This month, Randy, Corey and I are celebrating 2 years living aboard Blue Turtle. It was May of 2012 that we brought Blue Turtle (then called “Down Time”) home to Fort Myers from Longboat Key. Our first year living aboard was a bit overwhelming, it seemed that every time we tried to fix something, another thing would break. We were a bit stressed those first few months, but then things got better and as we learned more about our boat and repairs were made. Even though it was overwhelming, we never had any regrets about moving aboard. It is a different lifestyle and one that seems to fit us perfectly.
Our second year was even better. It seemed that we had less things break on Blue Turtle and our boat became more comfortable for us. By now, Randy has become quite self-sufficient in maintaining the engines and making most repairs himself. He has learned so much and continues to try to handle projects himself. Our list of projects for the year is a bit smaller than the first year, however, we did complete a couple very large projects. One of them was the main salon renovation, where we tore out the bench seating and flooring and replaced the floors with vinyl planking and added a recliner sofa. The other big project that Randy and I started was painting the exterior of Blue Turtle. This made a huge difference in the cosmetic looks of our boat. I stated that we “started” the painting process because we still have the bridge and decks to paint for the topside and the hull as well. Hopefully next winter we can tackle the rest.
Main salon renovation – remove wooden bench seating and pulled out carpet to replace with vinyl wood planks
Installation of two 40 gallon water tanks to replace a cracked 100 gallon tank
Had port side door completely rebedded
Painted exterior of boat
Move radar unit to mast
Replaced master stateroom mattress with our posturepedic from the house (all we had to do it cut it down some)
Installed 4 dive tank brackets in lazarette
Replaced aft air conditioning unit (it’s on order)
Changed oil cooler in Perkins engine
Changed oil in both engines
Replaced heat exchanger (Randy is in the process of doing this as I write…fingers crossed!)
With Blue Turtle becoming increasingly more comfortable for us, we’re beginning to feel like old “pros” at this living aboard stuff. Instead of the knee-jerk reactions to things breaking (in the beginning) we are now anticipating when things need to be replaced or maintained. I think we’ve finally found our groove and we are loving the lifestyle and weekend trips out on the water. We plan to head to the Keys this summer which will be our biggest trip yet on Blue Turtle and can’t wait to see what comes next in our adventure.