The luckiest baby in the Salish Sea

Two days after we set off on this little sailing venture, my little boy came down with a cold. At first I felt bad that I had taken him into an environment that was a little less climate controlled than your typical American home, and I worried that a couple cold nights might have contributed to the crud. 

nap time
It does get bit nippy in the evenings on this little ship in these northern waters. We have a heater, and it takes away the chill, but I’m not comfortable sleeping while it’s still burning. Instead we bundle up or snuggle up. Sometimes he wears a snow suit and sometimes he likes to burrow his head into my armpit and stay warm together. 

But it could be worse. We could be sending him away to day care and reading “touch and feel kitten” instead of actually experiencing the world. I could be stuck working til 8:30 or 9:00 most nights and finding him asleep when I get home. 

In our little floating world Mommy and Daddy are never more than 26 feet away.  We spend our days playing and exploring. We find moss beds and pebbly beeches. We scower the tidelands for crabs and sculpin. We forage for blackberries and stuff ourselves with thimbleberries. This baby can eat an amazing quantities of thimble berries – fast as I can pick ’em.

We built him a little play pen in the aft quarters where most boats would have a cockpit and engine room. He’s just starting to get the idea that it’s his space and he can find his toys tucked away back there, but mostly he’s still drawn to climb the ladder and look out the companionway. He’s amazingly good at climbing ladders as far as one-year-olds go, but we still try not to encourage it too much.  
Of course it’s not all roses, there is a lot to be done to keep the boat moving, meal preparation is a little more challenging with a kerosene stove and countertops heeled 30°, and there is always ongoing maintenance to keep our little vessel self sufficient, but we definitely count ourselves among the luckiest, and we tell him every day what a lucky baby he is. And how lucky we are to be able to be a family. 


3 thoughts on “The luckiest baby in the Salish Sea

    1. 4 months is probably one of the best ages to sail. Feeding is pretty straight forward, toys are small and easy, and they’re not able to get into anything or mobilize much. I don’t think we had done any modifications before henry was 6 months. We had a port and starboard “nook” for him that we could keep dark and quiet. He was easily entertained watching our flag flapping or with this little octopus mobile thing that we hung above him and affectionately called “octomommy”. One thing we didn’t have was a good changing station. We thought we did. We first set one up in the forepeak at standing level like a regular changing table, but what ended up working better was to kneel beside the settees with a pad for your knees. It ended up being more ergonomic and easier to keep him contained.


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