Hi I’m Kaia. I live in St Barths, on a yacht. My most recent advice to you… If you are stuck in the office and want to get out of the comfort zone and live an adventure – move to the yacht. It will change your perspectives in a way that after one day you might want to run back to the soft bed and stand in a hot shower for three hours. It took me a week to realize that I’ve got a really big challenge, because yacht life has many subtleties.
I’ll confess. Sometimes there are times when I want to scream from despair. I’m thinking why am I punishing myself so much. But there were so many moments that helped me understand why I’m doing this. For instance, it is nine o’clock in the evening now and I am sitting on the deck only in a bikini, surrounded only by water and stars in the sky (unless I stare at the screen). I can’t hear traffic, just waves spilling ashore. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I drank tea so slowly. Usually it was five minutes ritual: blow, drink and run because a million other things await. Sometimes you need to stop running, enjoy your peace and live for the moment. Life on a yacht is purely what you make of it.
Well let’s go back to the subtleties of yacht life. This is probably the most interesting part of yach life! Everyone knows that good old riddle when you have to move a wolf, a goat and a cabbage across the river. There are hundred conditions – who can sit with whom and how. Same here. Since the yacht stands about a couple hundred meters from the shore, it makes sense that it needs to be accessed somehow. Of course you can paddle manually, but usually we use dinghy – a small motorboat. The only problem here is that we are three people on a boat. If one of us leaves – others get stuck. If you leave and your phone dies – you stay on the shore, well and so on.
Seasickness was one of my biggest fears and hesitations that made me want to give up the opportunity to travel to the Caribbean. I was scared and thought that the bathroom and bed were going to be my best friends for a couple of weeks. First two days I felt great and was proud of myself for overcoming my fear. But on the third day, the waves became so big, that I cursed out all of the Caribbean. On day four… and it is day eight – I feel great again. In fact, strange thing happened. I am fine while sailing on a boat, but completely opposite while standing ashore. I can stand still while being on a boat, but wobble on the land as if I’ve had too much to drink. People are encouraging me and say it’s a good sign – I’m adapting. These are the consequences of yacht life.
DOOR IN YACHT
Doors. There are no doors on a yacht. None. Not even in a toilet. At first I didn’t understand what the hell it was and how I will survive being exposed like in a Big Brother house but everything is clear now. The temperature does not fall below +27C°/80F during the day or even night, so drafts are crucial on every occasion. That did not stop me from hanging the towel as a toilet door.
KEYS IN YACHT – HOME
Keys. Believe it or not, but no one locks yachts here so I don’t have keys (and here are no doors). There is zero crime rate on the Island, so you can leave your computer on the street’s bench and you will find it in the same place after the whole day. It is still hard for me to understand and accept that.
The yacht is powered by solar panels. We might have an excess of electricity during the day, but in the evening we have to watch how we use it. Sometimes an obvious move such as putting a kettle on can kill electricity until the next morning. Another interesting thing is that you have to press the appropriate button on the panel before turning on any electrical appliance, otherwise it will simply not work.
Everything here is the same as in the apartment, the only difference – usually you meet your neighbours in the common staircase or elevator, here, on the water, you meet them when you sail to the shore by dinghy. Here are about fifty yacht houses around us. Families with children and animals live here. Everyone knows each other and always greets.
We do not have hot water on the yacht, which, by the way, is not necessary in such hot weather. I have developed a new habit. Have you ever tried to wake up at 6am and jump into the deep water straight from the deck of your house? It’s insane, in a positive way…it gives me a feeling of power and sets me up for a good day ahead. I am full of energy and life after that. It brings me alive. True, water filters are needed to take a shower or wash dishes and we have to refill them once or twice a week.
My life routine has changed not only because of the yacht life intricacies, about which I could write at least twenty-four more points, but also because of the lifestyle dictated by the Island itself. The local’s day begins with the sunrise at about five o’clock in the morning, and at six o’clock in the evening it is already completely dark here. I get used to this rhythm too – I get up before six a.m. and go to bed at about nine p.m., although in the past I would never go to bed before midnight…
If you liked my adventures and would like to read more about my experience on an uninhabited Caribbean Island read here.