As I sit on a comfy couch, with a wifi connection and day time TV on full blast (that's right people I've escaped the ship for one week!), I've been reflecting on my experience on the Southern Swan. In my previous post Learning to sail, I discussed the work side of my life, but living aboard is also a dominate part of this new world.
Within in the crew, the vast majority live aboard on either the Southern Swan, or the Soren Larsen. For the moment, the southern swan is my home. When I first started I was sharing a room with three people. Now I share with one; my partner Zim. My Cabin, in all honesty, is not the prettiest. In fact its the only room not to have been updated it last years' refit. Its dark. There's one little skylight and unless we're connected to shore power, turning on the light is impossible. And it's very hot, especially when the engine's been on and off all day (for the day cruises they motor upwind before setting the sails) . I have never loved torches so much in my life and will eternally be grateful for my fan!
However, what we do have is a double bunk. A real sized double. And its comfy as, well a normal bed, but it makes waking up some mornings really hard! Its also clean and as cabins are build for sleeping and not much else, I can't complain.
When I first started, the ship was over on a customs wharf near Balmain. Then the Soren Larsen came along and needed a home. So the Swan moved to a new location. A timber wharf in Campbell's cove. And wow, what a view. Its a private wharf, but sometimes we have to politely remind member of the public.
being in this location, means the rocks, one of my favourite areas of Sydney, is literally on our door step. Sometimes, if the morning start isn't too early, I pop to my fave coffee shop for a take away cappuccino.
We used to take turns cooking and washing up in the evening, however for a while things got a little crazy, disorganised and if it wasn't due to certain people, I would of gone very hungry. By January order was restored and those aboard the swan were up for cooking. Its been interesting nearly poisoning a friend with pesto (who knew it contained nuts) and learning yummy vegetarian dishes. So on the swan everyone takes a turn cooking from our staples and anything special we've picked up.
As part of the daily routine, it cleaned everyday, which is a plus! There's a shower with a power head, which is awesome. However, no matter how much i scrub, my finger nails stay dirty and the dirt is en grained in my feet. All my shoes have been ruined from working on the ship, so I spend a lot of time barefoot.
But the main thing that makes living aboard worth it are the crew. On the whole, I feel I've been lucky these 6 months. On the Southern Swan not only has everyone worked well together, but we've had some fun times, spending a lot of our free time together. Sitting and talking about, well, not a lot, out on deck has given me some great memories. And on the rare occasions when you get the ship to yourself, it can be pretty amazing spending time with this old girl.