We have 175 days before our boat becomes our permanent home. I am starting to get a little worried about missing friends and family. So naturally I have been thinking about how having people visit aboard a boat is different from visiting someone on shore. So like everything else I am unsure about, I "google" it. Wow I was not prepared for the amount of opinions/rules/policies people have made in order to have others visit/vacation with them.
This visit/vacation distinction I think is where arguments on both sides of the equation lie. We will be in our "home", without an income, and living on a strict budget, and you (the visitors) will be on vacation. Some say that if you cannot afford to ( whether mentally or financially) entertain visitors then do not invite them. Others say asking someone to contribute to food/alcohol/mooring expenses while THEY are on vacation should not be offensive as they would have had to pay a lot more for these things on shore.
I say a little middle ground is needed. And besides the sailing, scuba, fishing and bed are free. Many things are different on a boat than they are in someone's house...safety regulations, toilets, garbage etc. So I have decided that having a little blanket list of instructions would probably be a good thing. I mean if you do not live on a boat you may not know how to use the head. Knowing beforehand could save some embarrassment later on.
My husband has two basic rules for visitors-
#1 -You must never put anything in the head that has not been in your body first. And by in your body he means chewed and moved thru your digestive system. So NO toilet paper or tampons.
#2 -You must have a return ticket to where you came from. LOL
In order to keep the peace in a small space where one person is a little OCD ( me) I will add a few more to the list.
- when you pack shoes make sure they are deck shoes or shoes with soft soles that are NOT black
- pack in only soft duffel or carrying bags that can be squished, no large hard shells cases will be allowed as we have no where to put them
- suggested attire (the opportunity for wearing dress clothes, heels, etc., etc, will be extremely limited if not non-existant); bathing suits, light cottons shorts, one pair long pants, etc.
- food items - due to limited refrigeration/storage space, we prefer to shop with you when you arrive and split the grocery bill for the duration accordingly
- the other item we may ask you to contribute to is if we need to moor or dock to pick you up or drop you off, we hope to live by anchor and try to avoid these costs but depending on where you are meeting us it may be necessary for us to "pay to come get you out to the boat"
-forget the hair dryer/straightener etc, we live by solar and wind power and thus things that need to plugged in will be low priority, besides you will be having too much fun outdoors
- water limitations - we do not have "city" water, fresh water is at a premium, so water conservation is practised at all times..thus leave the loofah at home
- privacy limitations - we will try to respect each others right to have a little alone time in the best way we can
- laundry uses water that could best be used elsewhere so we would appreciate if you bring your own towel
- you will receive a short briefing on arrival on how to use certain of the boat's systems - especially the toilet and safety gear, please listen carefully to this, even if you have your own boat ours may have different equipment that may save your life
- last but not least, remember our boat is our home, I would not cover myself in suntan lotion and sand and then go sit in your living room so please do not do that in mine :)
I really hope that no one would be offended by these few simple rules. I look forward to having many friends come sail, dive, fish with us !!!