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My friend Dingo

I have a friend called Dingo. Dingo lives on Medina with me, my mum and my dad. Dingo is from K’gari (Fraser Island) and he is two years old.

Dingoes are awesome because can run super fast, they have dens to sleep in and they don’t bark, they howl. You have to be careful around dingoes, they can be dangerous. You should never feed or try to pat a dingo because they might try and bite you. They are wild animals. Always stay with your mum and dad.

My friend Dingo likes to go sailing on Medina and he likes the same music as me, Coldplay.

Dingo is going to come sailing with us to Wallaginji (Lady Musgrave Island) and K’gari (Fraser Island) next week. Dingo is looking forward to seeing his home again.

It’s time for the handover …

We haven’t posted for many years and a lot has changed …

Orbit is no longer a toddler – he is an 8 year old boy.

Medina is no longer yellow – she is whisper grey.

But somethings don’t change …

We still go on our daily adventures – on the water or on land.

We have been fortunate to have adventures from K’gari (Fraser Island) to Yunbenun (Magnetic Island) across the Tasman to Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) and back to the beautiful waters of the Quandamooka people (Moreton Bay). I hope to post about our adventures as time and the new editor allows.

New editor I hear you say?

Yes, it’s time to hand over the editing responsibilities to someone who is ready to take on the responsibility and who can meet the required adventure quota per day.

The new editor is (of course) Orbit himself!

The fun of ad-lib (i.e. making it up as we go along)

Hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas and New Year break. The Skipper, Orbit and I had a great time catching up with family and friends. I was reflecting on our time over Christmas and New Years (as you do when downloading photos), and I noticed a similarity between some of out adventures … there was a fair bit of ad-lib or making it up as we went along. Nothing major, just the little things we did to fill in time waiting for significant events to occur, e.g. waiting for our coffee to arrive, waiting for dinner to cook – filling in the space Dr Seuss calls “The Waiting Place”.

Waiting for breakfast to arrive

One of the things we like to do as a family is go out for breakfast. The time between ordering breakfast and waiting for it to arrive can be a bit time consuming for a small child. So to keep Orbit occupied we made up a game to keep him sitting in his seat. This technique involves a few pre-requisites, disposable serviettes, a pen and a toy car. Once or breakfast is ordered, we draw a map on a serviette. Myself or the Skipper draw the roads and Orbit quite happily fills in the details. Orbit then has a map on which he can play with his cars. This is a bit of a variation to the roads-scape I described last year (I still have to finish the nautical version). We can usually drag this game out to about 15 minutes which is usually enough time for our breakfast to arrive and if we’re really lucky it can be dragged out after breakfast too.

Waiting for the Skipper and I to stop talking

One of the joys of being on Medina and cruising is being able to stop in picturesque anchorages. Where there is a good beach, we take the tinny into the beach to have a swim and  explore. One of Orbit’s “waiting places” in this situation is when the Skipper and I are having a chat with other people on the beach. Orbit usually wants us to play with him and doesn’t necessarily appreciate the joy of meeting new people. So what we do? It’s usually a case of looking around and finding something for him to do, luckily one of Orbit’s favourite things isn’t too far away – sticks! Once he’s found a stick to his liking, its just a case of  giving him a list of things to draw, it can be anything shapes, pictures or letters. Even finding the ‘right’ stick can occupy a significant  portion in time!

Waiting for me to cook dinner

We have been very spoilt this summer, the Skipper installed air conditioning on Medina! It has been absolute heaven to be able to have a good sleep at night and be able to get things done during the day without sweating. What to do while waiting for the Skipper to install the air conditioning? Simple, make a game out of the left over core flute the Skipper was using to make a temporary cover (similar to what we do when out for breakfast). And being back on Medina, Orbit had some extra toys to incorporate into the game. Over the last few days, while waiting for me to cook dinner, Orbit has been adding extra bits of core flute to his original piece, making extra roads, bridges, tunnels and turning the whole thing into a cubby house! However, unfortunately it all came to a very abrupt end when the cubby house was used as a very slippery slide.

I am learning that the “waiting place” is not a bad place to be, in fact, it’s the place where our imaginations can really thrive!

We’re going on a stick hunt

On our stick hunt

As you may know, we have started a little tradition of making Christmas decorations for family and friends. But this year due to everything that has been going on (travel, work etc) Orbit and I haven’t had the lead up time we’ve had in previous years. It was already December and I had no idea what to Christmas decorations make and we had very little time left to make them.

I was searching the internet for ideas when an answer arrived in my inbox. I was saved by Picklebums, a fantastic parenting/activities website for kids of all ages. That week’s newsletter had a list of Christmas decorations to make at home – woo hoo! Scrolling through the list, the stick reindeer stood out as the perfect decoration for this year.

For the last six months or so (maybe longer), Orbit has been obsessed with sticks. You can imagine my disgust when he would walk around with a stick in his mouth like a dog. I have lost count of the number of sticks I have found on Medina or in the car. But on the positive side, Orbit does draw some pretty cool sand pictures with the sticks when we are at the beach.

One of Orbit’s sand drawings

Orbit’s grandparents made the connection with the sticks – he was copying the character Spot from the movie, The Good Dinosaur! With the connection made, I have been able to manage Orbit’s behaviour beyond just saying (also read yelling) “take the stick out of your mouth!”. Thank goodness for grand parents!

So embracing Orbit’s obsession with sticks (he no longer puts them in his mouth), the decision to make stick reindeer was pretty easy.

The next day was gorgeous and wan’t meant to be too hot, so I decided to turn collecting the sticks for the reindeer into an adventure. We packed our bag (including a picnic) and went on an a stick hunt.

Orbit and I had lots of fun wondering around the bush looking for appropriate sticks, we even made up a song based on, “We’re going on a bear hunt” …

The stick reindeer production line

We’re going on a stick hunt , We’re going to find a forked one, What a beautiful day, We’re not scared!

Yeah, Bush! Brown scrubby bush, We can’t go over it, We can’t go under it, We’ll have to go through it

Look crunch, Look crunch, Look crunch

What’s that?

One small close fork, Two rough breakable ends, Two matching friends

It’s our stick!

Quick, put it in the bag

Orbit and a stick reindeer

With sticks collected and bellies full of morning tea, we headed off to the local haberdashery to cool down the air conditioning and buy some buttons, glue and eyes. Back on Medina, after some lunch and a nap (stick hunts are very exhausting), Orbit and I got the stick reindeer production into operation. I snapped the sticks to the right size and Orbit decided which buttons to go on each. They were really quick to make and all I had to do was use the hot glue gun. Once the glue was dry, Orbit then decided who was getting each reindeer and we packaged them up ready for their delivery.

The next day our reindeers stared to slowly make their way to loved ones houses and boats, just in time for Christmas.

Merry Christmas to you and your family from the Skipper, Orbit and myself. We hope you have lots of amazing adventures over the holidays, no matter how big or small they are. Oh, and apologies for the ear worm!

Once it’s in the water …

If I had a dollar for overtime I said to Orbit “be careful, once it’s in the water it’s gone” I would be financially rich.

Orbit likes any type of car, but racing ones are pretty cool

Orbit likes any type of car, but racing ones are pretty cool

Orbit usually has a toy car in his hand so, the ‘it’ is usually a car. Orbit loves playing with cars, its doesn’t matter what type or where it is, in his bed, the Skipper’s and my bed, the v-berth, at the table, in the cockpit or on deck.

I have learnt never to leave Medina without at least one in my bag. I’ve even popped a few in our tinny bag (just in case). If ever we are caught out and have to wait for something (e.g. the doctor is running late at the medical centre), we can always make a game out of cars. Any line can be a road and it’s amazing what we can make bridges and tunnels out of (e.g. serviettes at a coffee shop).

Back on Medina, there are many places for Orbit to lose his cars into the water. A car being thrown overboard or rolling through the scuppers is obvious and he is pretty careful about this. But less obvious and easier to forget is loosing a car in the water from within the cockpit.

Starboard cockpit drain hole with stubby cooler

Starboard cockpit drain hole with stubby cooler

Medina has a centre cockpit and this means she has drain holes to allow any water that may come in, to drain out. Drain holes for water is a good thing, but for other things, not so good. Once something falls in a drain hole, it’s gone for good – to the bottom of the marina or the ocean. I usually loose pegs and Orbit has lost a car or two. So how do we stop things going down the drain holes?

Simple, stubby coolers.

We place an upside down stubby cooler on each drain hole and just like magic they prevent things falling into them. The best bit about using stubby coolers is that if water does get into the cockpit, they float, allowing the water to escape. I discovered this one day when I was giving the cockpit a good scrub and forgot to remove the stubby coolers before hosing out the cockpit.

Port side cockpit drain

Port side cockpit drain

Orbit was playing in the cockpit the other day and he wanted me to get something for him. For the life of me I could not work out what he wanted. After about 5 minutes of both of us struggling, Orbit trying to explain what he wanted and me trying to understand, I worked out he wanted some stubby coolers.

Once he’d put the stubby holders over the drain holes, Orbit proceeded to make a cubby house. After he was finished I asked what each of the pieces of the cubby house were for, he said the steps we use to hop on and off Medina were to hold the umbrella, his umbrella and gum boots were because it was raining, his sand toys were to play with on the the beach after it stopped raining and his cars, were to play with “of course”.

I then asked Orbit if he could fit in his cubby house. He just looked at me, said “no” and continued to play. I guess the fact that he couldn’t fit in his cubby house was ok. He had made his cubby house, he could play with his cars next to the cubby house and he was happy with that. Geez I love this kid.