|Somebody's got to pay for those coconut rum drinks.|
You heard correctly. After two years of dodging gainful employment, Vlad and I both have jobs. He's working like crazy on boats during the high season here, and I'm doing some freelance editing. His work is much more lucrative, but we've both been looking at each other lately like "Wait a second. Aren't we supposed to be on vacation??"
We are both enjoying the novel sensation of money coming in instead of always siphoning out. I had forgotten what it's like in the normal working world where you may be stuck in a filing room, but you at least have a new batch of currency every two weeks. Which gets me thinking about that persistent question: How to make money while sailing?
So far, I've seen three areas of reliable work - fixing boats, doing canvas work and messing about with computers. Sure, plenty of people add to the cruising kitty by teaching beach yoga or toting a massage table around, but if you want to make the big bucks being an electrician or welder or mechanic ain't half bad. After all, if there's one thing that you can rely on while sailing, it's that your boat will break, and most people don't have the skill set to fix it. Vlad has been able to get pick up work in many spots on our travels, even in the San Blas Islands. He's good and has tons of experience, but it doesn't hurt that he packed our boat with spares and materials. I might complain about the clutter (and I do!), but having that roll of electrical wire or a piece of stainless has gotten us a few extra tacos.
The woman we bought the boat from did canvas work during their travels, which is also a pretty consistent gig. There have been several people here in La Cruz who needed new sail covers or bimini tops and wanted to hire me after seeing me lugging around our sewing machine. If only my stitches didn't look like the work of a second grader with bad eye-hand coordination, I could have made some cash.
And there's always someone out here who does web site or software work. Sometimes they even keep their real jobs and just work via the internet in exotic locations. Every time I see one of these people, I curse my younger self for going into journalism. Computers, kid. There's a great future in computers.
Anyway, while we are here saving for our next move, what are your thoughts on making money while cruising? Do you guys have any big plans or ideas on how to make money while underway?