Monthly Archives: October 2015

Who would have thought?

Last week we needed to replace our trusty little washing machine. Our little twin tub had served us well, doing at least 2 loads a day, 7 days a week. It survived for two and half years. Not a bad investment for just over $200!

Orbit at 7 months - inlet pipe for the washing machine (which was never used)

Orbit at 7 months – inlet pipe for the washing machine (which was never used)

Unfortunately it got to the stage where I could not fix it with my limited repairing skills, i.e. using a hammer, WD40, duct tape type and/or blu tack to repair.  And given the Skipper’s ever growing to do list, it was easier, faster and less stressful to just buy a new one.

As with most washing machines, there is a pipe to bring the water into the machine (inlet pipe) and a pipe for taking the water to go out (outlet pipe). Rather than using the inlet pipe, we use a hose directly from the water supply on the marina dock or a bucket filled from the galley sink when we are out and about. This left the inlet pipe destined for the rubbish bin, or so we thought …

When we got our first washing machine, Orbit was straight onto the inlet pipe. He would quite happily sit for half an hour chewing on the pipe, which was great because it allowed me to get one load of washing done. But alas, one day it must have been packed away ‘somewhere safe’ because I haven’t seen it in a very long time.

I am learning that it is very easy to lose things in boats. Which might sound strange because we have such a relatively small amount of space to put things. But on the flip side, we have lots of hidy holes to put things and hence lose them!

Orbit's new 'old toy'

Orbit’s new ‘old toy’

This time when we were unpacking the new machine, Orbit’s eye’s lit up when he saw the inlet pipe. I had forgotten that the original inlet pipe was one of his favourite toys when he was a baby. I am not sure if he remembered the pipe from when he was younger, if he just wanted to play with it because the Skipper and were (I am sure our ‘work’ equals his ‘playing’), or if he saw its potential.

Regardless of which it was, it the inlet pipe in back on the ‘favourite toys’ list. Orbit uses the inlet pipe in many different ways, a trumpet, a car bridge, a necklace (for him or me) or anything else his imagination allows it to be.

I am always amazed at how you can give toddlers or kids all the fancy toys in the world, but it’s the simple things, the things we adults don’t necessarily see as toys that are usually the favourites. So my lesson from this experience is, I am not going to worry to much about toys when we’re cruising. Between our three imaginations (the Skipper, Orbit and I) I’m sure we can turn most things into a ‘toy’ and a game out of nearly everything we do. I shall let you know how we go!

A rainbow in the shower

You know that feeling when you have a toddler under your supervision, you know they’re somewhere in the boat/house/apartment but you can’t see them and its very very quiet … too quiet … During the week, I had one of those moments.

This is what I found –



My initial emotion was relief. I was relieved that Orbit was a. on the boat (the fear of him falling in the water never goes away); b. not doing something that could hurt him; c. not causing any damage; and d. not making a big mess to clean up.

IMG_4629The next emotion was delight. I was delighted that Orbit had found something constructive and creative to do.

I asked Orbit what he was drawing and he said a rainbow. We had seen a few rainbows over the previous few days and I was fastinated by his ability to transfer what he was seeing onto the walls of the shower.

Drawing rainbows in the shower has now become part of Orbit’s going to bed routine – dinner, potty, drawing rainbows, shower (washing off rainbows), clean teeth followed by play time with the Skipper and then bed.

Bath crayons are great (thanks Julie for suggesting them). They clean off really easily in the shower (a washer and water is all that is needed) and I think Orbit enjoys removing the pictures as much as drawing them. Am definitely going to be stocking up on bath crayons prior to going cruising!