Things only said to a toddler on a sailing boat

There's a lizard in the halyards!

There’s a lizard in the halyards!

Raising a toddler on a sailing boat provides many opportunities for unique statements.

Over the past few months I have been compiling a list of statements that made me giggle or have raised questions when I have been telling a story to a family member or friend who has asked for clarification when using sailing boat terminology.

Below are some the statements on my list and a translation or explanation …

“Can you grab the painter please?”

A painter is the rope used to tie our tinny to Medina. We’re teaching Orbit his ‘tinny skills’ and he’s in charge of passing me the painter (which is next to him on the seat) when we’re close to Medina.

Playing with water in the cockpit

Playing with water in the cockpit

“Out of the galley, NOW!”

“Out of the kitchen, NOW!”, especially when I’m using the oven, as it doesn’t have a heat proof door, and the door is the perfect height for Orbit to lean or put his hand on.

“I think lizard is in the halyards”

This is my often my response when Orbit says “where’s lizard?” We coil our halyards (ropes) and hang them in the cockpit so they stay out of the way and I quite often find toys in the halyards, including cars and lizards!

“Water stays in the cockpit … please”

When its hot, Orbit cools down by playing with his toys in a bucket of water under the shade of the cockpit bimini (see “please don’t climb on the bimini”). Its amazing how much water can get from the cockpit to the galley when he’s having fun!

Caught in the act of trying to get on the dodger

Caught in the act of trying to climb on the bimini

“I’m in the head”

“I’m in the toilet” (nothing more needs to be said).

“In a minute, we’re about to tack”

“In a minute, were about to turn the boat”. It’s all hands on deck for the Skipper and I when we’re tacking and Orbit is in bed, safe from harm. Quite often he asks to come out, which he can, but after we have tacked.

“Please don’t climb on the bimini”

“Please don’t climb on the flimsy bit of canvas that keeps the sun and rain off us.”

“It’s not a good idea to sit on the windlass”

“It’s not a good idea to sit on the winch that drops and raises the anchor”, even if its not working at the time. I don’t want Orbit to get in the bad habit of sitting somewhere that is potentially dangerous.

Orbit's 'sticker art' around the engine instruments

Orbit’s ‘sticker art’ around the engine instruments

“Thank you for not putting stickers on the engine instruments”

Orbit is still in the ‘sticker phase’, so we have stickers every where on Medina, which is lovely and cute, until they cover the instruments that the Skipper needs to see! Orbit now decorates around the engine instruments rather than over them.

In reviewing this post (I hope I have fixed all the grammatical errors!), I have realised that some of the things that we ask Orbit to do or not to do, is related to his height – toys in the coiled halyards, the oven, the windlass, where stickers are placed for example, are things that are at his height, which make them attractive for him to sit on or touch. It will be interesting to see what we’re asking him or asking him not to do when he’s taller!

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