Monthly Archives: March 2016

Riding around on my balance bike honey …

When Medina is in the marina, there are some rare days when we don’t have anywhere to be. Since I returning to work I really appreciate these days. But it also took a change of mindset to realise that there are many adventures in the marina, many more than I initially thought.

Working out how to ride a balance bike

Working out how to ride a balance bike

Looking through Orbit’s eyes, each time we hop of Medina is an adventure, even if we have walked the same path many, many times before. It never ceases to amaze me (and equally frustrate me), how Orbit can get so much enjoyment just walking from Medina to the car or vice versa. Each time we do the journey, he sees something new (a new boat, or fish fos example) or has to check on something he noticed on the last trip (“oh wow, the hole is still in the concrete“, mum says with feigned enthusiasm).

So staying in the marina and going to a walk is an adventure for Orbit – which is great on those days when we don’t have to jump in the car and go out into the land-based world beyond the marina gates.

The Skipper and I bought Orbit a balance bike for Christmas last year. The balance bike has opened up a whole new world for Orbit when exploring the marina. Just learning how to ride the balance bike has presented a wonderful challenge for him to work out. Once he gets the hang of it, he loves the freedom of being able to travel further and faster, to get to places with less effort and explore further.

When we go on a biking adventure, I get Mungo Jerry’s “Push Bike” song in my head. But instead of lyric being push bike, I replace it with balance bike. It doesn’t have the same flow in the song (being two syllables instead of one) but I can’t seem to get it out of my head!

Incidental learning - counting

Incidental learning – counting

Learning to ride a bike isn’t an essential skill for living on a sailing boat, but it is a skill that we would like Orbit to have. We figure one day, hopefully not in the too distant future, bikes will be our preferred method of travel when on land.

There are also plenty of incidental learnings while riding around the marina. Who would have thought we could use hardstand numbers to learn how to count or boat names for the alphabet? To work on Orbit’s language skills when we run into people and stop for chat. To learn about nature, the flowers, birds, lizards (real live lizards are a real fascination). To gain road sense, to look out for cars and pedestrians in a relatively safe environment.

There are many adventures we can have outside the marina, but to be honest, there are some pretty cool ones to inside the marina too, and the best bit is that they are for free!

The freedom

I think we are addicted to sailing … or at least the feeling you get when you start the engine, throw the lines, leave the marina, set the sails and turn the engine off. Or maybe its the feeling of being closer to the elements, of being away from suburbia and the rat race, I am not sure, but what ever it is, we need our ‘fix’!

When we were setting the sails yesterday, I said to the Skipper “I can’t believe it’s been five weeks since we last took Medina out”. His response was that he didn’t know how we managed to survive eight months of Medina not leaving the marina.

We had a good excuse for Medina not leaving the marina for eight months. The Skipper was rebuilding the engine and refurbishing the anchor well while working full time. With hindsight I now know how much we relied on the hope, expectation and believing in our dream that one day we would become a long term cruising family.

But enough about the past, we are out here now (if only for a few days) and life could not be any better. We have the basics to go long term cruising and we’ll just do what we can and what we can afford to do in the time we have left. We’ll tackle the residual items as we go, we accept that it will never be complete, there will always be something to do.

I managed to snap a candid shot of Orbit running to the Skipper on the beach this morning (Medina is in the background), I thought it summarised my feelings extremely well – after all a picture says 1,000 words. So on that note, I shall leave you with the photo and hope you all have a top week!