LIFE ABOARD LODOS: “a day in the life”

While we have been reporting on our whereabouts, I thought it would be good to post a “day in the life” of the Lodos crew (aka Jodi & Kirby).

Generally, our day starts when the sun rises. It’s hard to stay in bed when the sun comes streaming through a porthole window or overhead hatch; you only have to turn over in our bed to look outside to see the bright blue sky mirrored in the turquoise waters that surround us everyday.

In several towns or marinas, they also have a cruiser’s net, which is usually broadcast on VHF channel 22 around 8am. It’s a helpful and hilarious summary of the goings on of the area and almost always includes: emergencies and urgent issues, weather, wind, tides, a peso report, advice, swaps & trades, local news, and the occasional joke. I found a great endodontist and a (free) aluminum pole for my chamois mop on such a broadcast. It’s a fascinating peak inside the cruiser lifestyle.

working

 

We have been trying to stay in/near places that have wifi or Telcel service, so that I can do some work part-time. Kirby has another project in the works as well, so he spends a few hours a week on this, too. I have a few perches where I like to work – out in the cockpit under the bimini where it’s shady, or inside at our salon table. In a marina, I may use a conference room in a marina or sit in a common space where the wifi signals are stronger.

 

Breakfast consists of cereal, fruit, smoothies in the Vitamix or oatmeal. There are always boat projects to complete, some more urgent than others, but it’s likely we’ll complete something everyday to ensure the boat is working properly.

We have been cooking on the boat a lot, and with the heat, we eat less and usually vegan/plant-based meals. Kirby has mastered the art of breadmaking in this Japanese machine (Zojirushi) that makes a small loaf perfect for two people over a few days. We need to ensure our boat batteries are charged up because it takes a lot of energy to run this thing – usually the solar and wind power can keep up, or we will make bread when we have the engine running or are making water. My favorite piece of kitchen equipment is my small Lodge cast iron pan, which we use almost everyday! This is honestly the best $15 I have ever spent.

For making water, we have a reverse osmosis water maker onboard that makes about 36 gallons of water/hour. So, we try to run this every few days to keep our tanks topped off.  Do you know how much water you use a day? We do! 🙂 I challenge you to track it for a few days and figure out how you could shave off a couple of gallons. It’s pretty interesting, and there is nothing like limited resources to make you acutely aware of how much you use, so you don’t run out!

Afternoons are usually spent cleaning, cooking, reading, working, writing, swimming or napping. If we are in a harbor or bay where we know people, we might also spend time having an afternoon cocktail or catching up on sailing news and weather. We have a bathtub and two showers on board the boat, but usually, we shower off the back of the boat, after a swim. One of my favorite things on the boat is our outdoor shower nozzle which gives us hot and cold water. Showering outside is a luxury that few people get to experience, but it’s oh so much better than showering inside – give it a try sometime!

weather
WindyTY screengrab

 

We check the weather multiple times a day. Actually, we are kind of obsessive about it as it changes frequently (well, not in terms of rain or sun but in terms of wind and direction). If we don’t have access to internet, we can download a quick weather file using our satellite phone (we have an Iridium Go) or our SSB Radio. I like to triangulate the sources by checking WindyTY, PredictWind, Windfinder and tide charts.

 

 

 

playinggames

As the evening rolls forward, we might play a game, shower, do some laundry or prep for dinner. If we are staying in a marina, we might go out or take a stroll after dinner. While on anchor, we almost always cook, and we can go for days without touching our feet on land, which gives us a bouncy, rolling feeling when we finally do step on land.

And, for years, Kirby has been after me to watch Game of Thrones, but I have resisted,…until now! We have all 7 seasons on a hard drive, and we’ve been watching in the evenings. We are just starting Season 5, and I’m finally hooked. Spoiler Alert: everyone dies! 

 

 

Communications abroad

Jodi’s office

So – how the heck do we stay in touch?  We figured this would be pretty straight forward, but it’s not.  When in the states, communication (phone, email, sms, etc.) is easy – all done via computer or your mobile.

Jodi and I are effectively moving out of the country so traditional roaming programs offered through our cell phone provider don’t work well.  The roaming programs typically work great for short stints out of the country.

We wanted to keep our US numbers and have them forward to us (phones and sms) wherever we are.  To accomplish this, we had to jump through a bunch of hoops.  This post outlines what we did to accomplish this.

A special thanks to the folks on the Facebook Sailing and Cruising Forum for pointing us in the right direction!  Whitson Gordon at Lifehacker also provided some great input here.  Thanks!

Here are the steps that worked for us:

  1. Get a SIM card for your local country.  This is important if you want to make inexpensive local calls and use forwarding as outlined later in this post.
  2. Set up a Google Voice account.
  3. Port your US phone number to Google Voice.  For some reason this needs to be done via the legacy GV product.  Follow the linked instructions.
  4. Google will assign a number when you sign up, so go ahead and delete the number they assigned after your US phone number has been ported.
  5. Set up a Skype account and most importantly get a Skype phone number.  To do this, open the Skype My Account page.  Click on the Skype Number box.  Go through the signup.
  6. Go to Google Voice and open settings.  In the Linked Number setting, add your Skype number.  This will enable you to dial your old US number from anywhere and it will ring through to Skype.
  7. Now you can add forwarding to Skype too.  Go to the Skype forwarding settings and add the local number for your SIM card.  Also make sure Skype voice mail is off.
  8. In GV, there are a few tweaks to make in settings.
    1. I leave ‘Do not disturb’ off.
    2. I like to leave messages (sms messages) on GV, so under Messages, I leave this unchecked.
    3. Under the Calls section, make sure your Skype number shows up and this box is checked.
    4. I have Call Screening turned off.
    5. I have ‘Get voicemail via message’ unchecked.  I want to get messages via email and not text message.

So – Let us know what you think!  Did we miss something?  What do you do for international communications?