the motor needs to be started, otherwise the steering shaft will freeze (I've done that). The required equipment must be updated and kept ready for inspection, the anchor light visible a mile away need to not be yanked out by a playful cat or you may get a ticket for it not being on (done that too).
I paid someone to clean the bottom cause I'm a bit of a sissy about those little shrimp like things getting on your skin. If you don't clean the bottom your boat won't be able to move when it is time to escape hurricanes and go hide in the mangroves!
I had a wrap around deck and lots of roof top space where I would sleep alternately
on starry nights or moonlit nights. Mother nature was my best companion, the manatees and dolphins became family.
The boat was 12 x 42, the hull was solid fiberglass, back then they made things strong. My anchors buried by hands never let me down. I had binoculars and loved watching the tourists from Motels on shore, take off with the water toys and get stranded out there, when the wind blew them over or they got too far. I'd row over and play hero, me who had to survive on my own.
My tip for living on the water is, think about carefully before hand, be realistic about living in danger if you life in south Florida, have a plan of action in case a storm approaches; plans for your pets, your car and majorly your castle; my dreamed life came to an end in 2005 after fighting breast cancer and letting my boat to its fate, not willingly, I lost SeaRoom to hurricane Wilma.
Appreciate each moment you live that delicious life cause you never know how fast everything can change, like "in a New York minute" ! I recommend to women who are thinking about living on the water to be informed about all requirements, responsible and physically able cause it takes a lot of energy living on the hook and above all the simplicity you may be blessed with.
Thanks, I just wanted to share my thoughts, Andree Jeannette Hardy.
Reply - Answer
Andree, I wanted to thank you for sharing a woman's thoughts and experiences about being on a houseboat. Sorry to hear that it all came to an end, but I am sure that you are glad that you had a chance to get a taste of it…. It's Priceless…Lastly
, hopefully some of our readers and visitors will share and post comments about their houseboat experiences and tips. A good time for our female readers to comment.
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Thanks again for sharing, IAN from all-about-houseboats
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