a boat is a hole in the water
Not so thrilled about these fetching $70 boots becoming the most expensive pair of shoes I’ve ever owned.

I don’t know, maybe I’ve said this before, but this boating thing is expensive. Boats are kind of like weddings that way. If any ordinary item is to be used on a boat (or in a wedding) it is suddenly twice as expensive as it would otherwise be. Our bank account has been bleeding like it has been shot full of bullet holes since we left Denver, and we really need to get that down to the slow trickle of a paper cut if we want to go anywhere on this boat.

Yeah, like the guy in the $500 suit is gonna stand out in a rainstorm steering the boat. Come on!
While we didn’t doubt the truth of the adage – a boat is a hole in the water into which money is thrown – our other problem is living more or less in the same manner we did when we actually had a little trifle called income. While it is certainly cheaper living without a mortgage, or debt, or more than a couple of monthly bills, it has been a bit of a shock living on a finite amount of money. “We’ll do better next month” becomes a much more painful lesson.

I’m also feeling a bit of déjà vu. Even at home we were always trying to do better, saying that it would be easier to spend less “as soon as…” Well here we are, and it’s not any easier. There are so many little victories and milestones to celebrate that we are never without an excuse to treat ourselves. Although we’ve always felt like we were making sacrifices and doing without, and by some comparisons we were, that was just practice for where we are now. If we really plan to be gone for as long as we’d hoped, we’re going to have to start cultivating a deep love for rice and beans and apathy toward cold beer. We think as soon as we get what we need for the boat and are off in more remote places, it will be easier to stick to a budget…

But there we go again. The bigger problem beyond the day-to-day expenses, are all of those life-saving, absolutely necessary items that at a hundred dollars here and there, really add up. They may indeed be absolutely necessary and even life-saving, but we’re going to have to live without some of them. We’ve read time and again about this dilemma when it comes to cruising on a budget, but it’s harder to maintain calloused objectivity in the midst of outfitting our not-at-all-imaginary boat. Now our questioning needs to go beyond “can we get by without this?” to “does the expense of this gadget justify the loss of x number of days of temporary retirement bliss?” Though I wish we would’ve unwaveringly held on to this perspective throughout these last few boat-gear-purchasing months, it’s difficult even in retrospect to think that anything we bought was not essential. Yet there’s something strangely comforting in giving up on the idea that we’ll have everything we need want before we start our journey. Instead, we’ll just have to focus on becoming more competent sailors, weather forecasters, mechanics, electricians, sail-makers, etc. in order to save our own lives. Good thing we each think of ourselves as Jack-of-all-Trades, maybe someday we will even be masters of some.  

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