To change things up a bit and keep trying something new, we decided to stay on a yacht for a few nights as well. If you can, why not!? There’s a lot of similarities to staying in a hotel, but because you’re on a boat there’s also quite a few differences, some of which are obvious and others which I started finding out about once I was aboard. 🙂
So sitting in Portland we decided to rent a yacht from Airbnb. One of the fun parts if you’ve never done that before is that they actually have several different ones to choose from which gets you to think of all sorts of fun questions you’d never thought of before. It’s not if you want to stay on a yacht, but moreso what kind of yacht you’d like to stay on. How many bedroom would you like? Would you like wood trim or lighter white interior? Would you like something luxurious? What part of town/the water would you like to be in?
Of the ones available I picked this one because it had a lighter white interior rather than a wood grain interior because it looked more appealing. Funny to see the reasons that you’d decide on one or the other. 😀 Amusingly enough, this wasn’t even the place that we spent the majority of our time in the end.
The ship is docked in a great location on South Lake Union. It’s got a great view of the city and the lake as well as a bunch of other cool watery stuff.
Ahead of the ship is Bill Gates’ mobile helipad. It’s docked here and when he needs it, it floats over to his house to pick him up and take him home. 😀
This is at the next dock over. In the foreground you’ll see a few of the dragonboats docked. They’re these long paddleboats with 20 paddlers, a drummer, and a steering person, and they have these big races out on the lake. At the end of the dock you’ll see a float plane.
The planes like to land literally right next to us at the end of the dock.
The way they land, they come in really hard, almost like they’re dive bombing into the water. It’s pretty awesome. Here’s a look at one coming in when we went up to a coffee shop to get wifi. (No internet on the boat unless you tether off your phone.)
The pilots here are ex Alaskan bushplane pilots so they’re well trained and can place the planes exactly where they want. The landings are really cool. They come in steep and at the last second pull up to drop down more gently. Really fun to watch, especially when they come in in rapid succession.
Our boat is on a private gated dock. Open the gate and there she is.
You have to kinda jump from the dock onto the ship, heh.
Brand new this ship cost a cool million dollars. It was built in 2000 and apparently boats depreciate even more than cars so I’m not sure what it’s worth now, 14 years later.
The ship is billed as a luxury yacht, but I think it’s more of a party yacht. A lot of people who come and stay bring food and drinks that they can’t take back due to going to sports games, hopping on a plane elsewhere, and so on, so you get tons of the remainders of all sorts of drinks. A few more shots worth of various liquors, assorted beers with everything including lousy cheap beer and higher quality microbrews, some hard ciders, and so on. Because it’s all left behind, you’re able to enjoy whatever you like which is pretty sweet.
When you enter from the rear you find the living room area and the galley, aka a kitchen.
Things are a little different on the boat. If you want to go enable the stove, for example, you have to go over to the AC and DC fuse panels to start enabling the stove, fans, lights, and heating elements. Both panels were a hodge podge of switches that look like this and you have to call up the owner to walk you through it.
The stove light shorted out and tripped everything off so we weren’t able to use that and had to troubleshoot that issue to be able to cook.
The fridge has these special locks that’s designed to make it really hard to accidentally open so that when you’re out at sea, they don’t just flop open and everything falls out. What this means is that they’re incredibly hard to close and often get accidentally left open (we had to hip bump the door to give it enough force to close) and you have to pull really hard to open them which is harder than you’d think considering the handles are hard to get a grip on.
(It also didn’t help that someone before us had left the door open which messed up the temperature management stuff and caused the fridge to leak, hence the damage and towel under the fridge.
When I first got there I went out the side door to check out more of the ship and when I went back in, the door refused to close. Figuring I was just missing something obvious, I called the owner about that and apparently it was an issue that his handyman didn’t fix properly. He guided me to a wrench set tucked behind the couch so that I could go and fix his door for him so it was close. This was pretty early on so I was pretty enthused about getting to fix things on the ship and get to see what the experience of being on a boat is like. Little did I know that it was just the beginning… :p
I remember someone joking years back about the word “BOAT” being an acronym because it stands for “Break Out Another Thousand.” Things break a lot and when they do, it’s pricey. Everything is more expensive on a boat than it is on a house.
The boat has three different levels. The bedrooms and bathrooms were all downstairs.
The master bedroom had its own private bathroom and laundry.
(Due to the fast turnover he didn’t have time to get the sheets on the bed before we came so we had to do that ourselves.)
Above the master bed you have a mirror which is pretty cool.
I stayed in the secondary bedroom which looked like this:
You’ve got two portholes on either side (you can only see one on each side because I couldn’t back up enough to fit everything in).
On top you have a translucent hatch. I’m sure it’s cool if you wanna stick your head out like a gopher sticking his head out of the dirt or something, but it because a skylight right over your face that wakes you up when the sun comes up in the morning so you’d naturally wanna get up when the sun rises. It also shines in from one of the side windows and is extra bright thanks to the reflections off the water.
The second night water started condensing on that hatch above the bed and started dripping down, even though it wasn’t raining or anything. What this meant is that when you lay down in bed tired and ready to go to sleep, your pillows were wet and it’s constantly dripping right on your face. I didn’t want to bother fixing this so I just moved over and slept on the side of the bed while droplets fell a few inches from my head.
The temperature had dropped significantly overnight so it was COLD. The heater broke while we were there so we put on plenty of clothes and blankets. The sheets I had in my bed smelled like urine. Awesome. Fortunately there were other sheets available.
One great thing about the beds is that while I felt kinda woozy from the rocking back and forth, occasionally stumbling and hitting furniture with my legs and wondering why I’m having trouble standing and then remembering I’m on a boat, you don’t feel the movement when you’re laying down. Sitting down is in between. You feel it less than standing and don’t get as much motion sickness, but being horizontal on a boat is ideal.
Lots of the door handles were broken and not working properly and apparently it’s been that way for months based on the reviews online. In fact Glenn got stuck in the master bedroom at one point and couldn’t get out. Luckily after playing with the door for a while we were able to free him before I had to break the door down to get him out. 😀
Other than all that minor stuff, most everything else seemed to work alright. lol…
Some things I simply had to learn. The toilets on a yacht are a bit different than a normal one. They’re smaller and the water goes up higher so there’s a much higher likelihood of splashes. 🙂 There’s also a pedal that you use to flush and refill the toilet.
Press the pedal down for 2 seconds to flush, lift it back up for 3 seconds to refill. Down 2, up 3. If you don’t refill it it’ll actually burn out the motor in the toilet so you definitely have to refill it. When you flush, you actually hear this suction sound in the walls over and over. It’s called a vacu-flush I believe, not a normal toilet.
One evening I tried to use it and it wouldn’t actually flush. It would just continue to fill up higher and higher. Given that it’s a small toilet, you only have so much room before it overflows. Turns out there’s a button on the wall that turns off the toilet’s vacuum suction thing. It’s designed so that at night it doesn’t make noise and wake someone up when they’re sleeping. I hit the button from “Run” to “Sleep” when searching for the light switch in the dark and didn’t realize that I turned off the toilet, or that that was even possible, lol.
Good times… 🙂
When the sun comes up from the east, you can get a view of the ship aglow from one direction.
Midday, the sun is up in the sky and up ahead of the boat which also created some nice light.
As the day progressed and the sun set over the horizon (note how the land rises up in the distance. This happens in every direction.), we got some sweet orangey light in the skies.
At night after the sun had set, the moon would rise up in the distance. It was quite beautiful, way more beautiful than I could get from an iPhone photo. 😉
There’s plenty more that I could say, but hopefully this is headed in the right direction of shortening these posts. Maybe not. 😀
On a fun final note, after finishing up our stay here and letting the yacht owner know about the issues so that he could fix them, he kindly offered to give us another night for free. Gotta save that one for when our trips aren’t already being paid for! 😉
Over and out.