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Neptune
About Our Floating Home
Big Living on a Little Boat
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About Our Floating Home
Big Living on a Little Boat
2005 to Present
The Original State
~ The Original State ~
The Galley
(or 'Kitchen')
When going below Re Metau, our galley lies immediately to port.The left side of a ship when facing forward. It is a nice U-shaped space that allows one to brace oneself in place should the boat be heeling while underway, and is open to the saloon so the chef is not closed off from company. A large, round portWindow, not to be confused with the left side of a ship when facing forward. to the cockpit allows me to keep an eye on what's going on outside, and another particularly handy oval port lies above my stove. It gives me a beautiful, unobstructed view while cooking, and provides me with easy access for food scrap disposal. There is additional ventilation via a doradeA cowl or fixed wind scoop found on the deck and designed to funnel air below. located overhead near the sink.

We had a pressure fresh water faucet and spray hose, a foot pump fresh water faucet, a big bronze salt water hand pump, and a small bronze air vent for the water tanks. The main faucet was a cheap, household unit that was not only an eyesore, but had a plastic spray nozzle added in order to reach the second sink. The traditional Fynspray hand pump was pretty nautical, but completely corroded and dried up.

The Appliances
Our ship came equipped with a 12 volt refrigerator and a freezer about the size of two loaves of bread. We also had a two burner propane stove with oven and the highly recommended, deep double sink. There was also a very compact microwave that fit perfectly in a small cubby. Although it gobbled up energy – it was sometimes more practical for quick heating than burning a bunch of gas and warming up the cook.
Diana in the Galley
~ Diana in the Galley ~
Storage & Décor
The amount of storage in my galley is unbelievable, despite the size of our vessel. Aft, I have three drawers, two closed lockers, and an open section for dishes. Along the port side I have a spice rack and shelf behind the stove, another closed locker I use for canned goods, and a very deep dry locker.

There is additional space, used for pots and pans, below the sink. I also have two cubbies; one below the drawers is given over to spare engine parts, and one below the stove holds water filters and such. There is also enough space under the stove for me to store some additional cookware.

I've always had tiered baskets for fresh fruit and vegetables hanging between the galley and saloon. Though the wire, store bought one worked for a bit, it wasn't long before rust began to work its magic on the threads of cheap metal.

So I was happy to have cause for commissioning a beach artist to weave 3 graduated palm-leaf pots. Then I dusted off my macramé skills and knotted a hanger out of jute rope. I'd always intended to adorn our cabin with useful, practical, traditional and meaningful ornamentation, and this homespun creation met all four points!

All of the teak below was in fine shape, and we couldn't help but be drawn to its beauty. And we were fortunate that the boat came with solid brass curtain rod holders with teak dowels. Until we visited other small vessels, I didn't realize how difficult it was to come up with a port covering solution.

Faucet Upgrade No.1
~ Faucet Upgrade No. 1 ~

One couple we met actually solved their problem by snapping the elastic waistband of a pair of men's boxer shorts around each port! They purposefully bought a bunch made in fun tropical patterns, and confessed to using the leg holes to see out.

For our curtains, I selected fabric that blended the warm browns and dark greens of the interior and sewed matching pillows to tie it all together. The interior of our ship just glows when the sunlight shines through the material. Many thanks to Aunt Marie for the use of her ancient sewing machine. It may have been of Betsy Ross's era, but it worked like the everlasting piece of machinery built of its time.

A Decade Beyond
Over the years we were able to make many upgrades to the galley. When the microwave died, we had difficulty finding one small enough to replace it, then determined having the space would be more useful to us than the appliance. We changed out the stove and its menopausal oven with a new Force 10 3 burner unit. We removed the tiny freezer unit and built a custom enclosure in the back portion of the ice box with a large evaporator to accommodate a lot more frozen foods. The only other small electrical appliances I keep onboard are a toaster, and an immersion blender. All other food prep is done by hand.

We initially upgraded the faucets, creatively filling and covering the numerous holes in the counter. Eventually, we were able to replace the countertops and sink, and so my 'Master Control Center' was upgraded to a much cleaner and far more practical configuration.

Faucet Upgrade No.2
~ Faucet Upgrade No. 2 & New Countertops ~

Lots of little, decorative improvements made the galley more functional and pleasing as well. I receive many complements on the wall pockets, thrown by local potters, that I hung to store my cooking utensils. I anchored a perfectly sized knife block down, and filled the rest of the narrow, back counter space next to it with a set of square, bamboo canisters that fit flawlessly. And one day it dawned on me to move the wine glass holder, so Don would stop hitting his head and breaking my coconut shell flutes.

The Culinary Arts
Learning to cook in my tiny, rocking scullery was most definitely challenging for me. So much so that I believe there is a contest in there somewhere; call it 'Cook on the Hook.' But the disadvantages of space, limited appliances, and motion are far outweighed by the advantages. I never have far to go to reach a utensil, and I only have high-quality cookware at hand.

And the freedom of this life gives me time to rediscovered the joy of baking daily bread, culturing yogurt, making cheese, and growing sprouts. I have learned how to cook with exotic foods common only on remote islands. I have an ever-changing view out my galley port, and hungry little fish below to keep me company.

Finally, I have a captain who is adventurous enough to try most anything I put before him, who is always grateful for my creations, and who is willing to clean up after each meal. I'll take that over a conventional kitchen any day!

Check out our Boat Projects to learn more about our upgrades!
  • New Counter Tops
  • Custom Built Refrigerator / Freezer
  • New 3 Burner Stove
  • Replaced Faucet (TWICE)
  • New Sink
  • Removed Microwave