Living in a Boat Yard – in Green Cove Springs, Florida

Living in a boat yard Green Cove Springs Florida Adventures of Miss Miral

“It’s a trap!”

These were among the first words that were spoken to Marc and I when we pulled our new sailboat up to the ancient, literally condemned dock at Green Cove Springs Marina.

For the next few days, as we made our sailing travel plans and started work on the boat, the same warnings played on repeat like my favourite iTunes playlist. Song one: “It’s a trap” performed by the guy who crashed his boat into a seawall. Song two: “dear god, get out while you can.” Etc. etc. Repeat, repeat.

Turns out I have more in common with a post than just being kind of long and skinny. The ominous pleas of my fellow sailors fell on ears that were about as deaf as the posts the ground crew used to prop our boat up in the work yard. Mine.

“Just two weeks of prepping,” we said. We would fix up our beautiful sailing tub and be boldly going within the fortnight. To Panama and beyond!

Two months later…

We were still in the boat yard.

Living in a Boat Yard Green Cove Springs Florida Adventures of Miss Miral

One by one we knocked things off our To Do list, but magically it just kept growing. It was like our list was a brood of over-fed tribbles. Or for those of you that are less sci-fi inclined: our list was like the mythological Hydra. You cut off one head and two grow back in its place.

In other words, the list of nightmares.

Even Marc, being a super perfectionist and analytical (emphasis on anal) man, eventually lost his enthusiasm for the seemingly never-ending boat project. Two weeks turned into three, then four, five, a month and half, two months, until finally the only way I could retain some small semblance of sanity was to completely give up on the idea of leaving.


Miss Miral found… guilty of dreaming dreams to big. Sentence… Life, to be served in Green Cove Springs Marina. Possibility of parole… doubtful, bordering on impossible.

On the plus side, Green Cove Springs wasn’t exactly a maximum security prison. The only guard was a disinterested alligator that lived in someone’s abandoned half-sunk dinghy.  And even though hard labour was a part of every day life, at least my bunk mate was my wonderful boyfriend and not a 400 lb skinhead named Bubba the Shank.

Eternal gratitude for that one.

The other inmates were the best part about Green Cove. At any given time there were dozens of people from all over the world, living and working on their boats in the yard. Some had been there for years. One man (who looked suspiciously like Santa Clause – enough to make me a believer again) had been living there for two decades! Sadly his wife had drowned there and he never left.

Every Saturday night the sailors grabbed their banjos and harmonicas and whatever else they could find, and gathered on the porch of the office for a good old fashioned jam session/drinking party.  On these occasions I usually went on the hunt for a fellow nerd to drunkenly obsess over Star Trek with.

On Saint Patrick’s Day, Canada was invaded by the allied forces of the U.S.A and Russia. Meaning our Canadian boat was invaded by our neighbours; a cute big-bearded Russian and an American whom I can only describe as the Han Solo of sailing. On this occasion they came bearing a special diplomatic gift.


Living in a Boat Yard Green Cove Springs Florida Adventures of Miss Miral

But mostly it was work. Marc took care of the engineering and mechanical stuff. Me, I took on the deck work, starting with the bottom job. That is, scraping, sanding and painting the bottom of the boat with a special copper paint. (Perfect for me as I have a thing for mindless repetitive tasks that give me time to daydream about the zombie apocalypse)

In the evening I would go running on the nearby trails, purposely staying out after dark so that I could see the millions of fireflies dance around me.

After our one harrowing sailing experience (see previous post: Sailing to Bermuda – and How I Nearly Died at Sea) we weren’t going to take any chances with the renaming of our boat. We bought a bottle of too-expensive champagne and splashed it over the bow as we read a speech we had found online to appease the gods.

I can only assume Poseidon accepted our offering and on that day our boat was officially named Alassiel (which means Joyful in Elvish).

Another month disappeared mysteriously.

We had had enough. The boat was still far from being perfect. And yes, our Panama dreams were still far far…far away. But we had to go somewhere. Anywhere! Even if just for a few weeks.

So it was decided. We would throw off our shackles and make a break for the open water!

Miss Miral

Click Below For the Continuation!

Hitting Rock Bottom…Literally – on the Intracoastal Waterway, Florida

And be Sure to Check out my Previous Post by Clicking Below!

Falling in Love…With a Sailboat – Vancouver Island, Canada

Adventures of Miss Miral Falling in Love with a Sailboat




34 thoughts on “Living in a Boat Yard – in Green Cove Springs, Florida

  1. I LOVE your stories and adventures! cannot find the like button for some odd reason but I do like it! Miss Miral – you have inspired me to write more of my fun self and my sarcasm! be careful and cannot wait to hear more!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!!! That means so much to me 😀 I’m enjoying your posts as well. Excited to see more of the sarcasm!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I forgot to mention the most obvious abandon all hope your in love with a sail boat gets us all look forward to reading more

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ahhh halcyon days cold mornings getting the boat antifouled friends wandering around the boatyard trying to warm up cups of hot coffee or tea not to mention the odd multi coloured outfits that would suddenly appear I do miss my sailing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really was such an incredible experience 🙂


  4. They say the two best days of boat ownership are the day you buy it and the day you sell it. Good luck with all your hard work.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I enjoy your posts. I lived and cruised on a 40 foot sailboat with my 12 year old son for 2 years starting in 2002 and it was a highlight of our lives. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a cool an adventure. Especially for your son. I wish I got to do something like that when I was twelve!


  6. Good luck for the boat. Green Cove seems to be a nice place but Panama should be nicer! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This looks like such an amazing adventure! I can’t wait to read the next chapter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Matt 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I enjoy your updates! What are the mechanical issues you have faced? You scraped and sanded, that copper paint is a pain and not precisely cheap.

    Keep up the good work, you’ll get out of there.

    Good luck on the repairs.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marc actually took care of all the mechanical stuff so I’m not really sure. I just did the grunt work lol


  9. i came over to have a look at your blog, after you followed Caz, and I’m so glad I did! Our lives could not be more different, yet we seem to like a lot of the same things – Star Wars, Star Trek, Dr Who, zombies… I am enjoying reading about all your adventures, and am looking forward to the next one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I’m glad you like! Us sci-fi/fantasy nerds gotta stick together!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Quelle aventure ! WAOUU !!
    Bravo à vous deux et bon voyage 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What an adventure! I love your Saint Patrick’s Day description.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I don’t know much about sailboats so I can only imagine the work involved. So glad you decided to set sail anyway. Looking forward to the next installment. Safe travels!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Really fun blog–love your storytelling! And you’re a Trekker too!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. That’s the one thing I don’t miss about living on a boat…slipping and maintenance – I did 21 years of both!

    We built our first boat in Australia, which we knew intimately. She started at 28′ then after a few years in the water, we extended her to 34′. After living on the boat full time for 20 years, we made the hard decision and sold her to buy a 10-year old Catalina 47′ in Long Island (NY) in 2008. We were lucky to have had a fantastic surveyor that really went above and beyond his duty to check everything out and returned several times to make sure of any issues – brilliant!

    Keep living the dream, you’ll love it! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Cool story. . I wanna boat. Or chill with fire flies haha

    Liked by 2 people

  16. You are living my dream! Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Gotta give you kids credit…You are certainly not afraid of hard work! Can’t wait to hear what happens next. Wish I would have had your guts when I was your age!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m glad that the invasion included moonshine!

    Your posts are so much fun! I already can’t wait for the next one. 🙂

    We’re wishing you and Marc (who thankfully is not Bubba the Shank) tons of fun and interesting experiences on your adventures in Vietnam! Just be sure to write about them later!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Sounds like a great adventure is in store for you both! Congratulations and safe travels:)

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I’m fascinated. Can’t wait to hear more!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. This is so fun! thanks for taking us with you on your adventures with your words!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Aa’ i’sul nora lanne’lle

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Weird Guy With The Dog 25 Feb 2016 — 6:54 am

    Boats are never perfect, just reasonably safe!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Another great episode from Miss Miral. Thanks for the smiles. ‘Bubba the Shank’?!! You have been daydreaming a little too much. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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