Bahamas…in Photos..

4 12 2014

Capt’n and I were reminiscing the other day about our trips to the Bahamas. We began looking at photos and he suggested I post some photos here. There were so many photos to choose from! But I restrained myself and posted only nine. Enjoy.

This panoramic photo was taken at Little Harbour.

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A sunset at an anchorage in the Bahamas.

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The wrecking bar. I “think” this photo was taken at Spanish Cay in the Abacos.IMGP1269

A beach at Green Turtle Cay, Abacos.

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Ooh. This is a tough one too. Maybe this is an anchorage at Man O War Cay, AbacosIMGP1358

Hope Town Lighthouse, Hope Town, Abacos.

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Hope Town mooring field, taken from the top of the Hope Town lighthouse, Abacos.IMGP1469

Yummy lobster dinner with good company at Green Turtle Cay, Abacos.

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Family Photo Shoot

12 05 2014

As all moms can vouch for, moms are never in any photos. Ever. We are usually the ones taking the photos of your kids play dates, parties, trips, etc… So I decided that it would be a great idea to have a family photo shoot taken at the beach. We had such a great time. Our friend Jordi Cabre is a professional photographer and divides is time between Nantucket, MA, and Satellite Beach, FL. Jordi is a professional, laid back, talented photographer. He even made Capt’n enjoy the photo shoot – and he does not like having his photo taken. There were so many great shots, it was hard for me to narrow them down to show you, but here you go. Jordi’s website is: www.jordicabre.com

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Infant Essentials

9 05 2014

It is amazing how fast time goes by when taking care of a three year old boy and his newborn brother! I can’t believe that First Mate is already four (almost five!) months old…And that it has been four months since my last post. Since we are not sailing at the moment, and have our boat docked at a marina, taking care of a newborn on a sailboat is not that much different than taking care of one in a very small apartment.

Before First Mate was born, I spent a lot of time thinking of items that a newborn/infant needs and then thinking about what can actually fit on the boat. When I checked out equipment/toys/stuff for our First Mate, they had to fulfill our list of criteria or prerequisites. These include:

  1. Being able to serve more than one purpose
  2. Being able to stow away easily
  3. And answering the question, “Do I really need this?”

 

At the end of the day I also weighed in, would I rather have an uncluttered boat, or does First Mate really need this item and having a cluttered boat is worth it?

 

So here is my list of items that I think that First Mate needs on a sailboat. Now I realize that trawlers, yachts and catamarans have more space and you may not need to think like I am. But we live on a 42 foot mono hull sailboat that is 13 feet at its widest point so space is the number one consideration with anything to do on this boat.

 

1. Fisher price rock n play sleeper

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Portable and pack able is the name of the game here when stocking a sailboat with newborn/infant items. The fisher price rock n sleep is perfect for first mate to sleep in and hang out in. I love how the baby rests at an incline, the entire sleeper rocks, and it can fold up pretty compactly (and very easily). I purchased an older model at Target for $20 on clearance. The newer models have a vibrating option and music. There has been a lot of press about a recall due to mold in between the two bottom pieces of the sleeper. As long as you regularly wash the fabric piece and keep your eye on the bottom piece for mold, you will be ok. Fisher Price recommends cleaning the rocker with bleach, but I use a vinegar and hydrogen peroxide solution (the same solution I use for removing mold off the boat), and it works just fine.

I did have big plans for using a hammock for first mates sleeping solution. I presented my plans to Capt’n and he made a hammock for first mate. However, it was a lot bulkier than I had suggested in my plans and a lot more cumbersome to set up, so we don’t use it. But if you can make/buy a hammock, that would be a great sleeping option as well. First mate sleeps in the main cabin in the sailboat. We pull out the couch to make a full size bed and he sleep in the sleeper in the bed. So far so good.

 

2. Ingenuity convert me portable swing

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I spent months looking for the perfect swing for first mate. The swing had to be durable, comfortable, and portable. Although this model may not be the perfect one out there, it certainly suits our needs. I love how this swing can lock and become a bouncer. Any item that serves multiple functions is great to have on a sailboat! I will say that I do get annoyed having to take out and put away the swing every time I want to use it. Maybe that is just highlighting my laziness more than anything. The swing/bouncer is lovely for when first mate is awake and doesn’t want to lie down in his sleeper, but when I.need to put him down somewhere.

 

3. Aiden and Anis muslin swaddle blankets

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I love these blankets so much! I love the large size of the blankets.  I love the multifunctionality of these blankets. I use them for swaddling, for changing diapers, for nursing, and for laying on the ground when we are hanging out outside. I also love the breathability of these blankets. First mate loves to put blankets over his head. I don’t have to be too concerned when he decides to put these muslin blankets over his face because he can breathe through them. Now of course I don’t leave the blanket on his head, but at least I don’t have to be paranoid about it. There are probably many other brands of large muslin swaddle blankets, but Aiden and Anis are the only ones I own and can comment on.

 

4. Bumbo

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What a great invention. The Bumbo is a great piece to add to your infant boat supplies. Yes it is a bit bulky, but it is still a manageable size. The Bumbo is great for an assisted sitter (that first mate is already!). It allows them to sit up and view the world from a different perspective, as well as strengthening their muscles. The Bumbo also offers a tray attachment that I am sure will be good to have once First Mate starts eating solid food. Bumbos are also fairly reasonably priced. I actually bought a used Bumbo at a thrift store for $5.00. It did not come with a seatbelt (all Bumbos come with seat belts now), but I was able to contact Bumbo and they sent me a seatbelt attachment free of charge.

 

5. Toys to hang from ceiling

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I love being able to hang toys from the ceiling for First Mate to play with or look at. Hanging toys from the ceiling saves space, and you don’t have to buy a separate activity mat or mobile. And sailboats have many places to hang items (and in this case, toys).

6. Onesies and baby leggings

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Maybe it is just my personality, living on a boat, or having two children, but I do not like dressing First Mate. It takes me ages and those are valuable minutes I could be doing other things. Also, living in Florida during the winter and spring months, the temperature can be 50 degrees at night and in the morning, and 90 degrees by afternoon. I for one do not want to change First Mate 10 times a day if I don’t have too. And now along comes onesies and baby leggings. I love these. You will see First Mate in them every day. I put leggings and socks on First Mate in the morning and at night time, and take them off during the day. It also makes for a sure easy diaper change because I don’t have to take any clothes off – I just have to unsnap the onesie. Perfect outfit for a sailing baby.

7. Hat and sunglasses

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Imperative items for a sailing baby. Right now we have baby banz for First Mate. We also have about 10 different hats for First Mate. Some are baseball cap style, some are wide brimmed, some have clips that attach under the chin, some are waterproof. Basically, you can never have enough hats.

8. Baby carrier.

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I have two: a Moby and an Ergo. I love both. I love the Moby as there are many different positions you can put your baby in. I love how it fits on my shoulders. I do not love how long it takes me to put on. I didn’t mind the five minutes of preparation when I had only one child, but with a three year old, five minutes seems like an eternity. I don’t always have the luxury of putting on the Moby, so my go to baby carrier has been the Ergo. Don’t get me wrong, I also love the Ergo. I love the ease of putting it on. I love the ease of putting First Mate in and out of the carrier. I love how you can put the baby on your back using the Ergo (but First Mate it too small for that right now). Having First Mate in a carrier is a must when getting on and off the boat. It is also really handy when I go out with Capt’n in Training to the park or for a walk with the dogs.

So here is my list of items that I love using for my newborn/infant while living on a sailboat. Enjoy!





Sailing Antics

17 12 2013

Below are some fun photos of our time in Cocoa.

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Capt’n in Training absolutely loves fishing! He can be seen spending a good 20 minutes (which is a long time for a two year old) sitting on the side of the dock “fishing.” Capt’n attached a lure (minus hook) to the fishing line.

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Capt’n caught a trout and Capt’n in Training was fascinated by it. Capt’n cooked it up for dinner and we had so much left that we gave the rest to a sailing neighbor.

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Since we are in Cocoa for a while (with me being pregnant and all), we enrolled Capt’n in Training in school. He goes to school two mornings a week and loves every minute of it! This photo was taken on his first day of school. What a big boy!

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Florida was so hot this summer and fall, Capt’n in Training and I took daily trips to the local park’s water fountain.





Deja Vu

16 12 2013

One of the great things about cruising is coming across fellow cruisers again that you have met along the way. This has happened to us a few times and it is always lovely finding a familiar boat and then seeing an even more familiar face! This was especially true for us this past week. Over a year ago, when we were in North Carolina (Oriental to be exact) we met a french couple Dominique and Francine who were cruising from Montreal to Vancouver, via Caribbean and Panama Canal. We saw them again in Charleson, SC and again in St. Augustine, FL. Then they put their boat on the hard, did some work, and traveled to Montreal and France. We received an email from them a couple of weeks ago saying that they will be traveling down the east coast of Florida. Since we are in Cocoa, Florida, I quickly sent off an email asking them to stop by Cocoa so we could visit. Well last Monday morning I received a phone call from them saying that they would be in Cocoa by the early afternoon! What a pleasant surprise 🙂

We had a lovely week together, catching up, telling cruising stories, playing with Capt’n in Training, taking them shopping, going out to eat and just spending quality time together.

They also had some engine dramas so Capt’n spent two days fixing their engine. They were very happy with the results! Of course because Capt’n is a talented mechanic 🙂

Our French friends left Cocoa Saturday morning for West Palm Beach and then the Bahamas.

Their website is: domorochefort.com. I think you can also email them to be part of their email group for sailing updates.

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Dominique, Capt’n, and Capt’n in Training looking at pictures of some of Dominique’s paintings.

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Francine, Capt’n in Training, and 2IC

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Au Revoir!

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Waiting for Baby to Arrive…

15 12 2013

I am trying to wait patiently for First Mate to arrive. I am finding this waiting business to be a bit difficult. So I am trying to find ways to occupy my time and get my mind off of this waiting game. What better way than to make homemade Christmas presents!

To get some homemade inspiration, I checked out Pinterest. I am not an avid Pinterest user and really had no idea what I was doing. I did a simple “homemade Christmas present” search and came across homemade layered peppermint hot cocoa. Considering my love for peppermint hot cocoa, I thought making some was a great idea. I followed the recipe from this website, http://www.greensnchocolate.com/2011/12/homemade-peppermint-hot-cocoa-mix.html#LfDqdLleIrDcTk4S.03.

I used one pint canning jars. The recipe in the above link is for making one quart of cocoa, so I divided the recipe in half in order to fill my one pint jars. I made six jars of peppermint hot cocoa.

I am also not the craftiest person, so I was unsure how to decorate the jars. I followed the directions (for the most part) off of this website, http://www.maybematilda.com/2011/04/baby-shower-gift-homemade-sugar-scrub.html. The one thing that I did not do was decorate the lid. I initially tried to decorate the lid but I could not close the jar properly and it was all just a bit too complicated so I nixed that idea all together.

I purchased the card stock for decorating at Michaels. I purchased clearance card stock for $.29 a piece. I purchased the canning jars at Target, 12 one pint canning jars for $8.97. I purchased the cocoa ingredients at Target and Publix.  You may be able to find these items cheaper, but being 41 weeks pregnant and toting an almost three year old around, I cannot really bargain shop.

When I was checking out the website maybematilda.com, along with the canning decorating instructions, there were instructions for making homemade sugar scrub. I was intrigued by this idea, so I decided to use the remaining six canning jars to make peppermint sugar scrub. I could not believe how easy it was to make sugar scrub. I will never buy any sugar scrub from the store again!

The recipe calls for 3 cups of sugar, 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, and drops of essential oil. I used peppermint oil for two reasons: one, to match the peppermint hot cocoa, and two, it is the only essential oil that I own! You simply mix the three ingredients and put it in the canning jar. This project literally took me 10 minutes to complete!

Although the assembly of the cocoa and sugar scrub were pretty fast, what took the longest was decorating the jars. From washing and drying the jars, cutting the card stock, printing labels and instructions, gluing the labels to the jars and waiting for everything to dry, this project took me two days. Now not two days straight, probably two hours the first day and an hour the second day. I worked on this project while Capt’n in Training was sleeping and/or when he was watching The Lorax, his new favorite movie!

Here is the finished project. I can’t wait to give them away as presents! They may be late Christmas presents if First Mate decides to enter the world soon!

I made Peppermint Sugar Scrub and Peppermint Hot Cocoa to give as Christmas presents this year.

I made Peppermint Sugar Scrub and Peppermint Hot Cocoa to give as Christmas presents this year.





Pregnant on a sailboat

10 12 2013

I know that I haven’t written in MONTHS. We have had a lot going on. We felt as if we hit a crossroads of sort. We had to make a big decision: do we stay in Cocoa FL where we have been for a little while, or do we move on to some exotic destination? We have had many in depth discussions on our cruising plans – plans that included selling Dominion and moving back to Australia, Capt’n’s mother country, sailing to the Florida Keys (again), or venture off to somewhere in the Caribbean… After our discussion and no plans made, I discovered that I was pregnant. This exciting news was welcomed by Capt’n and I, but that did alter our plans a bit. So the decision was made for us. We decided to stay in Cocoa on the boat, move to a marina, and Capt’n started working a full time job to support his growing family. We are happy with this decision as we found a great church that we love, Capt’n in Training started going to school two days a week, and we were really happy in the Cocoa FL area.

So these last nine months I have been coping with being pregnant and living on sailboat. When we first moved aboard, Capt’n in Training was almost a year old, so I have never been pregnant living on a sailboat. With my pregnancy with Capt’n in Training, I was able to day sail until my third trimester, when sitting on the dinghy and climbing aboard our 24’ sailboat became a little too difficult for me. But now I had no choice, I had to stay on the boat whether I liked it or not.

Here are some of my issues that I have had to deal with and my solutions:

Sea sickness.

I have become very sea sick since being pregnant with baby #2. The slightest boat movement sent me to bed for about 30 minutes! This had been a big challenge for me the entire pregnancy. When the weather was rough, or the boat was hit with a large wake, my best coping mechanism was to climb into the cockpit, look at the land, and breath the fresh air. As a preventative measure, I are a lot of ginger. I am not a huge fan of crystallized ginger, but I always had some on hand to eat . I also cook with a lot of ginger, drink ginger tea, and eat foods that contain ginger. This method is not perfect, but it has helped me.

 

Morning sickness

It is hard for me to distinguish between morning sickness and sea sickness since I felt the same for both! But how I dealt with morning sickness on the boat was the same that when I lived on land. I bought saltenes crackers in bulk and carried them wherever I went. I also always had some crackers in the aft cabin near our bed so I could eat some crackers before I got out of bed each morning. I felt like my morning sickness was worse with baby #2 because not only did I feel sick, but then the motion of the boat rocking simply added to it! I am very happy to say that my morning sickenss is gone, but I do feel sea sick still every time the boat rocks.

Food cravings

Food cravings have been hard for me living on a boat. When I lived on land and I craved a certain type of food, I owned a car and also knew exactly where to buy said food item. However, living on the boat, not being so familiar with the area, and not having a car made fulfilling my food cravings a bit difficult. I said difficult, not impossible. So I was still able to find my waffles, breadsticks, ice cream, chicken fingers that I felt like I NEEDED, but it just took me a little longer to find them!

Maternal care

I didn’t have the slightest idea on where I wanted to deliver baby #2. I did know that I did not want to deliver the baby on the boat, but I know there are many of you who either have delivered your baby on a boat, or would like to. My first choice was a birthing center but the closest center is in Orlando and I didn’t want to have to drive to Orlando for my appointments and then for the delivery. So I figured that I had to deliver in a hospital. I wasn’t upset about this option, especially since Capt’n in Training was born in a hospital and we had a great experience. But I did know that I wanted a midwife to deliver my baby. I found that one OB in the entire county supported midwives, so that made my decision very easy. I go to Hibiscus Woman’s care in Melbourne and will deliver at Holmes Regional Hospital in Melbourne. This time around I am also planning on getting a doula, and am now in the process of meeting with doulas. I am meeting with doulas who need to witness births before they can be a certified doula. This helps the doulas out and they often do this service for free, which helps me out. So far my experience with the midwives at Hibiscus Woman’s care has been great. There are four midwives in the practice so I will have met with all of them by the time it is time for baby #2 to arrive.

My increase girth and moving around in the boat

I feel like my stomach is getting bigger by the day – well, it probably is. This growing girth makes me a little nervous about maneuvering around Dominion. Dominion does not have the widest companionways, and the galley is another space constraint, but so far I am doing just fine. I can also still climb up and down our companionway ladder and get on and off the boat easily. The biggest problem I have is bending down to picking items off from the floor, or to clean the floor. This is when I really try to get Capt’n in Training’s help and Capt’ns help. Capt’n in Training is sometimes very helpful in picking items up from off the floor, and other times he just adds to the mess! Other times I will wait until Capt’n gets home from work and he will clean the floor for me. He also has the jobs of cleaning the deck, filling the water tanks and filling the solar showers because I can’t walk on deck anymore. Since we spent summer in Florida, we have shade cloths covering the boat and it is tied to a lot of the rigging and I just can’t bend down and climb over these ties anymore. But honestly, I do not mind that I cannot do these chores anymore!

Even doing laundry has become more work than I anticipated. It is hard for me to put our bags of laundry on the dock and then carry them to the marina laundry facilities. I will often wait for Capt’n to get home and bring the laundry to the clubhouse. Theoretically I can make it work by retrieving a marina dock cart and toting the cart up the elevator to the laundry, but then add an almost three year old toddler in the mix and it takes me about 30 minutes just to get to the laundry….

My new project is working on how to have a newborn live on a sailboat. Where the baby will sleep, where the baby will sit, where the baby will play. What they baby will sleep in, what the baby will sit on, and what the baby will play with. I am making some great headway, so I will post my conclusions and plans in the next posting.

I guess I want to encourage all those people out there who are nervous about being pregnant on a boat, that it can be done! And has been done by lots and lots of women. And if I can do it, you certainly can do it!

An update since I wrote a draft of this post but had not published it. I am now officially past my due date. And we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of our First Mate. We have felt a ton of support from friends at the marina and friends at church. We cannot wait to meet First Mate.

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Here I am at 41 weeks pregnant.

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Capt’n in Training looking forward to meeting First Mate.