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Old 07-10-2009, 04:51 PM   #1
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I wonder how other folks do it. When we're on mooring or anchorage, pre-haul, post-haul and actual hauling things takes an unsatisfactorily huge chunk of time. Nothing hard about it, it just takes more time than you'd think.

We've figured that getting a large load of groceries to the boat is a multi-step task of interesting proportions. Big loads mean using the nearby grocery which is biking distance is out (we have one folding bike onboard, one regular bike) unless the waters are calm enough for us to reliably take the canoe rather than the Tinker Traveler inflatable dingy. The canoe has about 1000lb wt capacity and more physical room than the 12' Traveler does but can't be used if we think it's going to be really windy or rough. Close to where we like to anchor (because it's nice, calm, and near a grocery!), the docking to get to the nearby grocery requires one of us to stay with the dingy because its only a "15 minute docking allowed" place--so one of us drops off the other person and then rows back out to the boat or hangs out at the (empty!) dock (illegally) waiting for the biker to come back with grocery bags hanging off of every part of the bike.

If it's a BIG haul of groceries and we're not on the mooring down on Coronado near the car, we can take the folding bike, hubby rides to where the car is parked (this can take 30 minutes or 1.5 hours depending on where we're anchored/moored relative to where the car happens to be...and no, public transport doesn't go any faster) then he gets the car, comes back to the dock, picks up me and the dink--I ride in the car, the dink on top and we go to one of the more "discount" grocery places. When we get back, Hubby takes the car back to its storage spot, rides the bike back to the dock, we jointly load up all the groceries into the dink, if they and the bike all fit, we take one trip out to the boat to unload, if not, then one of us does a trip out to the boat while the other sits with the left over pile of goods.

If we're on the mooring, no folding bike required--so that part is faster! the only "extra" is getting a dock cart at the marina, walking the groceries to the end of the farthest dock where we stash our dingy next to a friends' boat when we come in and taking the dock cart or carts back...easy compared to the biking part.

Then there's the "hand it onto the boat" part--more groceries fit in the Traveller dingy when we just leave them in the (plastic) bags from the grocer rather than put them in our duffels and packs for carrying things. So, we typically load up one or two duffel bags and then put all the rest just where it will fit. So, come time to get it onto the boat (freeboard is high enough that you can't simply stand in the dingy and get the bags onto deck...you'd be slinging them...) it's hand it up from the dink to the deck time.

Then there's rearrange the groceries time (usually done on deck because I have lots of space to sort up there)

Then, there's the haul it from the deck to the cockpit, from the cockpit into the charthouse, from the charthouse down to the galley or other "stash" spots on the boat. How many times to we handle this stuff

Oh, yea, don't forget to get the dingy has to make it back to its spot on deck and the boarding platform re-stowed, too.

We've taken a few loads of "big" things needed on the boat--same situation but usually with fragile things that we're hoping to keep dry.

I have a funny feeling that every boater who has moved "off the docks" goes through this realization an awful lot of time can be spent in all the "support" activities for living aboard.

Lucky for us, we've not hauled water yet--we come into a dock for that part

What are other folks' experiences?
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Old 07-11-2009, 11:44 PM   #2
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I agree... provisioning via dinghy is a headache.... For water I just keep a jerry can in teh dinghy and every time I go ashore fill up and then transfer to the tanks on my return... this pretty much keeps me stocked up and I haven't had to go along sides for water in a while... same with diesel... i don't motor much so i take a jerry can and a littl collapsing dolly with me in the dinghy and then dolly my jerry can to and from the nearest pumps whenever my gauge says I'm down by 1/8...

for food it can get more complex... as we recenly discussed in the other thread about boston... inhospitable docks would make this hard and is somethign I've just lately run into and am trying to acoid all together... I have a car at the moment nearby also, but when I don't I usually just borrow a cart from the marina (without asking) and take that to the store... you get some odd looks pushing a bulky marina cart around the store... and sometimes have trouble getting in and out of the doors but it makes it much easier... either that or I "borrow" a shopping cart from the grocery store and if the side walks allow take it back to the dock... I do of course return it to the store.... eventually... as for loads in teh dinghy... my current dinghy is a 10ft jon boat... so not too much storage but I've never had any issues if i left groceries on the dock and came back quickly...

if you figure out a better way let us all know.
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Old 07-12-2009, 04:48 PM   #3
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I think it gets easier the more you do it, because I can't remember when I last felt annoyed with the provisioning process. *Water, though, was often a bigger chore, particularly in some places where the only way to get water to the boat was in jerry jugs.

Provisioning. I think that cruising in the Caribbean back in the 80s taught us to be very, very careful with our water and to never return to the boat empty-handed. We never went anywhere without our backpacks, and always bought something to replenish our provisions. Back then there weren't very many marinas, so usually everything was brought to the boat by dinghy. In Venezuela where we went for hurricane season everything was so cheap that we would stock up on stuff to bring back to the islands. Coffee was USD $0.67 for a kilo of coffee (really good coffee), compared to maybe $12.00 and more per kilo in St. Martin. Venezuela limited foreign shoppers to 2 cans in a grocery order. I'd try to stop to buy two 1-kilo cans of coffee every day I could, and usually a bottle of $1.00 a liter rum and a few other things. Usually we'd be in a place like Margarita or Cumana and I'd shop twice a day for a few days to get ahead. After hurricane season, we'd return to the windward islands with 26 cans of coffee (which lasted six months) and a lot of the other very good and very cheap canned goods from VZ.

We usually bought our fresh produce at the weekly (sometimes daily) open markets on the islands since our refrigeration was minimal and so I wanted unrefrigerated fruits, vegetables, and eggs. *

Most of our shopping was done that way. Perhaps once a year we'd pull up to a dock and do heavy-duty provisioning. *However, we looked at provisioning when we first anchored in a bay as an opportunity to explore the area, finding sources for hardware, food, fresh produce, and so on. *A stop at a local restaurant for lunch was another part of this exploration. *Somehow a bad meal at midday wasn't nearly as disappointing to us as a bad evening meal. *We had some surprisingly great food on these trips, and a few truly awful experiences. *All, good and bad, was worth it.

In some places getting water was a bigger issue. *It should be remembered that we didn't use a lot of fuel and so trips to a fuel dock were infrequent. *As such we would usually fill our water tanks with jerry jugs about five or ten times before we needed a diesel fix, and most of the time we jerry-jugged our diesel as well.

The hardest places to get water: *in Malaysia one of the bays we stopped in and were quite happy staying for more than a week, the water was piped in from a local stream. *Peter brought back several jerry jugs so I could do our laundry, but it was SO full of silt that it would have made our clothes dirtier than before laundering. *We had a silt filter that we used to filter all water going into our water tanks, but we didn't want to put this extremely silty water through it as it was. *

We had two very large jerry jugs, about 8 gallons (30 liters) each. *Peter filled them and we let them sit in the cockpit overnight. *The next morning we siphoned off the top 5 gallons or so into our regular jerry jugs, then put that in our water tanks after chlorinating them in the jugs, or into the wash bucket through the filter. *Filling our water tanks took a lot longer.

The policy of chlorinating the water and then filtering it, before putting it into the water tanks was a survival strategy. *We spent most of our cruising *years in undeveloped countries where water sources were local streams or wells. *Lots of nasties could be in the water. *Our success was measured by our avoidance of major infections and illnesses. *We spent almost six months in Ecuador during the worst of their cholera epidemic without getting ill. *We were in Samoa during a typhoid epidemic, again with no ill effects. *

Margarita Island, VZ was a desert-dry island where the best anchoring was. *One year I was stuck on the boat, alone, for several months when Peter went back to the States to help his mother and his terminally ill father. *We had pulled the mast from the boat to cut 7 feet of it and rerig it for our planned entry into the S. Pacific, so I wasn't going anywhere. *Although there was a reasonable laundry nearby, I usually did our laundry in a 5-gallon bucket on deck. *The laundry process was a bit complicated.

1. *Go to the dock to get water. *The locals knew that I was alone on the boat, and so they would help me lift the jerry jugs into the dinghy.

2. *Back to the boat, fill the laundry bucket (5-gallon pail). *Wash the least dirty items, then the dirtier items before rinsing. *

3. *Use the dirty wash water to wash all the red dust off the lifelines and to rinse the deck of the red dust. *

4. *Rinse the clothes, using the dirty rinse water to rinse down the lifelines and the deck. *

5. *Hang out the clean laundry. *

All this had to be done early in the morning so that the clothes would be dry around noontime and could be taken in before the wind and dust started in the afternoon. *I had to look at this as a challenge, not a chore, or I would have resented it very, very quickly. Back then we were on a pretty tight penny-pinching budget to be sure we preserved capital. *It was worth it, and laundry became a fairly stress-free habit.

The worst place for getting water and provisions was Salinas, Ecuador. *That's a long story best left for another time, though.
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Old 07-13-2009, 04:10 PM   #4
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Oh, JeanneP, I'm laughing as I read your posting

I guess I should clarify--I don't get annoyed, I just wonder if there isn't a better way to do what we do. And, I note that it really does take extra HOURS to do some things that you wouldn't expect to take so long.

We've been taking so much weird stuff onto the boat of late--last night at 11 pm Hubby and I loaded up two folding saw horses into the dingy... along with 5 pool noodles (for two different projects, clearly!) as well as our usual load of stuff we used during the day "elsewhere" off the boat (extra clothes, binoculars, phones, sunblock, hats, you know the drill...) as well as a minor haul of food, drink, a few spare boat parts and tools, and this time...a 30 lb bag of kitty litter for the cat.

The nice thing about rowing out to the boat at 11 pm with this haul onboard is that the waters are pretty calm so no need to worry about tying the pool noodles to the sawhorses (to keep them floating lest the fall overboard...)
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Old 07-13-2009, 07:48 PM   #5
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Never? *Some of the things we hauled, or dropped overboard, would set me muttering, "16+ years of education, for what? *be a pack mule? *Where in the contract did I agree to that?"

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Old 07-13-2009, 11:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeanneP View Post
Never? Some of the things we hauled, or dropped overboard, would set me muttering, "16+ years of education, for what? be a pack mule? Where in the contract did I agree to that?"

LOL

Nah, I don't get annoyed about this kinda stuff--it takes PEOPLE to annoy me. A dingy and a load of stuff can't do it.

I do think to myself--why am I doing this in San Diego when I could sublet a nice, comfy slip...and considering that it only takes me a couple hours of work (consulting) to pay for that slip...I do wonder why I'm doing this the "hard way"...but THEN I remember, oh, yes, I'm not working right now and don't really want to work and...if I can't haul things here where its relatively "easy" I won't be able to do so in some rough anchorage somewhere! So, good practice...I keep telling myself that, at least.
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