Home Caregiving 50-ish Reasons Why I’m Moving Onto A Sailboat

50-ish Reasons Why I’m Moving Onto A Sailboat

by Esther Lee


When someone asks why I want to live on a sailboat (aka as a “liveaboard”), here’s what I want to say:

I’d like to sleep somewhere with way less light pollution.

I’m tired of feeling intimidated by what I don’t know about machines (i.e. ships, radios, diesel engines, etc.).

I’d like to fall asleep while viewing the stars.

Hoping our dog, Kaylana (a 13-yr old black lab who had a near-drowning incident as a pup) can fully enjoy the water again.

Our cats, undoubtedly, will look adorable in harnesses while out in the cockpit.

Our cat, Bowie, will surely want to catch darting fish.

In my life, I’ve sometimes learned to fear certain things, such as swimming in deep waters.

In spite of that and after several swim classes, I now love the water as an adult and love to swim.

Recently, upon the encouragement of a friend who’s a member of the Dolphin Club (founded in 1877), I took a very, very short and very, very cold swim in the San Francisco Bay. The water that day, according to the regulars, was pretty choppy and the temperature was 48 degrees!

Photo of Hazel Bess Laugenour, a Dolphin Club swimmer, who was the first woman to swim across The Golden Gate Strait in 1911.

Hazel Bess Laugenour, a Dolphin Club swimmer, was the first woman to swim across The Golden Gate Strait, which separates the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco Bay on August 19, 1911

The thought of losing sight of land (from a boat) is both terrifying and exhilarating to me.

I rely too heavily on GPS and have become terrible at navigation.

I’d like to learn how to pay closer attention to the shape of the wind and currents.

I love the uninhibited joy on my husband’s face when he’s on a sailboat (or talking about sailing or near a body of water).

Would like flip flops, floppy hats, and jean shorts to become my most formal attire.

I look forward to seeing my five-year-old niece and nephew develop a healthy admiration and respect for nature.

The only gear I want to geek out about is that which will allow me to experience more awe in my life.

I’d like to become a serious connoisseur of sunsets.

And become a better steward of the environment so I can do what I can to help foster sustainable living practices.

I want to learn more about hydroponics and ocean farming!

And find creative ways to think about storage and cooking healthy meals in small spaces (small, that is, in comparison I guess to American standards).

I’m also moving onto a sailboat because my father almost drowned in a lake as a young man.

Because my sister isn’t able to swim and is nervous to learn.

Because my mother clearly loves to move around in shallow water, but feels anxious if the water level reaches above her chest.

Although I can swim, I still rely on my fins to help me feel confident.

Because my niece and nephew are bound to be great swimmers and I want to join them as they explore.

Places I’d like to visit via sailing: Azores, Cuba, and more!

To learn how to sail while remaining close to my aging parents.

As my mother’s dementia and Alzheimer’s progresses, I’d like her to continually see me pushing past my fears.

I look forward to schooling my husband, Michael, someday about tying sailing knots!

Collaborate with Michael in documenting the lives of people who have complex relationships with the land or bodies of water.

Be ready to escape somewhere in case this administration screws up beyond repair (hehe…hehehe?).

Record audio and interviews in unexpected places, with unexpected people.

Brainstorm and help foster ways to enhance well-being for myself and others.

To take more naps on a hammock or from a cockpit.

Redefine the notion of “home” for myself.

To write again with more urgency.

Streamline and feel less tied to compulsive consuming— the internet, social media, etc.

To aggressively pay off school loan debt.

Work remotely and work less.

To own less, yet have more time and freedom.


A list of reasons for moving onto a sailboat.

To learn to let go of overdetermined plans and be reminded to stay open and adaptable.

Meet folks who share a love of sailing, of living sustainably, of the arts.

If Thoreau can find incredible inspiration about a pond, I can certainly find joys while living in a sailboat on a lake.

And in honor of Thoreau, I hope to gain more appreciation for stillness too.

To have more excuses to simply enjoy.

Like a good kayak.

Photo of woman kayaking by David Straight on Unsplash

Photo by David Straight on Unsplash

And get back to playing my banjo, preferably in the sun.

Figure out the best way to cook while underway!

In honor of the amazing friends and family who have passed away this past year, I’m realizing more and more how time (and how I choose to spend it) — above all else — is what will most notably shape my experience and perception of life.

Expand my approach to writing and thinking about creativity.

Because my family has experienced some major challenges the last few years, which we’re managing together, I’d like for this sailboat to help us create wonderful memories.

For me, it’s less about a “tiny home,” but more about a home with an expansive backyard — a home you can pick up and move anywhere like a turtle with its shell.

I’d like to decrease time spent dealing with traffic and congestion!

I’m inspired by folks who pioneer their own way, like Liz and her Tropicat, Amelia. As Liz writes, “people can develop their intuitive and clairvoyant powers just like we can learn to surf big waves or climb mountain peaks or learn to hear our own hearts more clearly….it is only our beliefs that limit us!!”

Liz and her cat, Lillifee

Liz and her cat, Lillifee, from swellvoyage.com


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