I find myself being asked, often, what it’s like living on a boat. It’s not an easy question to answer. After all, how would you answer if I asked what it’s like living in a house? I think I know what the question really means, how is it different, what makes it exciting, but it’s still hard to find words for.

Boat life is a lot like living in a very small apartment with no right angles.

Boat life is a bit like motor home travel but without the roads and traffic.

Boat life is just like living in our house, except when it’s not. I was washing dishes after dinner when we ran out of water in the tank. Alex started filling it up, we got a little distracted, and then I noticed one of the floor boards over the tank rising up. I started clearing the floor to raise the board, Alex ran to shut off the water, and then we heard dripping. Drop everything to pull up all the floor boards, find the odd piece of garden hose attached to our water tank, locate overflow from overfilling, mop bilge, brainstorm water system so we’ll know when the tank is full, reassemble floor. Twenty minutes later I finish the dishes and we curl up on the couch to watch a show on Netflix.

Boat life is deciding it’s not worth it to take apart the couch and move the oil and dig under the spare lines to get to the vacuum when I could sweep the whole boat with a dustpan and brush in less time.

Boat life is turning around from cooking to find both kids hanging upside down from the ceiling and my only comment is to please avoid stepping on the cat when they come down.

Boat life is trading my backyard and garden for the chance to have a new view from the deck any time I want.

Boat life is your kids looking up from their game to see their father’s feet dangling down from the ceiling hatch, and then turning right back to their game because that’s nothing new.

Boat life is having my family within ten steps of each other all the time and finding out that we really enjoy one another’s company. We haven’t even threatened to toss anyone overboard yet.