Storage and Strange Bedfellows


Willow is a small boat.  Very capable, but small.  I’ve lived aboard her since I got her in 1997.  After 16 years, I’ve accumulated stuff, and I tried my hardest before I left to rid myself of said stuff, but I had a long way to go.  I cleaned out locker after locker, trying to think of ways I’d use that spare widget, the extra torsion fortenator or rare but oh, so necessary knibbling pin.  I purged clothes, shoes, books and even jewelry in order to make Willow neat, self-contained, light(er), and seaworthy.  I didn’t come close.

When provisioning, I try to practice stocking up for at least a month, except for fresh food.  There are some great finds down here, including highly pastuerized milk that doesn’t need refrigeration until the carton is opened.  There are Sam’s Clubs, City Clubs, Costcos, and large supermarkets that don’t require a membership.  The few hard to find items, for me at least, are good coffee, good paper towels, quality cat food, and cat litter.  I’m trying to cut down on my paper towel use, but it’s so convenient to have.  The fresh foods available are abundant, with chicken, beef, pork, cheeses and fruit and vegetables obtainable everywhere.  As a gringo, I LOVE my really sour sourdough, but that’s just not to be found down here.  Soon, I’ll try making my own starter for this bread and begin experimenting.  Lucky for me, I really love tortillas, and use them just as bread, except for french toast.  They don’t work real well in that recipe…

As you can see, obtaining all of this isn’t really a problem.  The problem is, where to put this stuff?

Jeanne on Eagle is working with a women’s and children’s homeless shelter here in La Paz.  She gladly takes anything offered to this shelter, and they are very happy to receive.  I cleaned out my refer, food lockers and clothes locker, and brought her 5 trash bags full of food and clothing.  How did I get all of this on this boat in the first place?  With the food and clothing lockers cleaned out, I could now clear off my bunk.  The past few months found me sleeping with: gallon jug of olive oil, gallon cans of whole, peeled tomatoes, heads of lettuce, bags of beans, cans of coffee, flour, evaporated milk, paper towel, a ShopVac and two cats.  The cats get to stay, but I found a safe, tidy spot for those foodstuffs.  Under the table in the salon sits my Honda generator and a last bag of cat litter.  All of the paper towels, litter, ShopVac and laundry detergent have been nicely stowed.  I can even get my feet under the table now. Willow’s opened up a bit, looks and feels more comfortable, and I’m without extra stuff I just didn’t need.  The next storage lockers to tackle are my boat spares locker, garage, and lazarette locker in the cockpit.  I know I can find more things to donate away.

I hope you all are enjoying this beautiful, beautiful weather, being safe, doing good things, having fun, and above all, paddling hard!  I miss you!

2 thoughts on “Storage and Strange Bedfellows

  1. Ian

    I’m laughing with you. On my 40 boat I have exactly the same problem, it is just as serious and just as hard to solve. Except for no cats, no cat litter, no cat box and no cat food! That opens up about 3 square feet. And I’ve found that the rest of the stuff some how inflates or expands when it senses the stuff that was put in the bags has left the boat……. Smooth Sailing to ‘ya. Ian


Leave a Reply

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

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s