Whine on deck

There’s no room on a sailboat for whining. If you’re going to whine you have to go sit by yourself on the poop deck. We’re not sailors so we don’t know whether it’s actually called the poop deck. But the name works too well to be concerned with the small matter of accuracy. For Matilda, sensitive as she is, the name itself is enough to bend the arc of behaviour in a positive direction.

Hanging out on the poop deck may sound just fine with the sunshine and the fresh sea breezes to dry your tears and blow your salty whinnying across the marina. But this is Seattle and soon it will start to rain, and it won’t stop for 8 months. And then, oh dear oh dear, things will look mighty different out there! And you’ll beg to be let back inside and we’ll say the same thing we’re saying now, “Of course! But leave that whining outside. There’s no room in here.”

There’s no room for a lot of things on a sailboat. We’re discovering this during our liveaboard trial week.

We’ve always been a paired down family. Before kids we both traveled and lived all over, and the idea of keeping things simple is a core family value. We rejoiced when we emptied our storage unit last month. All those things we’ve been paying to store are finally paying for themselves as we sell them off, piece by piece. Rusty rollerblades to a Ballard hipster who’s singlehandedly bringing back the 90’s. An acoustic bass guitar to a 19 year old jazz head. Snowshoes to a motivated techie. Will those tire chains fit on his Prius? I bet they would! The money goes into a jar and soon we’ll have enough to buy the most expensive camera we can find.

Whine on Deck


When we list our core values Quality over Quantity repeats over and over. We don’t want a lot of things. We want a couple of extremely nice, well-designed, high quality things. That one pair of boots that will carry you in style and substance through all kinds of social and work engagements. That one bag that is easy to carry, fits the right things and is always beautiful. Take that to the extreme and you end up living not in a house, not in an apartment, but in a sailboat.

And to be honest, this boat is a bit tight, and not the right fit. But we know we can do it. We know there are a lot of things we don’t need, and just a few that we really do. We know we can leave a lot of things on the poop deck and be happier for it.