Tag Archives: Boat

Baby Onboard!

Having spent some time at both my parents and my in-laws over the festive season, I realised that looking after a one year old (or at least our one year old) is by no means harder on a boat than in a house, in fact, I think it might be easier!

When we decided to make the move from solid ground to a floating home the biggest concern most people had was how we could safely live with a child on board and wouldn’t it become claustrophobic? I will talk about our experience of both of those issues here!

Firstly, safety – you have to take many many precautions when living in a house with a child and being onboard is no different, they are just different precautions. We have no stairs she can fall down, no fire or radiator she could burn her hands on and very few plug sockets that she could put her fingers in! She is almost able to safely navigate the entire inside of the boat by herself (not that I’d let her or else I would find moment, seen below, repeated far too often for my liking!)

Spilled Cheerios!

Sophia making breakfast...

She cannot get out of the boat into the cockpit unless the door is open and as long as the cockpit cover is fastened she cannot make it out on deck. She wears reins while toddling throughout the marina and when summer finally arrives she will have a line clipped onto one of the mast stays so that she can play on deck without the possibility of falling overboard. I’m sure there is much more that I could say on this topic but I will move on as I’d like to finish this while she naps!

We don’t have any stairgates but she of course does have a lifejacket and as mentioned, reins and I have also read about ‘turtle watches’ which I expect we

Safety Turtle will alarm when wet

shall invest in this summer (a watch with an alarm that goes off when it gets wet).

The second issue is one that originally, I was most worried about – the lack of space. However, it has turned out not to be a hinderance in any way. As there is less space she cannot ever be that far away from me and therefore, get into mischief that I can’t easily stop. Due to the layout of our cat, as she was learning to pull herself up and walk, the sofas were perfect in being a constant source of support and so she rarely fell as there was something to grab onto. We have a large table for crafts when she is older and low worktops in the kitchen so she can help me cook as she gets older as well. We have two (currently) spare cabins and she is already enjoying exploring and hiding in these!

The key, I have found, is just to make sure that we go out lots, not only so I don’t go stir crazy but so she can have space to walk and play and so we can see other parents and children. Given that we have only lived on Pinafore during the winter and during this time I have been out most days, I think we’ll be fine for the long haul! I’m just looking forward to better weather and trips to the beach and park (we’ve had to stick with indoors visiting this winter!)

Other than these issues, living onboard with a baby is much the same as living in a house with a baby, there are still days when we both get mega frustrated and fed up and still days spent giggling at the silliest things having more fun than I ever thought I could with a pint sized person!

Escape!!

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Christmas on a boat!

The title of this post is somewhat misleading as we abandoned our floating home in favour of Christmas with my parents in their

Christmas

snug house in Dartmouth (complete with roaring log fire). However, as we weren’t leaving until Christmas Eve I did find some time to put up some Christmas decorations in the boat to get us in the festive spirit…though I suspect it worked better for me than Dan as he merely noticed the varnish stripped away by selotape and kept banging his head on my hanging wooden ‘Christmas’. However, Sophia seemed to enjoy the preparations and so did I; that’s the main thing!

Sophia Decs

During our landlubber Christmas we visited my parents newly acquired yacht, ‘Lucy M’, and did much brainstorming on how to improve Pinafore and prepare her for our Atlantic plans. On this note, looking back over the blog, Dan seems to have neglected to explain our long-term boat plans so I will correct that now!
We bought Pinafore in September excited about living aboard but with only vague plans of where we would actually sail her. Our adventure was in living afloat and that was sufficient at first. However, as we realised the potential of Pinafore, we started to formulate plans. Now, we wish to stay in Brighton for 5/6 years in order to pay off the loan which we took out to buy Pinafore and save up some money and then we will be off! We plan to sail down to the Canary Islands, across the Atlantic and then spend 6 months to a year exploring the Caribbean before we head back to the UK where we hope to reside on the River Dart for a while.

Although much more needs to be said on this, I must beg baby brain (is that still an excuse when she’s a year old?!) and cut this short.

But stay tuned for another guest post on crossing the Atlantic and my perspective of living aboard with a toddler!

20 days and counting – the begining of our new adventure…

Well as we were always taught at school; ‘ the first is the worst,’ and I’m sure this post will not differ from the theme.

I thought I’d start this blog with a retrospective look at how we got here, to this point in time, where we are now facing a daunting but exciting task. It’s at this point in most young couples lives where they are looking to settle down, get a mortgage, furnish their house and perhaps even add to their family count.

Well we’ve managed the last one, but H & myself are far from the average couple and very rarely base our decisions on rhyme or reason, although I must say I am a fan of both.

Just over three months ago we felt something in our lives needed to change, we weren’t unhappy but we felt a pulling towards a different life, it was at this point we reminded ourselves of that month we spent aboard the 38ft Catamaran, Pumpkin, whilst sailing around the Philippines. We recalled how we were happy living with the simplest of comforts and the lack of baggage. Granted, it was only a month (well just shy of a month actually),  but we just could not shake that feeling of change.

We set about planning a similar lifestyle. Mission: To live aboard a sea faring boat. Time-scale: 1 – 2 years. Enough time to leisurely scout boats, do some sail training, get funds together and, of course, get used to the idea!

Sorry? Did I say 1 – 2 years? God had a different plan, the mission remained however, and he provided a boat and the means to accomplish the feat within no time at all. Before we knew it we were to be preparing for the move.

The boat which had been provided was Pinafore, a 1983 Prout Quest 31, set out with 2 cabins, a spacious saloon, toilet/washroom, galley, chart table and a spare cabin for storage.

So here we are – 20 days left until we move onto her and begin the next chapter of our life as liveaboards. It’s a daunting time as we still have much stuff to sell, give away and throw out but we are reminded that we are not the only ones to come up against such challenges:

Mark 10:21-22
’21 And Jesus looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.’