Sophia down below

Come take a tour of Sophia down below. See how we live in a very small space.

Advertisements

Hello, again friends!  One of you asked to see our home’s inside, so I scrubbed and straightened and took the following photos to satisfy your curiosity.  Welcome to our abode.

The hatch (our front door) on laundry day.
The hatch (our front door)

And here is our little sanctum, viewed as you come down the steps into our boat, a 36-foot Sabre built in 1986.

IMG_4451
The Salon looking towards the bow.

That’s the whole shebang, folks.  Our entire house.  But let me show you a few little details.  The table can be pushed down and fitted with cushions to create a double berth.  We sleep forward, in the v-berth, which you can glimpse beyond the hallway where you also see the padded mast.  First, look to your right and check out the navigation station.

IMG_4412
The nav station.

I am sitting there as I write this.  The cabinets above the control panels hold books and all our computer components and cables, while the desk opens up to store maps and pens and what not.   The seat stretches back behind me (as I’m sitting here) into the quarter berth, also a very comfortable place for two people to sleep.  There we stash our ditch bag (a ditch bag is what you hope you never have to use.  It’s your abandon ship store, with flashlights and extra eyeglasses and sunscreen and first aid, a GPS, hand held VHF, and an EPIRB, or Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, food rations, and other stuff)  and my yoga mat (and often quite a few other things):

The quarter berth.
The quarter berth.

I’ve nursed the intention to get up and practice yoga every day.  More on that in a separate post.  On with the tour.  Coming into the cabin, look left and see our galley:

The galley
The galley

The hanging net bag holds fruit and onions and garlic, in mesh bags to keep out flies and to catch debris.  I have a bunch of them and take them with me to markets to avoid having to use extra plastic bags.  They’re machine washable.  Above the oven you’ll see a counter.  That slides up and down behind the oven to reveal the stove, below.  Notice that the teapot has moved!  Above it sits on a trivet that I wove out of old line.

The galley stove
The galley stove

Here’s a closer look at the “trivet” which could also serve as a block mat.  I followed Hervey Garrett Smith’s directions in his very useful The Marlinspike Sailor.  The cover of that book shows this mat in the bottom left hand corner.

IMG_4416
Block mat made out of old line. Very useful as a trivet! I sprayed the bottom of it with plastic, so it doesn’t slide around.

I also made this rug out of old line, which feels really good under your feet when standing too cook or wash dishes.

Rug made from old line.
Rug made from old line.

Hang on, there’s lots more to see in the galley! Here, for example, is the refrigerator, which sits to the left of the stove.  If you’re standing here, you’re looking back towards the stern.

IMG_4419
Our refrigerator.

The line down the center is a hinge, which allows you to lift one side at a time.  I just cleaned it, so I’ll let you peek inside.

The freezer sits inside the refrigerator.
The freezer sits inside the refrigerator.

We can make huge ice cubes in the freezer, and store them in a large Blue Avocado bag.  Here’s the other side:

.IMG_4425It’s quite deep, but slanted on the bottom; not box-shaped.  You’re looking at the upper shelves.  Underneath them I put large plastic tubs with meats and cheese on the bottom.  I also bought a hard plastic egg case from Lock & Lock that stays down in the guts, as well.  It’s the coolest thing, pun intended!  In fact, I just pulled it out to make breakfast and found that it was literally too cool.  The eggs had frozen and split their shells.  I’ll be keeping the eggs closer to the top from now on.

To the left of the fridge, there is this nifty little cutting board set into the counter, standard on all Sabres: IMG_4422Underneath it, you find the trash! Look, I’ll show you:

Yes, all boats attract cockroaches. One must be proactive!!
Yes, all boats attract cockroaches. One must be proactive!!

Behind this counter we keep spices when we’re not underway.  We’ll pack them up into plastic bins and stow them for passages.

IMG_4420

But check out the cool teak shelf we discovered in a consignment store.  Ryan installed it.  All the wood on board is teak, of course.

IMG_4421

Just above the counter is a locker:

Locker in the galley.
Locker in the galley.

Here we keep olive oil, precious balsamic vinegar, coffee, an insulated French press, and a coffee grinder.  At least for now.  I’m sure I’ll rearrange things again and again as I gain experience.

Basic luxuries. Coffee, tea, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Basic luxuries. Coffee, tea, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

It seems most things take an extra step on a boat.  Coffee, for example.  Of course I don’t just turn on the stove to boil water.   First I have to get out of the galley, open the propane locker, and turn on the gas.  Then back to the stove, where I use a lighter to get the flame going.  While the water is boiling, I grind the beans in our ecogrinder, giving my biceps a tiny workout.

The ecogrinder. Coffee beans from La Prima!!! We accept donations of Pittsburgh coffee.
The ecogrinder. It has a ceramic grinder Coffee beans roasted in Pittsburgh: La Prima!!!

We eat quite well on board, actually.  This morning, for instance, we had homemade pepperoni bread that we got at the local Farmer’s market, lightly fried in oil and dipped in tomato sauce that I made with the last of our Pittsburgh garden tomatoes.  I had hoped to make eggs in purgatory, but you already know what happened to the eggs.

So, on with the tour.  Here’s where we keep the dishes, in the cabinets above the stove.  The cooking pot belonged to my mom.  It has a strainer inside which doubles as a colander, and the lid flips over to serve as an extra frying pan.  There is a lot of storage space of top, where I keep things in Lock & Lock boxes. The cups come from Ryan’s old boat, Zenobia, and the plates were free.

IMG_4430

The first week we got here, an old sailor with a gorgeous North Carolina twang overheard us asking for plastic plates in a store.  The shop did not have any.

“What kind of plates d’you wa-ant?”  he asked.

“Plates that don’t break.”

“Well, I have some you can have.  Was gonna throw ’em away.  My wife doesn’t want ’em.”

“Why not?  What’s wrong with them?”

“She di’nt buay em!”

So he told us he’d leave them at the marina where he keeps his boat, and we drove out and fetched them.  They’re perfectly good plates.  The boat also came with cutlery, so we save some dollars there.  Here are photos of the other side of the cabinet, where we keep foodstuffs in, you guessed it, Lock & Lock boxes:

IMG_4432 IMG_4431

Wait! There’s more!  Next to the sink there is this lid:

IMG_4433

It opens to reveal a deep storage space with shelves.  We keep foodstuffs that we don’t use as often, such as flour, and extra pasta sauce, in here.  And of course everything stays airtight in Lock & Lock boxes. Oops!  Looks like I didn’t clean very well.  Someone spilled coffee on the chicken broth.  I better clean that up.

IMG_4434

Yes, the boxes were quite an investment, but they last forever (unfortunately) and are incredibly useful.  Plus, it’s a sin to bring foodstuff cardboard or boxes on board, since they tend to harbor cockroaches and other nasty critters.  So everything that doesn’t come in glass goes into plastic.  We are making an effort to avoid creating plastic trash, and have therefore also invested in sturdy, reusable, Blue Avocado plastic bags.

There are more storage lockers, but I won’t bore you with all of them.  Let’s go admire the salon, where last night Ryan and I played a mean game of Gin Rummy. The open cubby holds a lot of books.  There’s an identical one on the other side of the boat, above the starboard. I keep my art supplies and personal items in the locker next to my turquoise hat.   Those ugly velcro strips held even uglier framed sea-themed art, which I took down immediately.  We’ll fill the space as we find stuff we like.

IMG_4410

Under these seats we have our water tanks and a pretty large locker where we are currently storing wine and other important drinks.  We love the conch shell decoration on the teak table:

IMG_4411

Looking forward towards the bow from the navigation station, you can appreciate how much light there is down below.  You can just barely make out the bookshelf above the starboard settee, underneath of which is more storage.  We keep tools there.  There are also two lockers on either side of the bookshelf.

IMG_4413In the photo above, the first door to the head is just behind the mast, on the left.  Open it, and you will see this, more or less:

The head.
The head.

Sophia came with a ridiculous electric toilet, which we hated, because it didn’t work and it seemed dumb to rely on electricity for this essential bodily function.  So Ryan tore it out and, with great labor and ingenuity, installed this lovely hand-pump commode.  We don’t use it while in port, because it’s against the law to discharge your toilet and we don’t want to fill up the storage tanks with stink.  They’re under our bed, after all.  No, we walk up to the bathroom at the marina.  It’s not so bad, we get extra exercise and keep the boat smelling fresh.

Now, there are two doors into the head; the one you’re looking through in the photo above and opposite the Tibetan curtain in the photo below.  The second door is just to right of the sink.  That one opens up into the v-berth. The Tibetan curtain covers the teak door of a large storage closet.  It swings towards the v-berth, dividing the main cabin from the “master bedroom” or v-berth.  So if we have guests, they can come in to the head from the main cabin and we can get into it from ours without having to get dressed.  IMG_4399

The photo above is taken from the v-berth.  Turn around and here it is!

The v-berth
The v-berth

The white rectangle at the top of the photo is an open hatch, draped from above with a Canadian Bugbusters screen.   We have one on the companionway as well, as you can see in the first photo. It’s kind of hard to see the whole berth with all my down pillows stuffing up the place.  I insisted on bringing them. Ryan protested briefly.  The step opens up for storage (we keep cleaning products there) and there are roomy drawers on either side.

IMG_4407
Step to the v-berth


IMG_4408
Drawer in the v-berth

At the base of the v-berth is a rug that I made of old line, just like the one in the galley.

Our friends Tom and Susan gave us lots of great suggestions for setting up the boat. They told us about Lock & Lock boxes and mesh bags for clothing.  Following their advice, we have organized tee-shirts, shorts, underwear, and so on, into these zippered bags, which store in the shelves in the v-berth.

Storing clothes in mesh bags
Storing clothes in mesh bags

Here’s how the v-berth converts into a bed.  First you insert a wooden platform that folds in half for storage (you can see the rug I made in this photo):

V-berth
V-berth

Then you put the triangular cushion on the platform:

IMG_4443
It’s a bed!

See that little circle at the bow?  That is a door that opens into the space where we keep our anchor, rode, and chain.  There used to be a ghastly example of chintzy marine art there, but I took it down.

Here’s the bed all made up:

IMG_4444

Cozy!  Don’t you think? We sleep with the hatch open so we can see the stars. In the morning we get up and look at this:

IMG_4409

Well, that’s the tour, folks!  Let us hear from you, now.  For more descriptions of boat interiors, follow this link:

http://themonkeysfist.blogspot.com/2014/10/sailboat-interiors.html

 

Author: Kimberly Latta, Ph.D.

Psychotherapist, writer, artist, and independent feminist scholar.

8 thoughts on “Sophia down below”

  1. Very nice my dear sister! Sounds like you are really embracing your new life. We are so happy for you. Whatever happened to your puppies? Oh and I absolutely love those trivets and rugs, well done I am very impressed. Thanks so much for including me on your little tour, I truly enjoyed it!
    Dee

    Like

  2. Love! Nice to see another Sabre. We are cruising the Caribbean in our Sabre 42. Just found your blog in the ssca feed on fb. Going to marlinspike sailor site to see how to make the rug…

    Like

  3. Thanks for the tour. You’ve done a great job setting up your boat, especially the plastic containers with tight-fitting lids which keep everything in place in a seaway, and keep insects from getting into or out of your grains, beans and pasta – (speaking from bitter experience here). Sorry about your frozen eggs. We had only a small fridge onboard, with no freezer, so we kept eggs unrefrigerated and turned the plastic egg carton over every day or so. In 12 years of cruising I had only 4 or 5 eggs go bad. (Always cracked them in a separate container before combining with other foods.) Love your upholstery!

    Like

Please leave us a comment, but if you are not logged in please leave your first name in the comment, so we know who you are.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s