Tag Archives: Raising a toddler on a sailing boat

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.

The ultimate balancing act

I have been trying to write a post (one that I had planned on publishing two weeks ago) on what is for me, the ultimate parent balancing act. Writing about this topic was a lot harder than I had originally thought – hence the two week delay.

IMG_5898For me, the ultimate balancing act when it comes to parenting (and I am sure it is different for everyone), is balancing my fear of something happening to Orbit (e.g. falling in the water and drowning) versus providing Orbit with the experiences to build his confidence (e.g. walking along the floating pontoons without a life vest).

The words for this post just aren’t flowing, but the emotions sure are. So, given the topic is one that I am sure everyone has an opinion on, I am curious to know about your experiences of balancing building a toddler’s confidence versus managing your fear of something going wrong. It doesn’t have to be sailing or boat related as I am sure this balancing act isn’t reserved to the sailing domain. Please leave a comment on the blog or comment on the my sailing boat Facebook page.

I promise to publish another post soon – maybe a less controversial though …

Looking forward to the discussion


p.s. if you are going to comment, please be respectful of other people’s parenting decisions, as we are never in their situation at the time that they have to make a decision, ta.

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!