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We're Famous Again. Kinda. Also, We Need to Get Things Done.

Recently we were contacted by a reporter for the New York Times about a story she was writing about people living aboard boats in cities where the cost of living is high.  She interviewed us and the paper send a photographer to snap some lovely pictures before the article went live.  It's an interesting read if you like to know how other people do the same thing.  One thing we've learned through out the years is that there are many ways to do the livaboard lifestyle.  Check out the article HERE.

We are now entering our sixth year of living aboard and we've done a pretty good job of updating Cygnet and keeping things in good working order.  But 2019 is going to have to be the year of maintenance.  Wherever you live there are always things to do.  Little jobs that need to get done and get pushed off until they become bigger jobs.  Cygnet is no exception and there are things we've put off for too long that we'll need to address soon.  When we opened our computer store…
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What We Learned in the White of Winter

If you read THIS previous post you know we wrapped Cygnet this year in white plastic instead of our usual translucent.  This was a mistake.  It wasn't our choice, the guys who do this only had the white available and we went with it to keep Cygnet out of the ice and snow for the winter slumber.  We were a bit concerned about less light making its way inside the plastic and not getting the greenhouse effect that normally helps tremendously to keep us toasty warm in the cold months.  Well, we were absolutely right.  By using white we effectively kept the sun and the warmth created by it out of Cygnet.  With a new method of routing power to our heaters and a slew of new heat units we thought we'd be nice and warm but it turns out we were worse off this year than we've ever been, including our first winter in 2014/15 where we didn't see temperatures above the mid-20s the entire month of February.

We had a couple mornings where the outside temperature was -20ºF (-29ºC) and…

Chiberia 2: The Return of Polar Vortex

We blame Canada.  Don't misunderstand, Canadian people are just fine, but the country they live in is a harbor for Old Man Winter and his ilk and this just can't go on anymore.  Every time we turn around there is something migrating down from Canada and stealing OUR heat.  Do you know what this bitter cold does to people?  Millions of American Dollars lost in productivity and millions of AMERICAN WORKERS stayed home from their paying jobs to avoid this migration of cold weather.  It has to stop.

What we propose is a border wall to keep these migrant weather patterns out of OUR COUNTRY!  Sure we have natural barriers in some places that can help (thank you Lake Superior) but the only thing that will keep these unwanted patterns out of America is a Yuuuuge wall that they simply can't get over.  We've talked to Justin Trudeau (swoon) and think he'll even pay for it!  In the meantime we will set up a Go Fund Me page to buy every Lasko fan available and place them at t…

The Choice is Clear. -or- White Ain't Right.

We've talked a fair amount about what we do in winter to prepare Cygnet for the coldest months and to help keep us warm as the temperatures dip to inhumane levels.  When someone new hears about our lifestyle they still most often ask about what the winters are like, how it's possible to live on a boat through sub-zero temperatures.  If you're a regular reader you know a lot about how we prep and cope, but this year we did make some changes which have been good and bad.  One of the issues with preparing for the cold is we often can't change what we've done halfway through winter, the weather doesn't allow it.  For example the tape we use for closing off openings in the hull and for sealing up windows doesn't stick well when the temperature is below 50ºF (10ºC) and the nearly constant Chicago wind means removing or adding plastic sheets can be a challenge.

So what did we do different this year?  The number one difference is the plastic wrap on the outside of …

A Floating Trailer Park...kinda.

There are many aspects of living on a boat that people are curious about.  We've tried to write about many of them here but in all the time we've lived aboard we have never gotten one question that we think is actually an important one.  "What is it like to live at a marina?"

Maybe there is a reason nobody asks, they just don't really care, or maybe they don't know that they should be asking that question.  You don't know what you don't know.  So in this post we want to give you an idea of what it's like to live at a marina.
River City Let's face it, a marina is a floating trailer park.  Some folks may argue with this since you have the freedom to take your boat anywhere, boats are more of a recreational object than a trailer, some boats cost more than the collection of trailers in most parks, and boats are just cooler than a single-wide mobile home.  Maybe the analogy would be better to compare a marina to a campground, however campgrounds a…

The Night was Moist...

The couple looked at each other with the same thing in mind, it was an unspoken bond they'd had for nearly nineteen years that had never faded.  It was something they each knew the other wanted, something palpable and real, that drove them to a higher level of ecstasy.  They were staring at each other, him walking slowly down the dock running his veined hands along the chrome strip that divided the yacht top and bottom, her above, a wry smile slowly produced by her pink lips.  In a moment the idea came, like a swallow chasing a dragonfly through the summer sunset, sudden and with vigorously excited movement.  It wasn't the inside of the big yacht they retreated to, with its soft Queen bed waiting like a smoke alarm to sense the heat.  It was the little one, the new one, the fresh meat they were after.

The pair readied the needed supplies; some alcohol, music, a protective sheath to hold the most valuable of the tools for the endeavor.  They laughed and talked of what was comi…

I've got 99 problems and my dingy is all of them.

Recently you may have heard about the theft of Chicago RIBber and how we miraculously got it back.  Well, I guess it wasn't an actual miracle, more of a casual sighting and phone call, but whatever!  Shortly after that and not too long into our ownership of this little bundle of fun we started having issues with our 1960 Johnson outboard.  We'd only paid $250 for the motor so we weren't too upset, but it meant we couldn't use the boat other than for rowing across the marina or for a bit of exercise on the river nearby.  After consulting the guy we purchased it from and another mechanic we decided it made more sense to replace than repair.  For people like us who own a computer repair shop we make the repair versus replace recommendations often to customers but not often to ourselves.  We knew we wanted more power to get the little dinghy up on plane easier with two of us and maybe even with three or four people aboard.  We also knew the old Johnson was probably going t…