Choose quality tools that don't require electricity, that have few components(like unibody knives) and made of materials that will last – or that can be composted. For cooking, we have:
As with most things in life, 20% of anything does 80% of the work. When moving into a smaller space, it is important to find that 20% and surround yourself with things purposefully. Single-serving tools and kitchenware will not do.
Investing in good quality army blankets and waterproof sleepingbags will make a world of difference. Non-metallic(bamboo or ceramic) kitchenware is also essential, everything rusts on a boat - even stainless-steel. To keep our clothes dry, we store them in large sealed industrial plastic containers.
We have a salt-water head which looks much like a household toilet, but with a handle on the side, that pumps water in and flushes it out into a holding tank. The holding tank can be emptied in the ocean when far from shores, or at marina pump-out station for free. The latter option being the best, seeing as how pump-out stations also have fresh water hoses, which can be used to flush out the tank.
An ideal setup, would be a composting head. While being odorless, it frees up a lot of space on your yatch for more important things than fluids and excrement, like water.
Living at anchor - that is, in a bay somewhere tethered to the earth with ground tackle, is usually free. Some bays will have moorings installed, that can be used for a small fee (often around 10-15$.) Marinas often have guest docks with power, wifi and showers, for a medium-to-high cost (400$-600$.) The longer the boat though, the bigger the cost. Some marinas though, charge per dock space rather than boat size, beware of these places.
The entire task of navigation rests upon the Navionics app, installed onto all of our mobile devices. Its depth maps, compass, GPS, waypoints, community edits, and more, are all the features that we could ever wish for to get from A to B, over water.
We have had a few encounters with insects aboard, often from food bought in small town groceries. Thin plastic bags, paper bags or cardboard should be avoided, or discarded prior to entering the boat.
We wash all vegetables, and fruits, with a 1:1 water and vinegar solution in a spray bottle, and rinse them in fresh water thoroughly. We leave them out to dry before storing them inside, moisture accelerates rot.
Keep your boat clean, and dry, that is the key to keeping insects at bay.
During long passages, we must sail throughout the nights. Our pattern, for two crew, is one sleeps between 1900 and 2100, then sails between 2100 and 2400, then goes back to sleep from 2400 until 300, and then goes back to the wheel between 300 and 600.
During these long nights, we listen to countless podcasts and audiobooks, which we discuss around breakfast in the morning. If we're feeling especially tired, listening to upbeat music, as opposed to spoken content helps.
During long passages, our daytime sailing occupations include: cooking, cleaning, doing fixes on the boat and brainstorming on future projects. We don't have a tight schedule for watches, we hand the wheel to the other as we get tired.
Our favourite weather service is Windy, and while underway, we download weather maps(.grb files) through the saildocs service with our Satellite Phone which we then process with PredictWind. We pick our weather carefully on passage, no sense in taking unnecessary risks.
Our main tank carries 170L, while an additional 150L is stored in jerry cans. When it is not possible to dock at a marina, we use smaller(4x10L) jerry cans to ferry water from shore. While it requires more trips, the lighter containers are less prone to breakage.
We have 4 Solar Panels(1 x 60W, 1 x 100W and 2 X 90W). For additional power, we also carry a Honda EU1000i generator. Our boat has a 75AMP Balmar alternator, but it is only used when we need to use high-power systems like the macerator, or if we need to charge the batteries by other means on a cloudy day. Every single light is LED, cutting down the consumption of power, from lights, by 10 compared to halogens.
As a sailor, you must offer help to a boat in trouble. Radio communication is key, specific channels are used in every country for emergencies or information exchange. Every morning, sailors will tune in to a specific channel and listen to a morning net, a public radio exchange in which the weather and local events are announced, as well as boats seeking crew, or items that need to be sold or found. When the weather is foul, the local channels are very busy.
There is an unspoken understanding between sailors, an exchange of looks when foul weather is amidst. All know the difficulties of life at sea, and is ready to lend a hand. We refer to each other by boat name, and like a bird-watcher, we can identify rare breeds by sight. When transiting through world routes, the same boats, you will meet many times, thus strenghtening the connection.
We sail on a loose schedule, our movements are tied to the weather. We follow the seasons and prevailing tradewinds, to save on fuel and to avoid seasonal storms. We make stops for re-provisioning and rest.
It has taken us a little more than a year to cross the Pacific Ocean. And while it may have cost us time, it earned us safe passage, and our many stops have helped to broaden our view of the world.
There is 11,707 km (6321nm) between Vancouver and Auckland, this transit could be accomplished in approximately two months of non-stop sailing days, but where would be the fun in that.
There is none, it is something you must prepare for. If you are to travel for extended periods of time with another person, you must be compatible. You must discuss problems when they arise and express concerns right away.
The combined space, below and atop deck, is bigger than it seems. If you are near land, there is always the option of going for a walk.
In populated cities, laundry can be carried ashore to a laundry mat. In the south pacific, you will have to take care of it yourself. We use rain water to wash our clothes, by hand, using a set of buckets and a brush. The clothes are brushed and washed in soapy water once, then rinsed in fresh water.
When underway during a long passage, we do a salt water wash to save water, and rinse with fresh water. The clothes is hung out to dry on the lifelines, or on a separate line that we set up. Leaving dark clothes out to dry in the sun will cause it to discolour faster - such is the cost of sailing in warm places.
We bring the dishes outside and wash them with saltwater scooped up from the side of the boat, using a bucket attached to a rope. The dishes are then rinsed inside with our fresh water foot-pump. If the water where we are isn't clean, we use rain water.
The fresh-water foot-pump pulls water from our tanks and dispenses it to the galley's sink at the rate of approximately a 1/4 cup per push. This system allows us to calculate water-consumption and storage.