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July 2023 Update: What Are We Up To?

view of the chesapeake bay from a dock. sky is blue with fluffy white clouds afar. the water is a greenish brownish color, and is ripply. the bow sprit of loka extends into the photo from the right

Where are all the updates? Now that you have more free time, you should be blogging more! What the hell is going on with SV Loka and its crew? In today’s post, I aim to address all those thoughts with the gloriously generic July 2023 Update.

Candidly, those thoughts are the ones rattling around in my head. I imagine you are constantly asking those questions. I am also aware that I am not the center of your universe (crazy, I know), so you don’t truly wonder about me as often as I do. Acknowledging that my thoughts are not facts, I give myself compassion for not blogging more. 😍

#sailboatlife so far consists of recuperating from the Great Downsize of 2023, boat chores, systems learning, and addressing repairs as they arise. We have gone only short distances from the dock. In fact, we’re still tied up in a slip at a marina. We have yet to go on any big adventures with the sailboat. As dull as it sounds, we’re good with our current progress. We are patiently working little by little towards our adventuring goal.

TL;DR; When are we going adventuring?


Moving onto the boat while simultaneously downsizing was a considerable effort. It took a toll on our energy levels. As a result, we’ve spent the last few weeks working on the boat in small chunks, attempting to recuperate some energy and settle into our new home. We have lots to do. We also recognize the importance of taking breaks because we’re in this for the long haul. One of the tenants of this new life for us is a change of pace. Burnout is real, even in the cruising lifestyle.

We’ve also been preparing for the sale of the land house. Working with our realtor and other vendors to list the home and then working through the process of showings is another effort that requires our energy. Yup, that’s true, even though we aren’t in the same state anymore.

looking forward into the forward cabin. the washer/dryer combo unit is on the right, and the head is at the other end of the room. there is teak everywhere.
forward berth, looking forward

Boat Chores

Boat chores are much like house chores, with a few significant differences. The usual duties include cleaning the counters and bathrooms, sweeping, and hand-washing dishes. That’s about where the similarities end.

The boat is much smaller than our land house, and housework-style chores are smaller efforts and more frequent. We do laundry in tiny loads, consisting of 2-3 shirts, 2 pairs of shorts, and 2 pairs of underwear. A “full load” of dishes consists of 2 plates, 2 forks, and 2 cups, maybe with cooking utensils. Our small dish-drying rack takes up valuable counter space, and we constantly shift it around when working in the galley. Thus, we do dishes every day, often immediately after the meal. I could expand on how boat chores differ, but I’ll save that for another blog post.


Here’s a sample of additional chores that are unique to boat life:

  • Refilling the water tanks
  • Pumping out holding tank (toilet waste)
  • Cleaning the sea strainers (especially with dredging work happening “upstream” from us)
  • Washing the boat exterior – how often do you wash your house exterior?
ai-generated digital art. a woman is on the boat of a sailboat with a washing machine and a basket of laundry, sailing through the ocean while doing laundry lol
DALL·E (AI) generated art: woman doing laundry with a washing machine on a sailboat

Systems Learning

Here’s a short list of systems on our boat:

  • Sailing instruments, chart plotters, and other electronics
  • Rigging: the stuff that keeps the mast up and holds the sails
  • Watermaker
  • Air conditioners
  • Refrigerators
  • Diesel engines, including the 75hp motor and the 5.5KwH generator
  • All the plumbing, including toilets and other freshwater hoses on the deck
  • and more!

Being new to most of the systems on Loka, we have a lot to learn. Before moving in, we read through manuals, watched videos, and scoured the internet educating ourselves on the many systems. Now that we’re on the boat, all the theory we’ve acquired becomes practical knowledge.

What do we mean by learning? Isn’t it all straightforward? Well, yes, but there’s more than knowing we have Furuno sailing instruments and multi-function displays (MFDs).

For example, we had an idea of what electronics were installed, yet we needed to know how all the components were connected so that when things break (they always do), we’d know where to look and how to troubleshoot. This has led us to trace cables, learn about mixed NMEA networks, and inspect all wires going into and out of the various devices. In practical terms, we have a much less modern network than we had previously thought. It’s not a deal breaker, but it is more learning!

We are attempting to take nothing for granted because we are new to all this.

looking down on the area below the sole (cabin floor) where the 2 march pumps for the 2 AC units are.
the raw water pumps for the 2 AC units are below the sole in the galley


There’s a saying in the cruising community: “Everything on your boat is broken. You just don’t know it yet.” Oh, how true that is! It’s not that everything is constantly broken all at once. Fulltime liveaboard life is much more like playing whack-a-mole with all the issues that pop up. And with a lot of systems, we have a lot of potential repairs at any given time.

It’s randomly troubleshooting issues on the boat frequently. It’s not every day on Loka, but it is frequent and often at unexpected times.

For instance, we run our AC a lot because we’re connected to shore power, and it’s very humid in the Chesapeake Bay in July. We had them serviced after initiating them for the season, but one afternoon, the aft AC started erroring out. Thus, we spent most of one afternoon and evening troubleshooting and fixing the problem. 

The root cause of the problem was a blocked sea strainer in our sea chest, but we also discovered a cracked housing on the raw water march pump. The pump wasn’t at a critical failure point, but we took the opportunity to replace it as preventative maintenance. Always better to anticipate catastrophic failures in the systems.

It wasn’t a massive effort, but we spent a good chunk of time on an unexpected energy expenditure. That precisely is the difference between repairs on the boat vs. the house. House repairs are rarely urgent. Fulltime liveaboard boat repairs are often critical.

When Are We Going Adventuring??

We have several big projects underway, which I will share more about as they progress. In completing those projects, we will be better able to get off the dock for extended periods (overnighters!) and get out for some true cruising. For now, I’ll keep it high level and say that our windlasses (the devices that haul up our anchors) are getting a complete overhaul, and we’re modernizing our energy generation (solar) and storage (batteries) systems.

We plan to finish repairs on our critical path items (windlasses and batteries) and then cruise the Chesapeake Bay via daysails and some weekend-type trips. We’re based in the Deale, Maryland area through the end of August. In September, we plan to head north to New York to get more experience and see more of the world from the boat.

If you want to see more updates in between blog posts, check us out on Facebook and Instagram.

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