Mike on his SUP in the San Juan Islands, WA
Limerick at anchor in the San Juan Islands. Mt Baker in the distance.
Minivan Camping near the Seven Mile Bridge, Florida Keys
Cenote Ik Kil, Yucatán, Mexico.
Camille at anchor in Mexico
Snorkeling in Cozumel, Mexico
Camille from above
Mike and Limerick in the San Juan Islands
Mike in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (Camille in the distance)
Verena and Camille in Ensenada Grande, Baja, Mexico
Fireweed in Alaska
Butterfly Fish, Big Island, Hawai'i
Limerick underway in British Columbia
Mike and Dorado, Sea of Cortez, Mexico
Dolphins on the bow of Camille
Ice floes in Cook Inlet, Alaska
Limerick and Chatterbox Falls in Princess Louisa Inlet, BC
Surfboards, Sayulita, Mexico
Minivan Camper near Death Valley
Camille anchored off Isla San Francisco, Mexico
Fire Dancer, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Mike fishing for salmon in Alaska
Cruising down the Colorado River at Horseshoe Bend
Limerick and moon in BC

Galley Organization – Drawers

When I look at photos of other people’s boats, I always wonder what is inside all of their cabinets and closets. How do they store and organize their stuff in a small space? I’m starting small and showing you the contents of our galley drawers. We have a total of four drawers in the galley: Two small utensil drawers and two large storage drawers. Three located across from the stove and one under the stove.Due to the bend in the counter the drawers do not go very far back. Just enough space for the silverware and another inch behind the drawer organizers – just enough to squeeze in the chopsticks.All our eating utensils are made of stainless steel and are the same ones we used back on shore. In fact, most everything on this boat (and our previous boat) are things we used back in land life. In the far right bin we have items we use a lot. Corkscrew, tea infuser, veggie peeler, oyster shucking knife (very important in this region!), and various snack utensils. I like to use fondue forks for snacks – nice when we have guests aboard because they are color coded.The middle drawer is very tall and therefore hard to organize. Things we don’t use very often are in the tub in the back (about the height of a cereal box). The things we use more often naturally end up on top, like the TDS meter to check the water since we drink the water from our faucet. We have a whole “house” water filter which I will cover in another post.Here is everything from the middle drawer.  Moving left to right, skipping a few self-explanatory items:

  • Have never actually used that mesh sieve, not sure why I keep it.
  • Spare cork screws – maybe a few too many?
  • I seem to need rubber bands all the time.
  • Those nutcrackers and pokers are for the fresh crab we catch! Yum!
  • Up here where it’s colder we like to eat soup so the ladles sometimes come in handy.
  • I love our knife set. Because the blades are sheathed I can just toss them in the drawer. The knives stay sharp and we can’t cut ourselves when rummaging through the drawer. Though I have to admit I rarely use anything other than the red one.
  • The hand mixer that goes with those beaters is packed away a bit deeper in the galley. It usually only comes out for birthday cakes and the occasional cookies. That and the stick blender are the only small appliances we have on board.
  • One grater is enough for all the grating we do. I know there are many different sizes but this is sort of an in between size and works for everything but zesting. I keep meaning to buy a zester like this one – not that I zest all that often…
  • Citrus squeezer. In my opinion there is no better or faster way to squeeze a lemon or lime (even small oranges). Nothing is easier to clean either. Make sure not to buy a plastic one, it will break. We have made many a grapefruity margarita with this thing.
  • Bamboo kitchen tools and tongs and stainless tongs for the BBQ.
  • Stainless cup and spoon measure sets. Nothing to break, nothing to rust. Every kitchen needs these, right?
  • I use my stick blender every day. I put coconut oil into my coffee and blend. If you have not tried this, do it now! This blender also comes with a small chopper/grinder attachment so I can make salsa and paté. Been considering getting a battery operated frother to be able to make my coffee without having to use the inverter.

Below the two utensil drawers is one more large drawer. This used to be a cupboard that the previous owner converted into a drawer. This is our everyday pantry. When we will be away from stores for a while we have more space under the settee (couch) for food and drinks, but that area is a lot harder to get to. Things get moved from under the settee to this drawer as we need them.The last drawer in the galley is under the stove. This also used to be a cupboard that was converted to a drawer. Much more functional this way. I have an entire set of stainless steel pots that I purchased at Costco many, many years ago (when I lived in a house). Small, medium and large saucepans that nest, one large stock pot, one small cast iron pan, one small and one 10″ non-stick pan. Also a small kettle and a folding strainer. I find I pretty much never use the medium and large saucepans. All the lids not seen are in the 10″ stock pot. I had this same assortment of pots on the sailboat.Yes, this seems like a lot of space but we had about the same amount of galley gear on our sailboat Camille. Actually I think we might have less now because we have learned what we use all the time. And as mentioned above, there are even more things I could get rid of but I don’t, since we do have the space. Is there anything you cannot do without in your galley? Anything you think I’m crazy to do without? Leave a comment below or show me your galley drawers by adding a photo to this thread on our Facebook page!

Storage Trailer or How to Live Like a Nomad

In 2011, when we quit our 9-5 jobs to buy a sailboat and go cruising, we debated on what we really wanted to keep from our stationary life. I had a few bigger things that I could not part with, and since my parents had just sold off all of their possessions to go cruising themselves, we didn’t have anywhere to put our extra stuff. (Mike’s parents didn’t know it then, but they would be taking care of much of our mail!) Our solution: a Storage Trailer.

We thought that after a few years of cruising we might need/want to go back to a house and job, so we wanted to keep some of our hand-made furniture. Problem was, we had no idea where we would call home next. Renting a storage unit in Portland, Oregon (where we had been living for five years) made no sense since we also had to get a lot of our things to the new boat we would soon be purchasing in a yet unknown location.

So we bought a 12′ dual-axle storage trailer, insulated the interior, and made sure it was well sealed from the elements. When it was finally time to move aboard our new boat, Camille, we towed all of our remaining possessions from Portland to San Diego. We were very lucky to be able to store the trailer with family for the next five years!

We lived on Camille for three years and when we sold her (back in San Diego) the storage trailer once again came in handy since we had a place to store all of the extra boat gear we didn’t want to sell with the boat. We were also able to remove big items to make her more presentable to potential buyers.

Fast forward another couple of years and we are once again boat owners. Last year, after buying Limerick and with the help of Mike’s parents and their 4Runner, we towed the trailer back to the Pacific NW. It is currently parked in a boat/RV storage yard just up the road from the boat in Anacortes, Washington.

On the drive to Washington we were very glad that we had paid extra to have a two-axle trailer. We lost a wheel on the freeway and nothing bad happened. A work trailer with only a single-axle didn’t fair so well!

Currently, we pay $40 per month for a 30′ RV storage space. That is enough space to also park our minivan while we go cruising during the summer months. A huge bonus! We don’t have to pay for costly marina parking or worry about the car being in an unsecured lot.

While we were between boats, we often ended up in San Diego and were able to stop by our storage trailer to change from winter to summer clothes, pick up suitcases for work trips, grab ski gear to head to the mountains, prepare for our 6-month work trip to Alaska, or to pick up our snorkel gear and the inflatable kayak for our trips to Panamá and Mexico.

Right now we are able to store some things in the trailer that would get in the way while we are working on the boat. We will pick up the inflatable SUP, inflatable kayak, generator, and various other things before going cruising this summer. We might even pick up a few summer clothes!

Ours hasn’t been the normal cruising life of leaving behind the rat race and sailing off to distant shores. We still work seasonally and don’t really want to be in the Pacific Northwest during the winter months. We also like to land-travel in our minivan, spend winters in Southern California to be with friends and family, drive cross country to a job site, and live in a real house once in a while. All this variety keeps things interesting, but it would be a lot harder to do without our little trailer!

Replacing the lost wheel hub after spending an unplanned night in Bakersfield

We finally had a chance to unload everything and re-organize before heading north. It’s not often that we have the use of a garage. It sure makes life easier!

We are always taking and leaving things with the seasons. Not sure where we would store Mike’s ski gear if we didn’t have the trailer…

The trailer in the storage lot with enough space to leave the minivan while we cruise. Notice that little boat on top of the trailer? That’s a Walker Bay, and after baking in the California sun for the past five years it still looks great. Tough little boats!

On the Road Again

After five months in and around San Diego we are on our way back to the boat in Washington. We wanted to drive along the coast on Highway One but it’s closed due to recent storms. Interstate 5 through California is the most boring drive – ever, so we decided to go east of the Sierras. March is the perfect time to visit Death Valley as it’s not too hot or too cold. Day time temps were in the 70’s and even the evenings were very comfortable.With another winter storm approaching we decided it would be better to head to the coast. After one long day of driving through the Sierras we made it back to the coast and into Oregon. Mono Lake  Back at the coast we hugged a few redwoods and then rented a yurt on the Oregon Coast to keep dry during the storm.These yurts are great. At $43 per night they have a heater, table, chairs, beds and a futon. The rain on the roof makes for a great night’s sleep.Since we always have the bed made in the back of the minivan when we are traveling it is easy to just grab the entire bed, including the air mattress, to move into the yurt.

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