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Some of my Q&Q pals have shared their personal spaces. Since I recently moved aboard the M/V Freebird, some of you have wanted to know what that is like. Freebird is a 16-year old 48’ Kadey Krogen North Sea. When I tell people this, their first reaction of awe and wonder is usually followed by facial contortions of worry and/or curiosity. “Are you and Don able to get away from each other?”   

Compared to a house, a boat is small. Our basement or keel mirrors that of a sailboat, not flat like motor yachts, but a full displacement bottom shaped like a wine glass that cuts through water like a butterfish. She stands 32’ tall from the waterline, is 53 feet from bow to swim platform, weighs over 30 tons and is built to cross oceans. She carries 1000 gallons of fuel, 400 gallons of water and 100 gallons of what we boaters call black water. You can figure that one out. The downside is, fully laden, she draws 5.5 feet and much of Florida’s west coast is less than 5! To avoid being propped up in sand or mud like a model boat in a bottle, we travel farther away from the coastline than our flat-bottomed friends. And we pay attention to tidal changes.

A galley with legroom for two cooks was a requirement. Score!

We have an upstairs balcony called a bridge, a den or pilothouse–my new favorite place to write,

A back porch called the cockpit,

a combo living/dining room called a saloon, and a 2 cabin/head layout—the beds and baths.

We bought Freebird for our 30th anniversary soon after Don retired. For many years, he’s given me the gift of total support in my writing career and at a retirement party, I gave him two presents.

An earing (which he’ll likely never wear) to replace his coat and tie and to make light of the transition from COO to 2nd in command–I am the Admiral after all. :) Truth be told, we’re both Merchant Marine Captains and switch places navigating, taking the helm, anchoring and inspecting the engine room a.k.a. the man-cave. I bow to his expertise in that realm. But over the years, I have learned how to be a bilge rat.

The second present I bought him was a volleyball named Wilson.

Some people didn’t get this. They thought it implied the expectation he’d be shipwrecked—a Castaway. Personally, I don’t think they got the movie or the creativity involved in survival for that matter.

Our current destination? The Chesapeake Bay, barring any untoward events like running aground or getting blown away by a hurricane.

So to the question of whether there is room for personal space?

A resounding, YES. We take it when we need it. But the funny thing is, we tend to hang with each other much of the time.

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