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Living on a boat | Unwanted visit, bad nights and still that freedom

How unwanted visitors can make you feel damn small and freedom turns out to be foldable…

Also read: Living on a boat | This is Shem de Labric
Also read: Living on a boat | Would you do that?!

The solar panels on the first deck of our large yacht glow red as the high-pling matte black oven announces it's ready. The power supply works great. I open the lid of the oven in the kitchen island and smell the smell of freshly baked baguette. Is this coming home or is this coming home? I slide one of the bar stools aside and look out over the water, leaning my elbows on the bar. Wild geese float by, fish playfully jump out of the water and in the distance I see a group of flamingos chilling on one leg. It will be about 25 degrees. Where I am? No idea. Does that matter? No idea either.

Living on a boat | A wild goose
Living on a boat | A wild goose

I put the baguette upside down and start slicing slowly. By cutting a baguette upside down, you prevent the incisions that were baked on the top from breaking and you crush the bread with your knife that is actually a bit too blunt. Tastes the same, looks much nicer.

Everything became crystal clear: someone was there!

'… someone!!' I hear in the distance. I can't place it. Desperate, I remove some homemade herb butter from the food processor and spread it on a piece of bread. Oddly enough, my vision is getting a bit cloudy. And I feel a wave. The same wave as when someone in a speedboat sails too fast and too close to your boat. 

'There is somebody!' I hear vaguely. It's still too far to really respond to it. I sip my glass of prosecco. That wave again. Now more intense.

"Huh, what?" I mumble. What is happening? Is the boat leaking? Are we sinking? Goosebumps run down my arms.

"There's someone on the boat!" I hear my friend calling. Suddenly everything is crystal clear. I look around. He sits up in bed and holds the dog. I get up.  

"There's someone on the boat!!" he repeats. I am suddenly wide awake. The cooking island, the food processor, all those solar panels and the piece of baguette – together with the chilling flamingos – make room for reality: I'm in bed, in the forward cabin and the boat is moving. Wrong stuff. There's someone on our boat. And right above us.

Slowly I get up and grab a slipper from the floor. My friend stays on the bed and our dog comes up behind me like a hero in socks. I'm trying to figure out what's going on about a foot above our heads. I can't place it. There is no talking, I hear nothing further. Anger bubbles up inside me. 'From my boat,' I can only think, 'and right away! I've worked really hard on this and you're not touching my boat!' I'll give three, four bangs on the ceiling. So loud that it rumbles through the steel throughout the boat. That wave again, now even worse. But now clear. The unwanted guests disappear into the dark via the railing. 

Silence. 

Living on a boat | almost night
Living on a boat | almost night

All I can hear now is my heartbeat, buzzing in my head. And the panting of our dog, who looks up with his brown beady eyes and clearly wonders why in the middle of the night I'm standing naked, bare ass, with a slipper on the ceiling. Well ... and blame him.

Also read: Staying calm and positive during your World Trip | 6 Tips

Week three is over!

All right, week three is over. And that was the week for me. Besides unwanted visitors, a falling mirror at three o'clock in the morning and a solar panel that still does not work, we have become a lot more free this week. We have a bicycle! What a joy not to have to do everything on foot anymore. Apparently freedom is for sale. And foldable too. So easy on such a small boat!

Living on a boat | Sunset
Living on a boat | Sunset
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Sem de Labri

My name is Sam and I am 33 years old. Three months ago I made the choice to give up my house and live on my boat. Together with friend and dog, on about 12 square meters. We live in a region in the Netherlands and sail from place to place, we continue on holidays and we spend the winter at a permanent place in a marina.

I love to write and I like to do that on board. Especially now that I have more space in my head because I have fewer financial worries, have gotten a more relaxed life on the water (of course with ups and downs because many things are new) and also have to work less. My ultimate dream is to make a living from writing and no longer be location-bound, so that I can go wherever I want with my boat, possibly combined with a camper.

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Sem de Labri

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