Tag Archives: Medina

We did it!

Our little family

Our little family

In the infamous words of Dora the Explorer “we did it!” (sorry for the ear worm).

Yesterday was an exhausting day but extremely rewarding, one that I will never forget.

After Father’s Day breakfast with Orbit’s grandparents, we were back on Medina doing the final organising and spending time with the grandparents and our marina family. As soon as the wind had turned easterly, it was time to go (we are finally watching the weather instead of a clock).

We had planned to wave ‘see you soon’ to Orbit’s grandparents as we motored past the breakwater out of the marina. So with with the final preparations completed, we left our marina berth and I got Orbit up on deck so he could wave too.

As we went past the breakwater, we realised Orbit’s grandparents were not there. After a few phone calls (thank goodness for mobile phones) we found out they had been delayed trying to find a carpark. So a U-turn it was, we were not missing out on waving to them!

Leaving the marina

Leaving the marina

Heading back into the marina, Orbit got quite upset and said ‘No mummy, no home, stay here’. Bless his little cotton socks. The second time out of the marina, his grandparents were there. We waved as if no one was watching and once they were out of site, some tears and some deep breaths it was time to focus on the adventure ahead.

Remember my plans of having everything sorted, organised, put away … well that did not happen! Everything until yesterday morning had been put away, but our final loads of washing, our permanent mooring lines and last minute bits and pieces just thrown down below, into a spot where they could to do the least amount of damage in the worst case scenario.

I was thankful that the Skipper had decided to motor to our first anchorage – to give the newly serviced engine a good run in. It meant that Medina was relatively ‘flat’ and I could put things away as we went along.

Orbit living his dream - he's finally at 'the beach'!

Orbit living his dream – he’s finally at ‘the beach’!

Orbit feel into a deep sleep after his lunch, he thought he was something pretty special sitting in the cockpit with his dad, munching away on his sandwich. He didn’t even wake up once we had anchored and turned the engine off. A few hours later he was up, the first thing he said was ‘beach’ so it was into the tinnie and off to the beach.

So for the next few days, we are just going to be taking it all in, doing some final provisioning and plan the detail of our next few weeks.

As I sit here with my coffee, watching the sun rise I feel so blessed and thankful. Thank you to everyone for your warm wishes and thank you for coming on the adventure with us.

Working from Medina

Most people are surprised when they find out I work from Medina. Maybe it’s because they don’t see me ‘going to work’ or as one previous colleague put it “you don’t look like you live on a boat”. I wasn’t sure whether this was a insult or a compliment!

Orbit supervising my work - making sure I meet my deadline

Orbit supervising my work – making sure I meet my deadline

Since living on Medina, I have been very fortunate to be employed by companies that not only talk about having policies of flexible working environments, but actually put them into practice. In my current job, I work a set number of hours per week, when I work these hours is flexible, as long as I meet my deadlines. It doesn’t matter if I am in an office or on Medina.

When Medina is in the marina, working is pretty easy from a logistics perspective. 240 volt electricity is on tap, we have a strong internet connection and are close the airport for when I have to travel. We are also close to grandparents and family daycare, which provides Orbit with an opportunity to enjoy time with family and friends (without me cramping his style), and playing in houses with backyards two days a week.

Working at anchor is similar to working in the marina, the only things I need to be conscious of is the battery life on my laptop and connection to the internet. I try to manage the battery life to match the engine running schedule, charging it using the inverter (with the other 240 volt appliances that have batteries). So far so good with internet connection in anchorages, we haven’t had to hoist the wifi modem up the mast … yet! The Skipper looks after Orbit if I have to work outside his sleeping routine, which usually involves a fishing lesson of some description.

Orbit reviewing raw data sheets

Orbit reviewing raw data sheets

I have had to learn to read from a screen because we just don’t have the space to have loads of printing laying around the boat. We do have a printer, but I deliberately have it tucked away in an awkward space, so I only get it out when I have too. My work does rely on using reference books, which have presented a storage problem that I am yet to solve. At the moment I store them in bags and stash the bags around the boat, with the most used books in the bag that is most accessible. I did contemplate scanning them into my computer, but that has just seemed to daunting, given the number of books and number of pages in the books.

From a parenting perspective, working from Medina has been an evolving experience based on Orbit’s routine. When Orbit was a baby, I worked while he slept. But if I had an urgent deadline, he was happy to sit and supervise me (for short periods of time). Once he started being more interested in what I was doing, he wanted to ‘work’ too, which meant he wanted to type on the computer or read the report for me. I got nothing done, so I could only work while he was sleeping.

Working together in the saloon - yep, that's a printer on the floor

Working together in the saloon – yep, that’s a printer on the floor

Now he’s a bit older, Orbit is happy to ‘work’ along side with me, either playing with his cars, doing puzzles, drawing or working on ‘his computer’. Things can get a bit cramped with us both sharing the same space, but we usually come to a compromise, i.e. I slowly get moved off the table, relocating to a chair and/or the floor. I do enjoy working together though, it means I often get more hugs!

But it’s not all about work, it’s all about Orbit. We spend mornings together, going on adventures (when we are anchored) or scheduled activities like swimming lessons or playgroup (when we are in the marina). In the afternoon I focus on work while Orbit is asleep, but how much I get done is dependant on how long Orbit sleeps for and his mood when he wakes up. So depending Orbit, on the type and how much work I need to do, there can be some early mornings, late nights and very busy afternoons.

Working when Medina is anchored

Working when Medina is anchored

At the moment deadlines, meetings and travel commitments are a consideration when and where we go sailing and this will be the same when we are cruising. When we are cruising, we won’t have as easy access grandparents (unless they come to visit or we visit them), there will be no family day care, access to the internet won’t be as reliable (I’ll be relying on local knowledge about anchorages that are a bit remote) and getting to an airport won’t be as easy. But all this can be managed with a good planning and adjusting our schedule to suit. It means we’ll be travelling slowly, but this will also have its advantages. But most importantly, Orbit and I will have the Skipper full time. It is going to be hard staying behind on Medina to work while the boys are out having adventures without me!

So raising a toddler and working from a sailing boat can be done, it just requires organisation and coordination.  A big thank you to my employer and my support network for allowing it to happen for me!

Knock, knock, Medina, are you there?

I can hear you guys knocking on Medina’s hull or deck, asking “Medina, are you there?”

One of Medina's milestones

One of Medina’s milestones – the anchor well has been repainted and the anchor and chain are back on.

Yep, well sort of. It’s been a big few weeks. In the last three weeks, we’ve only spent 5 nights on Medina. I will explain all in the coming weeks, but in summary, it’s been a tad hectic. And I haven’t had the opportunity to update the blog as I would have liked.

The biggest thing is that Medina is nearly ready to spread her sails. Yep, Medina is nearly ready to go sailing!

We’ve also got a few big weeks coming up, so have lots to share about living on a sailing boat with a toddler.

I’ll also be attempting to overhaul the site to make it more user friendly. Please let me know if you have any suggestions or ideas to improve the site.

Thanks for your patience and may your adventure continue too!

An inheritance of wanderlust

sourced fromhttp://www.thefreedictionary.com/wanderlust

Source: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/wanderlust

Last weekend was dedicated to family history. With ANZAC day on the Saturday, we focused on my great grandfather, William, who fought at Gallipoli. We spoke about his wife, Otilga and their children, one of which was my grandfather. It was interesting sitting and listening the various generations talk about our relatives from their own perspectives.

One of the many things I learnt over the weekend was that although we have chosen very different lives, we have similarities in our personalities. One similarity would be wanderlust (another would be stubbornness, but thats another post!). And I thought it quite serendipitous that wanderlust is a german word, given our german heritage, thanks to Otilga.

Cimba (source:

Cimba (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cimba

William must have had some form of wanderlust as he became a seaman and joined the merchant service, arriving in Australia, as a crew member aboard the clipper Cimba in 1898. He then became a commercial traveller prior to settling in Wynnum.

After settling, he was active in sailing (an Honorary Secretary of the Wynnum and Manly Sailing Club) and his children learnt how to sail on Moreton Bay.  It was only a few years ago that I learnt (or had the headspace to appreciate) my grandfather and his sisters grew up sailing on Moreton Bay. We are continuing a family tradition and I think of them often when the sails are full and the sun is shining down on my own little family.

William and Otilga

William and Otilga

Unfortunately William died at Gallipoli, but his wanderlust lives on through his children, grand children, great grandchildren and his great great grand children.

We all have a desire to travel, to not sit still for too long. The only difference between us is the geographic scale of the travel and method of travel. For me, the geographical scale is what is around the next corner rather than a destination and the method of travel is sailing boat.

I think going cruising as a true example of wanderlust. Although we only have short term goals (from one anchorage to the next) and our timeframe is set by the weather, we are able to enjoy pottering around places and discovering their history, their beauty and the opportunities they provide.

So, this is my way of thanking William for his ultimate sacrifice and letting him know that he has given us a very special gift. One that is being passed on to the next generation. We won’t take for it for granted and we will make the most of it.

Clearing Medina’s through-hulls

The exhaust through hull - prior to being cleared

The exhaust through hull (on the water line)

This week the Skipper delegated the task of clearing Medina’s through hulls to me.

How did I get this unfortunate task?

By doing “such a good job” of clearing a cockpit drain hole (a type of through hull) from barnacles that were stopping a ball from one of Orbit’s toys from exiting, which in turn blocked the drain.

What are through hulls?

Through hulls are essentially ‘pipes’ that go from inside the boat to the outside or vice versa. They are usually found just above and under the waterline. Each contains a fitting that allows water to flow in or out, depending on its purpose.

Sorry barnacles, but it is time to go.

Sorry barnacles, but it is time to go.

Medina’s has through hull drains for the shower, galley, heads (toilets), cockpit, engine exhaust and bilge pumps. She also has a through hull intake for our saltwater which is split for a variety of uses, saltwater pump in the galley, flushing the heads and cooling the engine. We try to be conscious of what goes through each of the through hulls, as they can be easily blocked from either end.

Clearing through hulls can only be ‘easily’ be done when a boat is out of the water. Its not a very technical process, first, I scraped the ‘pipe’ with a screw driver until all the barnacles, algae, anti foul paint (the black paint) and anything else was removed. I then used sandpaper to smooth the ‘pipe’ to hopefully reduce the chance of anything making this area of the boat its home. The Skipper will then reapply the anti foul paint (and primer if required).

All cleared - ready for the Skipper to prime and anti-foul

All cleared – ready for the Skipper to prime and anti-foul

So, now having completed my delegated task (have a look at our Facebook page for some more details) I thought I would share the top 10 things I learnt when clearing Medina’s through hulls. I am sure you can imagine how I came up with each of these!

  1. Wear a long sleeve shirt with a button that you can do up at the collar.
  2. Pop your ear phones in, fast paced music works well for the initial scraping (e.g. Lonely Boy by the Black Keys) and slower paced music for the sanding (e.g. Mess Is Mine by Vance Joy).
  3. Scraping is not about strength, rather the angles.
  4. Keep your mouth closed when scraping – particularly when your ‘under’ the hull (e.g. clearing cockpit drains).
  5. After scraping or sanding, check yourself in a mirror before going out in public.

    IMG_3661

    Just remember not to sing too loudly with ear phones in – unless you want people to hear you sing …

  6. Use a ladder that is easy to move around the boat and move it around the through hulls to help create angles.
  7. Aviator sunglasses are not good ‘safety glasses’.
  8. Moisturise you hands as much as you can in the days leading up to the task (it helps to prevent the anti-foul dust getting deeply embedded in the pores of your hands).
  9. Wear socks with your shoes (a build up of anti-foul dust between the toes is not good).
  10. A human head and the hull of a steel boat should never meet, particularly more than once.

Writing this post has reminded me of a lesson a very wise lady from Aurukun once told me …

“Rather than allowing yourself to make mistakes but then beating yourself up for it, allow yourself to learn and enjoy the roller coaster.”