1200+ lbs and counting

Michelle flew back from Florida yesterday,coming in with about 250 lbs of luggage for the us and the boat … add that to the 300 lbs I brought and the 700 lbs they brought when the entire family came down, we are a much heavier boat.

I'm sure the people at the airport weren't too happy to see our family :) ... I think Discovery lowered about 1" into the water

I’m sure the people at the airport weren’t too happy to see our family :) … I think Discovery lowered about 1″ into the water

This bridge opens 3 times a day to let boats from the ocean into the lagoon. This is the second largest salt water lagoon in the Caribbean. It is considered a safe hurricane hole to hide from storms

This bridge opens 3 times a day to let boats from the ocean into the lagoon. This is the second largest salt water lagoon in the Caribbean. It is considered a safe hurricane hole to hide from storms

I’ve been thinking on how to explain where we live, while most of you will have an idea of what boat living may be like, I think that unless you are put in the situation, it is hard to really grasp the nuance of it. We live (all 7 of us), in the equivalent of a small 2 car garage, or about 500 sq ft. Think of that … move your family into your garage … in our garage we have 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a kitchen, a patio, a living room and an office area.

I that garage we have all the food, clothes, toys, electronics that you would need to live. In that garage, we have 2 large truck engines, a generator, 4 tanks totaling 400 gal of diesel, 2 tanks totaling 200 gallons of water, 4 tanks totaling 80 gallons of sewage. We have 5 air conditioners, 14 pumps, 300 ft of chain and 2 large anchors.

Mommy brought all this stuff for Kate on this trip.

Mommy brought all this stuff for Kate on this trip.

St. Martin airport is quite unique, the runway is very close to the beach and the planes come overhead ... great for pictures ... there is a bar on either end. Very cool

St. Martin airport is quite unique, the runway is very close to the beach and the planes come overhead … great for pictures … there is a bar on either end. Very cool

Motoring in Simpson Lagoon

Motoring in Simpson Lagoon

In our garage we carry 7 scuba tanks, 3 full set of dive gear, 11 snorkeling sets, an inflatable kayak, a 10ft dinghy (our car), 6 pool noodles, 8 large fenders (for protecting us when we are docked), 2 portable coolers, 4 boxes of spare parts (for pumps, engines, etc). We just got 4 fishing rods (thanks Grandpa) and a new grill

We have a pantry, 2 refrigerators, a stove, microwave, school closet and toy closet. We have 4 computers, 10+ apple devices, an Xbox (with Kinect), a TV and who knows what else the kids brought with them.

Put the garage in a remote place and have all your stuff flown there in luggage … It is amazing to see how much stuff and systems go into a boat. It is truly amazing to see how designers take advantage of space to provide a living environment .. Discovery by no means is a small boat, she is the average size for most cruising boats today. Since we are a catamaran (2 hulls), we have the living space of an equivalent monohull (traditional boat) which would be over 60ft (or about 1.5x).

We are starting to adjust to our new environment, we are starting to figure out how to live in a garage,with 4 kids and friends … amazing to me, how one adjusts to change … I love the ability that we have to adapt …

This is one of our marina neighbors, saw it today as we went for a walk

This is one of our marina neighbors, saw it today as we went for a walk

The front bedrooms, have escape hatches that look inward, they are close to the water. Kate snapped this picture from hers of a large barracuda just hanging out

The front bedrooms, have escape hatches that look inward, they are close to the water. Kate snapped this picture from hers of a large barracuda just hanging out

We will likely spend about a month here it St. Martin and the surrounding couple of islands (St. Barts and Anguilla) … we will do a bunch of work on the boat and explore the island life. This island, unlike the BVIs is much more “cosmopolitan” … we have found a couple of dance studios (Michelle brought back dance clothes) and an equestrian center (brought back helmet and riding boots).

Our goal for today is to visit a couple of the local marinas, to see which one we will try to settle into for our stay. There are many on the island, but only 5 with swimming pools <bg> … which according to the kids is a requirement.

Our restaurant  was right on the beach of this nice little town (Grand Case) on the French side of the island

Our restaurant was right on the beach of this nice little town (Grand Case) on the French side of the island

Watching BrainPop videos and learning ... I think she explained how the immune system worked after this.

Watching BrainPop videos and learning … I think she explained how the immune system worked after this.

Playing with our strand of ribbon lights ... we are trying to figure out how to add better lighting to areas of the boat

Playing with our strand of ribbon lights … we are trying to figure out how to add better lighting to areas of the boat

Food and stuffs are much cheaper here that in the BVI’s … a small jar of peanut butter on Tortola was $10 … here about $6 … still more expensive than Florida, but much better. The available choices here are also much more, more food, more stores … just more of everything. This one island has 4x the population of the BVIs (all islands) or about 10x the population of Tortola.

I think so far, our favorite thing is the French food …love it, crepes, bread, proper cheese … :)

 

13 thoughts on “1200+ lbs and counting

  1. What a wonderful experience and adventure for all the family. I can’t imagine all the items in the size of a garage. I love your posts and photos.

    safe sailing.

  2. truly a trip of a life timeeeeeeeee woowowowoowoowow but we land lubbers sure do miss u ! pls keep me posted , if u need anything while crusin … I can help love 2 all scott

  3. OMG I’m so jealous, the water looks awesome, I would love to send the kids care packages of sorts. Could you get them at different ports? Something every now & then would be so fun for the kids not knowing what is coming next. That barracuda looked like another fish if you know what I mean! I cant wait for each and every posting you guys do. Looks as if your adjusting, I’m not sure about the luggage, looks like 7 more people came home with Michelle. Enjoy so jealous!!!!!!

    • Thanks … we have no set plans, and no set agenda,although,we do have a general idea :) … we will likely stay in St. Martin for at least the month of August, then head south towards Grenada.

      Once we are in a port we can usually get things shipped in or mailed in. For instance, this island is duty free for everything,so it is very easy to have stuff sent here.

      We’ll keep everyone posted, maybe just send us on a quest to a post office somewhere in the islands … … like a scavenger hunt :)

  4. Can’t wait to see what you catch or spear from the sea for dinner!! Diving must be beautiful there. The friend I mentioned to you on FB worked in St Martin on a few live-a-board dive boats. He travels all over now working on all kinds of vessels! Thanks for posting your adventures!

    • Thanks Len … we haven’t put any tanks on yet. We bought 7 from a family in the BVI’s who where ending their trip.We just bought a full set for Kate (BC, Reg, etc), which was a very good “end of season” sale … we will get her certified in the coming months.

      Our plan is to get Jaci diving in the 30ft range, assuming she overcomes her fears of sea monsters … darn shark week shows and YouTube

      • YAY! Tappin’ across the carribean! Just what I would love to do!! Please tell Kate how, when I traveled with my day job, I used to dance at studios all over the country just depending on where I had to work…what an awesome experience and opportunity she is going to have…to see how so many others share her passion!!

  5. Loved your description of boat life…I’ve experienced it a little myself and you told me of you’re plans I was both impressed and thought you guys were nuts to do that with a family of seven …lol!! But if anyone can do it it’s the Alonso’s!! Not gonna lie, got a teary eyed to see Kate’s tap shoes on the bed…bittersweet! Can’t wait to see what adventures cross your path in St. Martin love you guys!

    • You think she would not travel with them … today “we” (Michelle and Kate) are going to visit 2 dance studios here on the island …one has a musical theatre camp with people from the Netherlands hosting it …

      The cool thing for me … you can take the dinghy to the dance studio … with traffic (turtles, sailboats, other dinghies), it’s about 5 minutes from our marina

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