Autumn on the hook

Life aboard changes with every place and season. The things you take for granted in a home on land are so very different on a boat, and different depending on where we are and whether we’re docked or moored or anchored.

At a dock we’re plugged into city water and electricity. We have heat or air conditioning, TV if there’s a local signal, a clothes washer/dryer, microwave, electric coffee pot, and best of all, hot water. EV has two bathrooms and one of them has a large shower.

At anchor we are living off battery power and the batteries are charged by the solar panels on our roof.


If we have a run of rainy weather we charge the batteries with the generator but we don’t like to do that because it burns fossil fuel and it’s noisy, for us and our neighbors. Running off the batteries precludes using appliances that run on AC power so we don’t use the washer, the microwave, the coffee maker, or the water heater. We could start the generator to power those things, but we don’t. Instead we go to the laundromat, we make coffee using a drip cone and we heat food on the stove like the olden days. But we do miss hot showers.

At anchor we conserve water because we’re limited to our 100 gallon tank. I run the watermaker every couple of days to keep the tank as full as I can, but when we shower it’s a quick navy shower.


But not here. Not now. The water is freezing and no amount of dirt is going to convince either of us to stand under a cold shower. We heat a little water in the kettle and take sponge baths until we decide it’s time to take advantage of whatever showers can be begged or bought. Here in Annapolis the Harbormaster has public showers and restrooms on the city dock right on Spa Creek. We’re on Back Creek so we dinghy ashore and walk across the bridge to town. Yesterday the weather was mild and the water was calm so we decided to dinghy around the point to Spa Creek.


There’s a dinghy dock between the city dock and the Naval Academy and we nosed in behind a cruise ship.


The Harbormaster’s office is a short walk from the dock.


The showers cost a dollar and we go into the office to buy tokens that let us into the shower rooms.



Ahhhhhh! What a delight to stand under hot water with good pressure and scrub until my skin starts getting prune-y!

Yesterday after our showers we met Alan at a cafe for a late afternoon pick-me-up.


We dinghied back around the point toward Back Creek and saw several groups of small boats learning to race or practicing their roll tacks. This is a sailing town and no amount of chill deters the clubs from their daily sessions.


We ended the day with Dark ‘n’ Stormies and a warming dinner of soup and corn bread, feeling clean and shiny.



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2 Responses to Autumn on the hook

  1. You guys have more self control than Michelle and me. When we’re cruising, we run the generator with reckless abandon — running the AC/Heat, Water Heater, Battery Charger, etc. We know it isn’t right, but we can’t help ourselves…

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