My Dog Sails Better Than Me

As we got closer to moving aboard a sailboat, I worried more and more about Honey.

How would she move around the boat? Deal with cramped quarters?

I don’t now why I wasted my time. Honey sails better than I do.

Honey the golden retriever with a frosted dog cookie.

Is that cookie for me? I think I’m going to like this sailing life.

Hard For Human; Easy For Dog

Last Tuesday, we moved aboard our new sailboat.

Nope, no sailing yet.

We’re temporarily stuck at a bare bones marina moving in, getting to know the boat, and waiting to receive ownership papers from the sellers.

Meander, the Pacific Seacraft 34 that is our new home.

We’ve paid for her. So I guess we can tell you her name now.
Here’s our new home: Meander.

Mike and I are struggling a bit. There’s a huge learning curve dealing with complicated and strange systems that are different from anything we’ve seen in earlier homes.

But Honey seems made for life on a boat.

The cockpit floor is the perfect size for napping. She has learned to make a 36 inch vertical leap into our sleeping berth from standing. And Honey has developed crazy good hind leg awareness as she clears the cockpit coaming on her way to the dock.

Honey the golden retriever in sailboat cockpit.

Yep, I fit perfectly. All I need is my bear and I’m set.

In truth, I wonder if Honey isn’t getting bored waiting for us to get up to her speed.

Outside All The Time

What I think Honey enjoys the most is what we humans haven’t had time for yet—lazing around outdoors.

If we had a nice day back in Ithaca, Honey would woof to ask me to take her outside.

Once there, she’d lie in a sun spot. Or roll around in the grass.

Honey the golden retriever looks out on the marina.

I am the queen of all I survey.

While we’re sweating down below trying to find places to store all our belongings so they don’t become projectiles while we’re underway, Honey is relaxing in the cockpit—watching birds, sniffing the air, laughing at us rushing around like crazy people.

This dog is so made for the sailing life she belongs in a Jimmy Buffett song.

Moving day on Meander.

Honey’s view from the cockpit. What a mess!
If you thought moving to a new house was tough, just trying sticking all your stuff into lockers under other stuff.

What’s Next

We’re finally getting the ownership papers from the sellers on Tuesday which will allow us to move the boat.


Hopefully we’ll sail successfully to Cambridge to a new marina with toilets, showers, fresh water, and wi-fi (none of which we have at our current marina; we’re roughing it).

Once there we’ll continue to get acquainted with the boat and get back to a regular schedule of posting and keeping up with all our online friends while we plan our next moves.

My husband has also started a blog specifically about our experiences on the boat. Check out Bimini Dream.

Bear with us while we get settled. But don’t worry.

Honey will keep us organized. She’s a born sailor.

Honey the golden retriever in rental car with all our stuff.

Of course I love life on the boat. At first I was afraid we were going to live in this tiny rental car with all your stuff.
The boat is much more comfortable.

Your Turn: Do you have questions about Honey living aboard a sailboat? 




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Congratulations – you must be so excited it’s final here! Honey does look quite at home – you’re lucky she’s so dainty! The boat is beautiful too – love the hunter green.

    • I am excited. When I’m not saying, “Dear Lord, what have I done?”

      And yes, we’re thrilled that Honey is dainty. Because we’ve been lifting her up and down the companionway until we figure out a better long-term solution.

      She gained a few pounds in all the confusion of the move (my husband accidentally fed her 1 1/2 times her normal amount while we were switching food). But she’s slimming down again now.

      There’s nothing like lifting a 50 pound dog over your head several times a day to keep you committed to a slim doggy. And just wait until you see my guns. :)

  2. So happy for you all! Meander, what a wonderful name. Glad to hear Honey is all settled in, hope the remainder of ‘moving in’ goes smoothly. Looking forward to hearing about life on the water, once you have the time.

    • We haven’t quite made it to “live on the water.” It’s more like cleaning and learning at the marina.

      But hopefully we’ll be settled in a routine soon and can share some pretty pictures and stories.

  3. Ah, the joys of new home ownership!! Getting moved in and settled is never easy, but I have faith you’ll figure it out together! Not having to worry about Honey must be a huge comfort during these crazy days! :-)

    • Congratulations my friends!! I love the name, Meander!! It sounds so relaxing!! Looking forward to the adventure stories! I need to check out Mike’s blog now.

    • OMD, yes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said to Mike, “Honey is such a good girl.”

      I’ve loved my more “challenging” pups every bit as much as Honey. But sometimes it’s really helpful to have an “easy” dog.

      And yes, I like the name Meander too. My husband hates it. He says it’s not aspirational enough. But changing it means sending money to the Coast Guard to make the change and repainting the hull. So far I’ve convinced him that we don’t have enough money for such a thing.

  4. I’m not at all surprised that Honey has adapted so well. She’s a go-with-the-flow kinda gal. I’m sure you will get settled soon and going to another marina will make a big difference. But I am kind of curious about what you will do with your car when you set sail – or is it a rental?

  5. Looks like things are moving along quite nicely now!! Honey DOES seem to enjoy her new life ~ which pup wouldn’t love to be outdoors as much and taking in all the wonderful marina sniffs?! Our pups would totally dig it :-)
    Your boat looks charming, by the way!! (Does it not have a toilet though?)

    • Actually, Barbara, Meander has an excellent marine toilet (head). We both love it.

      It also has a 12 gallon holding tank to keep the waste until we can get it pumped out. Unfortunately, we don’t want to move the boat until we get final ownership papers. Which means we can’t pump out the tank.

      If you want to make someone love you who lives on a boat, offer them the use of your toilet.

      Oh, and don’t ask how we figured out when the holding tank was full and couldn’t hold any more. It’s a disgusting story that I may write about in the future.

  6. Congrats! That’s a pretty boat. I can’t imagining fitting it “ALL” into to a space that size! So is Meander the name the last owner had? If so will you keep it? What will be your port of call? Meander is pretty darn good for the life you will be living :-)

    The boat I used to sail around on was called Quintessence. I always thought that was a great name.

    • Meander is what the last owners named her. And changing it means paying the Coast Guard for new documents and repainting the name on the back. I’m trying to convince Mike to just go with it for now. And we can name the dinghy Mini Me. :)

      I think we’ll eventually get everything stowed. There’s quite a bit of storage. But as you know, most of it is hidden under settees and can only be accessed with quite a bit of moving around.

      Cambridge, MD will be our port of call. It’s cheap. Near family. And less crowded than the Annapolis area.

      And yes, Quintessence is a lovely name. Shhh, don’t tell Mike. :)

  7. I know the dogs would love the idea of being together. When I am at home we are always in the same room, often it is the bathroom. And they hate it when I go out without them, which I’m sure is not possible to do often on a boat. So it would seem they would love the boat life. I am holding out for a houseboat on a quiet lake with a well=stocked bar.

    • Y’know, I’m beginning to wonder if boats on quiet waterways with well stocked bars are part of a doggy plot to get everyone to love aboard where they can be easily guarded and herded by their dogs.

  8. What an adventure! Can’t wait to hear more!

  9. I wonder if she will get bored after a while? Then again, the movement of the boat will probably get her sleeping a lot more. She might miss her walks, though.

    • We’ll be cruising close to shore for a while as we increase our skills. We’re far from ready to head to Tahiti.

      So Honey will still get her walks. They’ll just be in different places all the time. :)

      And yes, a rocking boat is very comforting for all of us.

  10. It must be true that pets are more adaptable than their biped counterparts. :) I so envy your spunk to do this. Smooth sailing with all you do as you get settled in the new digs. Can’t wait for your upcoming posts!

    • It must be because they take life as it comes. Instead of alternating between “I live on a boat” and “holy spit, I live on a boat.”

      And lately I can’t take my credit for spunk. But we have had an interesting encounter that had us feeling skunky. :)

      • I can only hope to be half as good about that as Sam. With him at the helm, maybe someday it’ll truly be second nature like it is with him. 😉

  11. Oh my gosh!! Looks like so much fun! We’re jealous!

  12. I am so freaking excited for you that I’m surprised you can’t hear me squealing from there!

  13. That’s great that Honey is ready for “sailing away again to Margaritaville”. (Better than wasting away there…)

    So… having had to take Rita to the vet today for facial swelling, I’m wondering if you have an extensive first aid kit that you’re taking along? (I’m a worrier – can’t help it!) Pack that Benadryl! Just in case! :)

    Can’t wait to follow along with your adventures! Exciting times!

    • We have a basic canine (and human) first aid kit assembled with things my vet recommends. But for quite a while, we’ll be coastal cruising. Which means we’ll be in relatively easy reach of professional medical care.

      Hopefully after Honey’s most recent operation we’ll be set for a while. :)

  14. The boat looks great, and I love the name! It sounds so relaxing; which I guess it isn’t yet, unless you’re Honey. :) It must be a relief though to see her doing so well and to have one less thing to worry about.
    I think jan is right; anything that keeps us all close together would make my dogs happy too. Hopefully you get moving and settling in soon, and you can just enjoy some of that togetherness as well.

  15. So glad for you all! Dogs almost always seem to fair better with new things than people. :)

  16. So excited for you! Congratulations, and happy sailing!

  17. I love the name! Sounds perfect. And I’m adding Mike’s blog to my feed reader right after this. Looking forward to hearing about your adventures!

  18. So excited and happy for you, and it’s so amazing how at ease our dogs are lounging around outside, isn’t it? She does seem perfectly fit for it :)

  19. Congrats! I know it’s hard not to sucked up in the nitty-gritty and details so you can enjoy the romanticism of it all, but you’ll get there!

  20. Edie Chase says:

    Congratulations! I hope things go smoothly for you so you can move the boat. Animals always seem to take everything in stride, much better than their humans.

  21. Congratulations Pamela! I’m so excited for all three of you, chasing your dreams in the wind and sailing through life one day at a time. The sailboat is gorgeous!!