A month ago, we finally moved onto our sailboat. After months of planning to do so, we finally had renovations finished on our house, a renter ready to move in and we took the leap and moved onto the boat.
Somehow we managed to fit all of the essentials onto our 32 foot sailboat, including the dog, and quickly began working on boat projects.
We also quickly realized that the marina we were in wasn't where we wanted to be. Our lives are still in Qualicum area, and our boat was in Nanaimo. Although cities are great in many respects, we wanted to be closer to nature and our current lives. So, a few weeks into living on our boat in Nanaimo, we decided to move it to Nanoose, which is about half way between Nanaimo and Qualicum.
The only issue with having our boat in Nanoose is that this marina, like many others, does not allow liveaboards. This means that we are illegally living on our boat in a marina that doesn't appear to have anyone else living in it. We didn't have liveaboard status at the marina we were moored at in Nanaimo either, but that marina at least had numerous other liveaboards, so it was much easier to come and go without being hassled, or, rather, caught doing something we weren't supposed to.
We knew when we decided to embark on this journey that finding a place to officially live aboard was going to be difficult. There are pretty strict rules in BC about how many liveaboards are allowed in marinas, what needs to be set up for marinas to have liveaboards, etc. There are very few spaces available for living in marinas and living on anchor around here is also very difficult, especially if you have to work in town.
This experience is teaching us a lot. It is teaching us what it looks like to be limited on living options in a place that is already limited on options. It is teaching us about the privilege that comes with having a steady home and options for living. It is seriously stressful worrying about having your living situation compromised and feeling as though you don't have many other options if you end up getting kicked out.
Our plan is to move to another liveaboard friendly marina farther north on the island within a month or so, spend the winter preparing for travel, and then head north on an adventure in the spring. Hopefully, even without the official okay to live on our boat during the winter, we can still get away with it 😬.
In the meantime, we will be sneaking onto the boat (so easy with a large, happy dog 🐕).
If you wanna know more about what we have learned about living on a sailboat in the Pacific Northwest, let us know in the comments or send us a message. You can also check out our first liveaboard geared vlog below.