A few people have asked me what I tell guests before they come aboard. Our boat is small enough that visitors are rare. They’ve got to be superbly good friends (or our children, visiting on college vacations - or so we hope. We're not there yet.) These friends understand that it’s not a YACHT they’re staying on, despite our expanse of varnished wood. Accommodations are comfortable but sparse at the same time. Any guest bed turns into, variously, the living room sofa or the dining room seating bench. We’ve got one head. No pressure water. No hot water, unless you start by putting the kettle on the stove. A 5-star hotel it is not.
The bonuses? I can promise you’ll eat well. The beer will be cold and the coffee hot. The scenery will be better than any Ritz-Carlton on the planet. And you'll go home with amazing stories.
Some general guidelines for our guests aboard. Though ours are specific to Calypso, there are some universal truths for life on a boat you might want to use. Make it your own!
1) Pack lightly, in SOFT SIDED luggage. Hard suitcases and rolly-bags cannot be stored on the boat. Please don’t bring them. In an ideal world, you’ll pack all you need in a backpack!
2) We’ve got lifejackets (PFDs), towels, sheets, and pillows for you here. If you want to bring your own, and then take them back, to do in your own (easily accessed) laundry machines? We won’t complain.
3) If you’ve got special foods you must eat, please bring them as the markets here are not what you’re used to at home. That said, some of the fun for us is sharing our love of local foods and local markets. Any dietary restrictions? Please let us know ahead of time, as accommodating them might be extremely challenging where we are!
4) Please bring your own sunscreen and toiletries.
5) “Dressing up” means (maybe) putting on a collared shirt and a clean(ish) pair of shorts. Pack accordingly.
6) There is no bathtub on board, no private head, no electricity for a hair dryer.
7) Once you arrive, we’ll go over some on-board important things. You’ll learn how to work the toilet (the “head”), the water system, the stove, and the fridge.
8) The most important things you can bring with you are flexibility, a sense of humor, and a sense of adventure.
It's not easy having OR being a guest on board a boat. Being flexible and open about what's expected is a great way to tip the scales in the direction of everyone involved having a good time.
See you out there!