Velella's Drift

An account of Velella's voyage from Seattle to New York via Panama, 2009-2011

The World a Spare Room

He’s driving me completely nuts.

We’ve had a lovely “early honeymoon” this week, sinking into the solitude with each other (after a month of guests aboard) and exploring some of the most remote anchorages we’ve yet seen. As the sole boat in an enormous reef-fringed anchorage on an uninhabited island, you can hike up the cliff in the nude if you feel like it!-there’s nobody for miles but the scuttling crabs and soaring hawks. Yesterday I laid in bed for almost the entire day reading a book, which is a rare treat even when you’re on perma-vacation like we are now. We cook food, read to each other, play chess and cribbage, swim, sleep, you get the picture. It’s been beautiful, and all the more savory because we’ll be leaving Mexico in less than two weeks.

As our wedding date approaches and our sailing trip comes to a (temporary) end, we’ve been congratulating ourselves on the wisdom of heading “off the grid” during our engagement. We spent the last six months working really hard together, overcoming fears, facing a huge range of problems, and enjoying equally many spectacularly gratifying moments as well. Lots of “quality time.” Our guests (fellow cruisers and landlubbers alike) often remark that if you can get along with each other on a 35′ boat for this long, you’re well equipped for marriage.

If marriage is eternal tolerance, then yes, I would think we’re well equipped. I mean, I can’t imagine a point in my life where I will ever be MORE annoyed with this man on a daily basis. I’m so sick of hearing “can I squeeze past you?” (about 12 times per day), that I’ve started to just say, No more squeezing past! If I’m occupying our 1-foot-square galley, you can’t “squeeze in” too! There’s no room in our bedroom for both of us to get dressed at the same time! Now that I sat down to write you need something out of the quarter berth beneath me?! I’m sure he’s just as annoyed with me because, after all, we only have 35 feet, and that’s mighty little for two to share. But for the most part, we suppress these annoyances because, well, we chose to live in a tiny house.

Compounding the small space arrangements is the fact that absolutely everything we do is a decision to be made, which amounts to about 65 decisions we make TOGETHER per day: do we tack upwind to get to the cooler anchorage North of us or head around the corner to the South for a more comfortable sail? Should we reef the main now? Should we fly the staysail with that? How about trimming in, easing off, closing that thru-hull valve, anchoring in three fathoms or five, and oh I haven’t even scratched the surface of all the things we decide on together. Naturally, both being well-educated and stubborn, we have a few differences of opinion on our forced and frequent collaborations. Just a few.

Having such confined space to cohabitate (and make so VERY many decisions within) is a struggle-I’d be lying to you if I said it wasn’t. We all need space to live. But while everybody else may have larger homes than ours, and rooms they can retreat to for peace and quiet and space from one another, nobody has the kind of backyard we have. It’s full of dolphins.

We have the whole navigable world to stretch out in-and it’s always a million-dollar view. You are all cordially invited to visit as guests to our expansive, skylight-lit spare room.



  ogm wrote @

Squeezing in a comment to say..can’t wait till you are both back in the states!

  Anne and Dick wrote @

Still keeping track of you and we want to know when you are back in US of A (hope to see you then). So glad you have “negotiated” independent spaces on your boat, we are still trying to do that on ours and Full & By is a bit bigger.

Have a great trip when you leave and how will you send updates on your trip to us coastal folks?

Fair winds and have a great time in this expansive room we are sailing in.

Best to you both

Anne and Dick

  CaptCleary wrote @

Anne and Dick–guess who we anchored next to in Bahia Agua Verde? Bika! We rowed over and said hi for you. When are you going to be in La Paz? We’re still here until the 15th and would love to meet up with you…

  Prescott wrote @

You should have named this blog “10 things I hate about him”

  Katie wrote @


Your blog is beautiful! Not too shabby of a kitty and fiance either! I hope you enjoy every second of your engagment together, it is a very special time. Nick and I were apart for all but 3 months of our 2 year engagement and are now catching up as newlyweds. Safe travels and hopefully when you are back in MN we can catch up!

  CaptCleary wrote @

Katie it’s so good to hear from you! Your wedding pictures were absolutely gorgeous, not at all surprising : ) When I’m back in MN we should rendezvous with Marie Herwig–I saw her a few times while I was living in LA this year. Thanks for writing~

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