How to survive your last months on land

How to survive your last months on land

Our last few months on land before sailing away were probably the most difficult. We had made our decision, bought the boat, learned to sail, and planned out how we’d make money.

All there was left to do was wait the winter out and save more money. Except, waiting, when you’re about to embark on the adventure of your life, is the most frustrating part of the preparation.

Here’s a few tips on how to survive your last months on land.

Live in the moment

No matter how much you want the future to be now, right this second, you’ll have to go through these last days and months on land. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself – keep busy, meet friends and take advantage of the luxuries you soon won’t have.

Even though all you can think about is your dream, get involved in new exciting projects at work, make big plans with your friends, and learn new things. We made ourselves super busy at work so we’d be able to help out before leaving and our days would feel shorter. Most days, it worked.

Watch lots of sailing video series, compulsively

This is what really kept us going. Every night we’d watch sailing videos on YouTube and talk through some of the practical stuff, make plans, and daydream. It was a great way to project ourselves into the future.

RAN sailing

Some of our favourite series are Sailing La Vagabonde, Yacht Teleport, Wicked Salty, Venture Lives, RAN Sailing and Sailing Nandji. All these series will inspire you, but they will also make you insanely impatient. Hence, the next point.

Start working on boat projects

Nothing will make you feel better than starting work on the boat – it’ll make you feel like you’re actually making progress. We had to do this from home, because we lived in Manchester and Kittiwake was stored down in Falmouth, 7 hours away…!

So we built a new saloon table (the existing one was horrible), a cockpit table, and a wind vane. We also sewed our curtains and covered the saloon cushions with new fabric. These little projects kept us busy over winter and made us feel like we were making concrete steps towards our dream.

sailing kittiwake table

We also created a massive gantt chart planning out the six months before departure, detailing boat projects to get done, contract deadlines, weekends away, etc.

Go to the coast as much as you can

Waiting the winter out in a city isn’t ideal for someone who wants to ditch the standard life, become a nomad, and live outdoors in the sun. So even though it’s freezing cold, try to get to the coast as much as you can.

We lived in Manchester, so we often drove to Wales to go for a long walk on the beach or by sea cliffs. It was the best way to spend a Sunday. We’d look out at the sea, walk, and chat about the future.

Practice your sailing

If you’re lucky enough to live in a warm-ish place, go out and practice your sailing. If your boat isn’t ready yet, offer to be crew on other boats, take some sailing courses, or rent a small dinghy and take it out.


However you spend your last few months on land, rest assured: the big day will come. Just hang in there!

How are you spending your last months on land? Got more tips? Leave them in the comments below.

*Picture credit – first picture – Pixabay

  • Tim Haigh

    I think I read that you do not have a fridge. If you are going to the med then some form of cooling for your food is essential. Fridges need gas so are expensive and not very safe but a simple cool box can be made with polystyrene insulation and a Peltier Module together with a computer fan. This costs about £10 from eBay and a small electronic thermometer £1.50 eBay completes the set up. It will cool the ambient by at least 10c so if you put it at the waterline it’s very effective. Peltier modules are only about 12% efficient so good ventilation is essential and you could rig a small button thermal switch to keep power useage down (they draw 4 amps or so) but if you have solar panels on a sunny day and just chill the contents for an hour or so twice a day the insulation will do the job and cold beer is the result.
    I’ve played around with these and have got down to -12c !! but only in a very small space. The cooler on my boat works well and keeps at about 7c so pretty effective. They say you can “stack” the modules for lower temps but I had little success as the waste heat produced is hard to extract so I think single stage is better

    1. Elena

      Tim, that sounds great! We’ll have a look around the boat to see if we can find the right space for this. Hope we can use your amazing idea.

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