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23' mini-trawler
by Schucker

Janice aboard Seaweed,
living the good life afloat...

Trawler cruising on $14 per day is possible.
I'm doing it and you can too.

Janice Marois, nautical journalist.
Accredited member of Boat Writers International.

Here, I share my views on living aboard a small boat with very limited resources. Hopefully my successes will help others achieve the life. And yes, I'll share the things I did wrong too -- though not everything 'cause a girl's got to have her secrets!

Thank you for using my Amazon links when ordering from that site. It costs you nothing and helps me too. Thank you.

Date: 7 March 2019. Dating for Boaters - Part 3.


This is a multi-part series for those seeking a cruising partner. This piece is the third.
  1. Dating for Boaters - Part 1
  2. Dating for Boaters - Part 2

Finding someone to share the journey afloat is not so easy. This is Part 3 of a series for those seeking a cruising partner. Seeing a sea turtle pop up his head is so much more satisfying when you can say "did you see that?" to someone you care about. I had that with my Bob, albeit via the telephone. Since then though, well, I miss Bob. You met Bob in the Time Stopped article.

One way to meet people that share our interests is to take a class in a subject that can be useful as we cruise. What do you like to do? Are you heading for the tropics? If so, a class to learn scuba diving may be just the thing. You will meet others who share that passion.

As a bonus with equipment (an air tank or hookah unit) you will be able to keep your propeller clean. Checking and replacing zincs as needed is important too. Cleaning boat bottoms is a lucrative business. I have Seaweed's bottom done once a month.

Levi is the diver I am using currently. He does a great
 job at a reasonable rate. Like all good divers he is busy.

Send Levi a text [330-689-6652] if you're in
the region and he might be able to fit you in.

In Madeira Beach, Infinite-Descent has a
retail store for divers and water aficionados.

At Infinite Descent diver Kayla was helpful in
explaining the PADI certification requirements.

If you're in the area call 727-202-6965 for
more information about Infinite-Descent.

I know a fellow who took beginning Spanish three times in a row at a local college. Classes are sometime free for older folks who wish to audit (sit and listen) to the class. The gent ended up dating the instructor.

Courses in diesel mechanics, navigation and fishing would all be useful. These tasks can be learned from a book however a class will put you with others who share your interest.

Another place that offers classes is the local fabric
store. Most will having beginning sewing courses.

Being able to sew new cushion covers, curtains and
more will save money. I am not an expert at the machine!

Although my sewing skills are not anything to brag about, my sewing machine is. It's a Singer 221 and was a gift from my friend Mabe. This is an older unit (circa 1950's) and does a perfect straight stitch. It goes forward and reverse, and that is it. There is no zigzag. I like that because this machine is not complicated, and because it was a gift.

Like many, I remember the people behind the things I use. When I turn on my watermaker I think of Bill and Ken. The air-conditioner is Grandpa Edwin. Two of the solar panels are Bucky. The refrigerator is Michael. And the sewing machine is Mabe. As you can see, many people have made this life of mine better. I truly am blessed.

Regarding sewing your own bimini: They are Much Harder than one would think. There are a lot of curves. A well made bimini may indeed be worth spending the $$$ necessary for a properly made unit.

A bimini covering the fly bridge keeps the captain
out of the bright sun or rain at least some of the time.

The best thing though is to get out there and learn. If the first class doesn't "click" there is no reason not to take the course again. Sometimes, at least for me, I need to hear and see information more than once for it to sink in. When I was younger it seems like learning was quicker than it is now.

Nothing is as fast as it once was, except my need to use the head at night!

The boat I chose has an easily assessable head
 near my bunk. This is the schematic of Seaweed:


But I digress...
Librarians are generally knowledgeable about all things local. Those folks know everything about their communities. Asking a librarian about nearby activities isn't precisely their field of expertise however I've never been disappointed.

The thing is this: when searching for someone to share your life, sitting on the boat won't work. You've got to get out there and socialize.

One place to do that is in Gulfport at the
Casino. There is dancing inside this building.

Outside the Gulfport Casino is a seating area. It overlooks
 the tennis courts, beach, park and a nice anchorage.

I told you about that anchorage in the Gulfport,
 FL weekend dockmaster Tom

This is Tom. He is the weekend dockmaster in
Gulfport and a great ambassador for the community.


I find that happiness increases when I have someone to share my experiences with. Mostly that is via this website. Thank you for reading.

The conclusion, Part 4, will be posted shortly.

Comments welcome and encouraged on the
Dating for Boaters page.

Categories: Anchorages,  Boats, Characters, Gear, Locations, Relationships,


Announcement: Folks who want to be notified when I post are welcome to become subscribers. I email readers every time a new article goes up. That's usually once or twice per week. If you'd like to be included via BCC* simply drop me a line to janice@janice142.com and I'll add you. It's free.

*BCC - Blind Carbon Copy. Basically no one but me will have your email address and the list of subscribers is not available.

Now this is not fancy. Basically I copy off the top three items in my Archive file. That way you can catch up if life gets in the way of your reading fun.

Secret: If you want to know what's what, start in the Archive. It offers you the title, first paragraph and topics (Categories) covered in each article published on my website.

Something a new reader might not realize: Almost every picture on this website can be clicked. The photo will get larger when clicked. Do that a second time and the picture should be full size. Enjoy...

My Cruising Kitty earns money each time you buy on Amazon through my links. It costs you nothing and helps supplement my cruising funds.

Thanks for your support, and heck, just for being here. I appreciate that more than you can imagine.

Paypal Tablet link:  *CRUISING KITTY
*for those who wish to donate direct to me via paypal.


Pet of the Week: Sid
aboard M/V Impulse

Submit your pet's photo.
Please email pictures of your crew!

More canine, feline and feathered crew members can be found on the The First Mate Gallery page.


The Archive holds a chronological list of every item published on my website. It includes a brief synopsis (not just the title) along with the topics covered in each article.

Click on the title and voila: you're there. Enjoy!

Skipper, First Mate extraordinaire

Of course every boat needs a Deck Swabbie. Mine, born in 2008, is a papillon mix. She weighs in at five pounds.

Coming soon ...


Topics of Interest:
You can achieve a simple satisfying life

Oh, a wondrous bird is the pelican!
His bill holds more than his belican.
He can take in his beak enough food for a week.
But I'm darned if I know how the helican.
(Poem by Dixon Lanier Merritt, 1879-1972.)


For years I've been collecting short pithy statements otherwise known as aphorisms. If you're like me and enjoy the weird, go ahead and CLICK!

These are previously posted at the bottom of each article -- for new, you'll have to come visit again.

Seaweed is in St. Pete right now.

The above chart (#411) can be a wish book of sorts as you look over your domain and wonder where to go next. And yes, I do have the originals (sans red arrow) as jpeg's for download should you desire your own for closer perusal. Enjoy!

The Writer's Block

It's my belief that other folks who boat are some of the most interesting in the world. Inside every boater is a story. Let yours out! I'd love to post short stories, vignettes, or even longer articles that focus on some aspect of our life on or near the water. Suggested topics include:

1. I Remember When...
2. My First Boat
3. Who inspired you to be a boater?
4. Fishing Trips or Tricks
5. Or another subject of your choosing

For the novice, here's how to write: Simply pretend you're sending a letter to a friend. Tell about an event or a memory from years ago that you still recall.

Life has changed so much on the water since I was born aboard. Personally I'd love to hear your memories of life when you were younger. Boats were smaller, narrower, and much slower. Kids were kids and our families often shaped the adult we have become. Here are my two aboard the tow boat my dad ran for a time:

Your pictures would be wonderful too. I posted one of Boot Key Harbor taken in 2001 that has gotten quite a few downloads and really, that's not so terribly long ago... Do you have any photos to share? Email me.

Do you want to help out?

Often an article for the website will be completely written yet lack photographs. I like pictures and am looking for some for up-coming pieces:

  • Pets afloat (include pet and boat name please)

  • Any picture of boats underway or at anchor

  • Photos of people enjoying life in or on the water

Size: a minimum of 1000 pixels across please. If that doesn't make sense think bigger versus resized for emailing. I prefer the full-size version. Also, the name you'd like me to use when I add the copyright stuff to your picture. And thanks bunches!

My email address is janice@janice142.com

23' Schucker mini-trawler, circa 1983.

Thanks for visiting. If you happen to see my boat along the
waterways, give a call on Channel 16. I'm always listening.

click picture to enlarge

My home is not fancy by any means, however you cannot imagine how wonderful it is to come back to her after an expedition on shore.

If I can live this life, why not you too?

Skipper, First Mate

Aphorism Alert: Begin doing what you want to now. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand, and melting like a snowflake. Marie Beyon Ray.

Contributions to my Cruising Kitty
are always appreciated.

Every gift helps.

The Cruising Kitty is what boaters refer to as spending money. There's never enough aboard Seaweed!

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