My First Galley
I have created the start to this blog many times in my mind. I have had about 20 to 30 perfect starts come to me as I drove, cooked, bathed Willow, listen to Mark about the technical aspects of a diesel engine, and even at the baby doctor. Moving yourself onto a boat becomes all encompassing, every aspect of life and lifestyle changes dramatically. Therefore I have decided to start at the start! The start to this blog anyway, and why I am starting one at all. This blog is to share my trials, tribulations, and most of all the numerous adventures with all who want a peek inside our unique crazy life.
Speaking of crazy there are so many things to consider lately that it is all getting out of control!! Many considerations that I have now would never cross my mind if I wasn’t intending on moving onto a sailboat with my 6 year old, brand new baby boy, captain hubby and our lovable cocker-spaniel.
It would seem that everything we need to accomplish on a daily basis, still needs to be done on a boat. Laundry, cooking, bathing, sleeping, educating and so on. Getting to and from school, appointments and weekly commitments will diminish (and hopefully disappear) as we sail away, but all the other stuff to live day to day has got to be figured out.
On top of that is the fact that you can never be fully prepared for everything that comes up either. To be a cruising family you have to “go with the flow” so to speak. As many things can arise that are just about impossible to predict. My first example of this would be my first galley on the boat.
One of my first considerations right out of the gate was cooking on the boat without a working stove. Its not broken, it just needs a bit of tuning up as it sat over the winter, but it wasn’t something that happened for me in time to utilize last summer. I admit we did eat out far too much and I loved every minute of it, but knowing that pulling off this adventure of ours is going to take a big financial commitment… meaning we have to make every penny count, living with all the comforts of home, is a thing of the past. So if you scroll up and look at me sitting on the deck with my trusty Coleman stove, this is how I cooked for the rest of our summer season. I definitely had an airy kitchen with a great view!!!
That is what I am referring to when it comes to trials, tribulations and the best part being the adventure of it all. I think I will be learning ways to overcome and approach new situations forever. I think everyone does really, but this lifestyle has a rather steep learning curve, especially as you first start out. But the resulting life of maintaining this lifestyle is why we are doing this at all. To travel the world in our home like a snail, or periwinkle like they say on the sea, and see the world with our kids, experience things that we would only ever read about in our current mainstream life, is our lottery. As we dare to dream, we adjust accordingly, and hope for the best!! Here we go!
A taste of the list from the top of my head of things that have been occupying me as of late include such things as these;
1) where does the baby hangout..
Bouncy chair has whole new meaning. How to put the baby down for a sleep, use a stationary bed with a rail? Will the tilt of the boat turn the baby and contribute to suffocation? Or go with a hammock, which remains undisturbed by the movement of the boat…. but if things get really rocky, could the hammock hit the neighboring walls in the boat? Or do we strap him in a car seat and tether it right to the boat and call it a day.. so not sure yet!! This is a do it yourself mom site that posted a homemade baby hammock… very simple idea and she was smart about following safety laws too.
2)Strapping the kiddies to the boat so they don’t fall off.
But you also have to make sure they can jump ship if necessary!! You have the sailboat itself where we will have the rails completely done in a netting (which took 2 days to attach to the boat!!) and also unless in the cockpit, they will have to be tethered to the boat while not on a dock, mooring or at anchor.
3)Getting to and from the boat.
Getting to and from and on and off the boat which are 2 very different things for a 6 year old compared to a newborn!! And sometimes even a hubby…
Mark saving our tender after a rain storm decided to fill the boat with rainwater. He tried to move the boat to the back where he could get on it it easier but it was awkward with the extra weight and he lost the attaching rope!! As it floated away he lived out his batman dream, jumped off Ulidia and onto the tender… then it tipped over and brought him too… I laughed, threw him a lifejacket, and ran for the camera. He said I need to learn the man overboard drill…. opps! teehee
4)Cooking on a boat.
Pre prepared meals, food that doesn’t need refrigeration, even though we have a fridge and freezer, we have to also consider the power it takes to run these luxury items!!
5)What we use.
That thought leads me into the research we are doing for alternative power options, solar, wind, generator, and most of all how to use less energy/water/garbage/clothing/ paper … just living with less all around!
6)Food for the foodie.
I have become someone who firmly believes that we should do our best to eat organic and local, and to do this I stay on the internet doing pretty consistent research on where I can get these items while making sure they are credible and maintain the same expectations for themselves as I do. Now while sailing I will have very limited access to the internet and have to try to stock our galley with these items with very limited to no research to my options on each new community we enter.
Halifax has a great market, I was always happy with my visit and take home, every visit was an experience.
7)Limited use of the internet really will be a tough one for me, I am a junkie for information. How to parent, how to eat, how to get over pretty much any perceived crisis, how to stay in contact, how to vent, you name it it seems to happen on the internet for me.
Educationally for the kids I think limited internet use could restrict us in a variety of ways, but I also think we can get to local libraries and wifi cafes and that will be plenty… on the other hand, maybe we will have our heads and hands free of this technology long enough to experience our lives in a richer way.
8)Education is another item to consider.
Public school is out, catching the bus might be an issue… Waldorf is where Willow is now, which we love love LOVE.
But we are not sure which way to go as far as homeschooling curriculum. We are looking into Waldorf and Oak meadow which seem very similar.
I have always liked Calvert, and many sailing moms use it and swear by it. It is an easy decision to go with Calvert as you can rest assured that your child will get the education required to return to any mainstream schooling system at any time. They provide a full year of educational materials divided up into lessons that parents can easily deliver, and everything you need is included. School in a box as I have heard it referred to.
This choice would be quite different than the Waldorf philosophies, so we really have lots of thinking to do yet still.
After meeting many homeschooling parents on land, I have found out that there are many great choices out there, some moms use a different curriculum for math then they do reading and writing, some just get the public school system and make sure they cover everything in there! I was surprised to find out that on average, if you teach the public school curriculum at home, one on one, it only takes an hour and a half a day. To be fair, so do most homeschooling programs. Many will do their schooling right after breakfast before changing out of their pjs, then when done, the whole rest of the day belongs to family time. I have been doing research into homeschooling for a few years now, and I am very excited to have the opportunity to experience this with my kids, especially if we can manage to incorporate our sailing adventures into our learning environment. This is obviously another blog in the making!!
9) Stuff, what to bring what to ditch.
This is the biggest constant for me so far. This is a never ending tribulation, and now is starting all over again as we will be bringing another family member aboard this time!! We got rid of so much stuff. The cloths that we had were unbelievable, the coats and boots and shoes, toys, wedding gifts, kitchen appliances and dishes. We had a garage full of stuff, an attic and a basement. The constant dwindle seemed endless. We had already had many garage sales and had the diabetes association come and haul away truck loads before we bought the boat. But when we did finally decide to make our purchase, the task still seemed dauntingly big.
Finally quickly approaching October we had gotten ourselves so we only had a few big items, and our baby stuff in the attic of our Bridgewater home to deal with.
Then, before I could get to that attic to sort through all the baby things I had so carefully tucked away, I got the flu. Rested for a few days, and didn’t seem to get any better! Then in my sorting travels, I stumbled across this unopened test, woke up the next morning and saw the sign. The big plus sign!!
So I did a double take…
Well, then I told Mark. He was very happy about the news and said right away, well, we are staying the year. I was shocked! All I could think is we can’t not go!!! This might not last!! But here we are and I am 25 almost 26 weeks pregnant and the boy is kicking like a future soccer player. I was in shock for a bit, one day I took in the library when Mark had a meeting to attend, and I decided to look up a few things about my current stage in the pregnancy, and this is what I found.
I had some concern..
SO there was only one thing to do…
I took another test. Ready or not, here he comes!!!
We had to jump into action pretty quick because as far as we knew, I was to be on bedrest by 12 weeks following a surgery, according to what the doctors had told us 6 years ago when we had our wee Willow. So trying to keep things relatively on the down low, but also needing to tell way more people then we were completely comfortable with, we got started on our very quick transition to prepare for all that was to come. We got Willow into full time Waldorf, we found a very cute little 3 bedroom furnished cottage on Sunny Brook next to Hermans Island, and we had tenants successfully move into our Bridgewater home.
We had gathered up our winter apparel from Moncton at my parents house and we unloaded the boat, took out the mast and are keeping it in East River for the winter. TADA!!!! Ready for winter. I ended up with more of a light duties role as things are better for me now than they anticipated, so even though I still can’t do a whole heck of a lot, I am not on bed rest.
And Miss Ulidia, our new home awaits until spring… See you soon!!