Why haven’t I posted exciting pictures of our travels? Or talked about new places? Because we haven’t moved in a long time.
Honey loves it. It feels like home.
How We Live On The Boat
It’s our first year living on the boat. And we’re trying to figure out how to keep everyone happy.
I love novelty. I enjoy seeing new places, meeting new people, and then getting the heck out of Dodge before I get bored (or irritate the cool people I’ve just met).
My husband Mike likes habit. He enjoys settling into a place. And most of all, he loves eating in restaurants as much as possible.
And Honey? What does Honey like?
Mostly, she likes to be with us.
Would you be surprised to know that Honey never barks in frustration because Mike is in my one part of the house and I’m in the other?
You shouldn’t be. Since our current house is only 34 feet long and 10 feet wide. It’s pretty hard to lose track of anyone.
Honey is in heaven.
But there’s one more thing Honey likes about where we’ve landed recently—the neighborhood. It feels just like home to her.
Welcome To The Palmetto State
After many weeks of cold and slow travel through the North Carolina section of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (a series of linked rivers, sounds, and manmade canals that allow boats to travel the east coast while protected from the open ocean), we were happy to find warmer temperatures in South Carolina.
We’ve been in Beaufort (pronounced Bew-fort) at Lady’s Island Marina for the past month.
We will be here for at least a couple more weeks before heading north to the Chesapeake Bay.
What’s the draw in Beaufort?
For Mike, it’s the marina workshop he’s using to build the boat’s new composting head (toilet).
For Honey, it’s the big sandy yard where she can roll on her back. And where she chases her new doggie friends who live on other boats in the marina.
And for me? It’s finally being able to wear shorts and bare feet and having a happy husband and dog.
Being here for so long has changed all of us a little. But none more than Honey.
And it has helped me discover an interesting new intelligence she has.
My Dog Has Situational Awareness
When we lived in a house, Honey would bark to let us know she wanted to go outside.
I expected that to continue once we moved on board. And I wondered how stressful it would be to have her bark when we were underway and couldn’t possibly take her to shore.
But it never happened.
Honey very quickly learned things were different.
She understood she couldn’t get off the boat when she wanted. She even learned not to bark.
Honey knew that her communication couldn’t change anything. So she stopped talking.
But lately that has changed.
It’s pretty easy to take Honey off the boat using her ramp. The marina yard is only a few steps away. Honey has new dog friends she plays with every day.
It’s almost like being back in the only home she ever knew with us.
And Honey has rediscovered her bark.
While I’m working in the boat cabin, Honey will give me a stare when she’s ready to leave the boat.
And if I don’t respond fast enough, she’ll bark. Once.
She knows it’s almost as easy to take her out as it was when we lived in a house. So once again Honey talks to tell us she wants to go out.
I believe that once we’re traveling again, Honey’s situational awareness will click in. She won’t bark to let us know she wants to pee. She’ll wait for us to let her know it’s time.
I don’t think any of my earlier dogs would be able to make the shift.
Honey is smart. Honey is eager to please. But I also think Honey feels at home.
Once the new head is installed, we have a few more boat projects to work on.
Most of all, we need to get our dinghy engine ready to use so the current doesn’t sweep me and Honey away when we take a potty break while anchoring.
And then we have to go north.
Our insurance specifies that we need to be north of Norfolk, Virginia by June 1st to be out of the way of hurricanes.
Nope, we won’t see Savannah or Florida this year. Maybe next year.
Where will we go? Not sure.
I’d like to visit my family in New York. Mike wants to go to Canada. Of course we’ll spend plenty of time in the Chesapeake Bay.
But no matter where we go, we’ll know Honey feels at home by the way she barks when she has to pee.
Update: A few readers of yesterday’s post pointed out that my picture was of a poisonous Sago palm, not the Palmetto Honey likes to chew. Apologies for the error. Expected since I’ve lived north of the Mason Dixon line for 30 years. And it’s why I write a dog blog, and not a plant blog.
Your Turn: Does your dog behave differently when you change your living patterns?