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Sailing to success at Cuesta College


Anastasia Ruttschow lives on a boat in the Morro Bay
Photo by Sameer Wahba/Cuestonian

By Rachel Barnes
News Editor

Living on a sailboat, usually an adventurer’s dream, is a reality to Cuesta student Anastasia Ruttschow.

Ruttschow docks her sail boat in Morro bay all year long and calls it home. She has been living on her boat for more than two years with her boyfriend.

“When my boyfriend and I became serious we wanted to find a way to live on our own and be independent while still accomplishing our goal of great adventure,” Ruttschow said.

Ruttschow has always had the desire for adventure and says that living on a boat is a cheap way to achieve her dream of traveling.

“We realized that a sailboat would be perfect to live on, since it gives us an affordable home and can take us around the world,” Ruttschow said.

Boat life is vastly different than shore life. She said she’s lost the conveniences of living on shore like having her own shower.

“I use public showers, which is really not a problem, but oh man, after a long day I just want to hop in my own tub without shower shoes and quarters to pay,” Ruttschow said.

Anastasia Ruttschow on the docks of Morro Bay.
Anastasia Ruttschow on the docks of Morro Bay.

She likened living on a boat to year-round camping. She cooks on a camp stove, with little electricity and no refrigerator. And she said she worries about things that she never thought she would have to worry about while living on shore.

“Sometimes I wake up in the night panicked that we’re floating away, definitely not something I used to do,” she said.

Rutschow is in her third semester at Cuesta where she studies animal biology. School work is difficult for her to do on her floating home.

“Most classes have extensive online components to them,” she said, “I don’t have internet or use of my computer at home so I am in coffee shops a lot.”

She makes do with what she can and says that Cuesta has a lot of resources available.

“I can always use the computers on campus,” Ruttschow explained, “There’s only been one or two days so far I couldn’t get to shore since it was too rough on the water to row, and my professors were very understanding.”

Ruttschow said she wouldn’t trade anything to miss out on the experiences she gets to have with her life on the water.

The City of Morro Bay website outlines the requirements for getting a permit to live on a boat. Morro Bay only issues 50 liveaboard permits, meaning that only that amount of people are allowed to live on their boat at a time.

“Every day,” Ruttschow said, “I am amazed at the beauty and simplicity surrounding me on the water and my home. I am in love with it.”