Lessons from a life afloat…

She must find a boat and sail in it. No guarantee of shore. Only a conviction that what she wanted could exist, if she dared to find it.

Jeanette Winterson

I was honoured to be asked to contribute a guest post to Focusing on Life (FOL) , a collaborative blog by a group of women whose photography and writing I’ve long admired.(Thanks, Dotti!)

In my post, I share some key life lessons I’ve learned from living on a sailboat in southern climes part of the year. This lifestyle is our dream — we love the freedom, enjoy the new experiences that open up to us every day and embrace living with less. It’s not for everybody, that’s for sure, but we all have our own dreams and places where we feel most alive and at home with ourselves. What’s yours?

Click here to read my guest post.

Focusing on Life has as its goal “to create a caring community for people who are passionate about photography and life. We hope this will be a place that will inspire, teach, nurture, support and accept one another; a place where we can grow in our craft and as individuals.”

Why not come over and check out FOL? And while you’re there have a look at some of the other posts. I’m sure you’ll be inspired and delighted by the talent of the regular contributors and guest posters too. If you like what you see, you’ll want to become a regular reader and part of this wonderful supportive community.

The Simplicity Project, Nos.19, 20 and 21

morning in the pocket

Not our boat! This is a neighbouring boat. I love the way the sun glints off it in the morning.

We’re living on our sailboat now, in a lovely intimate marina in the Manatee Pocket, at the mouth of the St.Lucie Inlet in Florida.

This is the same place as we were last year, and it was so heart-warming to be welcomed back by many friends we made during our stay then.

Our original plan was to head to the Bahamas after the Christmas holidays, but the best laid plans….as you know…

It turns out we have to replace our mast and rigging before we sail anywhere — no need to go into the whys and wherefores here — and we just have to accept that that will take some time.

I’m still doing my¬†Simplicity Project so the next two images will reflect that.

four winds3

This is the hull of the boat of the couple slipped next to us. I loved the way the sunlight divides the water into triangles at one certain point in the morning.

The couple in the boat next to us have sailed and lived aboard their sailboat since 1986. They have helped to develop the charts for cruising the Bahamas and authored articles on sailing topics. They really know what it means to be sailors! People on boats make friends fast and help each other out all the time. To me that’s one of the great attractions of this kind of life.


It takes big lines to tie up a big boat! We have boats — both power and sail — of all sizes here.

These last three images may not quite fit the simplicity brief but they do show a glimpse of life on our mastless sailing vessel.

sailboat without mast

Bob ties us up at the dock.

I’ve circled where the mast is supposed to be.


Breakfast on the boat. We have one burner and I don’t need more than that!

bob and charles

Bob and Charles enjoy a quiet moment in the cockpit just before dinner.