Friday, March 26, 2010

Babies aboard everywhere

A few different blogs of sailing families that I follow are expecting children soon.  One family, SV Sereia, has put up their sailing for awhile and are returning home to have the baby.  Another, BoatBaby, is still living aboard on the East coast with her five year old son, and plans to continue life as usual.  I hope that they will all continue to share their lives with me through blogging because we don't actually know anyone (in our non-virtual life) that have babies aboard, and it is nice to not feel quite so alone. 

People seem to react to us when we tell them where we live with some kind of shock and horror.  Boatbay recently posted some FAQ of her own that inspired my own posting.  Thanks!

What's it like having a baby on a boat?
Well, it is small, and we don't really have any hot water.

How do you take a shower?
We walk up to the shower house and take her stroller into the handicap stall, or I go to the gym where there is child care.  I never have to clean a shower stall anymore, which is good, because I hardly ever did that in the first place, and it was expensive to have a cleaner come every week when we lived in an apartment.

Do you plan to travel on your boat?
Yes!  We have plans once Yemaya is older and the finances are in order.  They involve Mexico and beyond depending on how much fun we end up having and how long the money lasts.

What are you going to do when she can walk/crawl?
Well, it depends.  It is about a 10 minute walk up our dock.  Right now she travels that distance in her stroller (which I am also enjoying as a dock cart).  There is really no reason that she can't continue to ride in the stroller until she is able to be trustworthy enough and a decent enough swimmer that I am not terrified that she will fall in the water.  Of course, our daughter is already demonstrating some temperament traits that leave me to believe she will want to do everything on her own, so ridding in the stroller might not go down well.  We will just hope that the birds continue to be a nice distraction along the dock, enough to distract her from her own desire for independence that is.

Don't you worry about her falling over board?
Yes, and no.  Of course I worry about it, but I'm not worried about it.  We will see what we do, but just as you would not let your toddler play in the front yard near a street unattended, I don't plan to plop her up on deck and then do something else.  It always makes me want to ask don't you worry about your toddler darting into the street?  It is so dangerous to live in a house.

Things that people never ask, but they should.
How many pairs of pants do you have?  How many books fit on your book shelf?  How do you and your husband deal with each others messes from projects?  What happens when you need some space from each other?  How many people can brush their teeth at once?  How often do you accidentally kick or step on someone else?  What do you keep in your dock box?  Why is your car always full of stuff?  To me these are the more interesting questions about boat life, the ones that I actually ask myself on a regular basis, and tell you a lot more about life on a boat then, "Where do you shower?"

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Yemaya loves birds.  They are the first animal that we ever saw her pay attention to when we were walking around.  On our dock nearly every time we walk up or down we run across a Great White Egret.  They let us get quite close and don't seem all that scared of us.  Sometimes they just slowly walk up a finger to get out of out way.  But, Yemaya prefers the Pelicans, ducks, and Seagulls because they move faster and fly over her head. 

Earlier this week we took her for a walk and there were plenty of birds for her to see.  She watches they quite intently, pulling herself forward in her stroller or craning her neck and twisting her body in our arms.  She coos in the cutest way and couldn't be happier then when we are watching ducks.

She, of course, has not learned to say duck yet, or even understand it, but when she does, perhaps I can use an old family trick to keep her awake in the car and tell her to, "look at the ducks,"even when they are not there.

Yemaya watching what are not buffle headed ducks, despite the buffle on their heads.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Family Comment Contest

I have decided that I would like more comments on my blog.  My most frequent, and generally only commenter is a very nice woman I have never met (Thanks boatbaby!).  I mean, come on family, step it up!  Either you don't read my blog, which makes me a little sad because I take all kinds of silly pictures just for you, or you don't know how to use the comment feature (which I am fairly sure to be the case for a number of you, but it is not rocket science). I do like blogging, but an, "awww, so cute!" or, "sounds fun" every once and awhile would let me know that you read my blog.

So, I am having a contest for my family to help increase comments and keep me motivated to keep taking pictures of Yemaya for you all.  The family member (by blood, marriage, or love) who makes the most comments on my blog over the next month can win their very own copy of Yemaya's photo album that I am currently putting together in iPhoto.  You can see the work in progress below. 

Pop is already winning with two comments on my previous post!  Sorry, no visit for the winner, but we will come visit soon, and you are always welcome here.  If you are one of my family members that needs a little technical support, just call and I'll do my best to talk you through how to leave a comment.  Non-family members are always welcome to comment too, and perhaps we can have a contest for you all later.  Let me know what you want to win.

Friday, March 12, 2010


The other day one of my friends and I were talking and she asked me what kind of hobbies I have...well, I guess that blogging is my hobby right now.  I think about things to write about, take photos to go with my blog posts and this is what I do while my daughter is napping.  One reason is that it is a quiet hobby.  I can't really make much noise on the boat while she is napping.  Another reason is that I can do it from my iPhone.  And as some of you may know, I love my iPhone almost as much as I love my husband and daughter.  And then there is the rain.  There are things I could do outside while she naps, like walking her in the stroller, or projects on the dock, but it keeps raining.  The weather has begun to turn, but today it is raining a lot!  Sure I have other hobbies: sewing, knitting, reading, sailing, and hiking.  But they just don't really happen during nap time right now.  Maybe one day...until then above is a photo I took with my iPhone of me blogging and below one I took using photo booth.

Also, I have been using Google analytics to track my blog readers.  I can see all sorts of cool data about how many visitors I have each day, where they are from, how long they stay, how they got to my blog and so on.  Sometimes this is really cool.  Like for example I have had 102 unique visitor to my blog over the last month.  But really I think I have about 10 readers. Also, I have had readers from 9 countries in the past month.  And only 11 visits from Canada, which means Ari's friends and family really need to pick up the slack.  It is a little creepy to me actually how much data I can get on my blog readers for free.  I'm sure that it can be much more detailed, but they just don't give all of it away for free.  For example, I can see that I have had five visits from a particular city, but I can't tell if they are all the same visitor, but I'm sure that Google can tell.  And, because I know who most of my 10 regular readers are, I can tell that my father, or Ari's mom has checked my blog recently, or not, and then I wonder why they are not reading the blog.  Now that you know you are being tracked, I hope you don't stop coming to my blog!

All the data also sometimes makes me think that I should promote (or tell people about) my blog more.  Some blogs are full of comments and have lots of regular readers, and that seems really fun to me.  My friends often say things like "You have a blog?"  I don't post my blog updates on Facebook all the time because I don't want to be "one of those people."  But then recently my friend Jackie started a blog, and I was so glad that she posted it on Facebook because I almost never hear from her and now I know about a new business she wants to start.  I think that maybe I feel a little strange about having a blog, and putting a part of me out in the world for everyone to see.  I've never really been someone who wants to be the center of attention all the time.  I prefer to keep things quiet and private, so blogging requires me to put myself out there a little bit more.  And as my friends and family have spread themselves around the world it lets me reach out to all of them and say hi.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Car Seat on a Boat

When I was pregnant, and we decided to move onto the boat and get serious about our cruising saving and plans, I did a lot of research about cruising with kids.  I bought every book I could find on the subject.  There seemed to be some general consensus that installing a car seat on the boat somewhere safe was a good option when you needed to put the baby down and do some sailing.  So, it only took us 7 months to make it happen, but we took our first sail with the car seat!  

I bought an extra, used, inexpensive infant car seat base that Yemaya's car seat clicks right into.  Ari installed two mounting rings that car seat LATCH systems can clip right into (so it will be good for the next car seat size up too).  Ari clipped the base in and snugged it down tight.  We plopped the car seat in and buckled Yemaya in safe.  

The sail took place a little late in the day, and Yemaya was not in the best of moods, but she was safe.  I hung some nice toys for her, but she really prefers the vang and cunningham lines.  I'm fairly sure that the fancy lines Ari bought are not organic cotton, but Yemaya does love sucking on them.  As we tacked up the estuary I played down below with the baby.  When we turned around and headed downwind, the wind was getting lighter and Ari wanted to put up the geniker.  So into the car seat Yemaya went.  We sailed nicely downwind for a bit as we watched the container ships and tug boats moving around.  And as it always happens, as we sail by, the container ships get ready to move.  Oakland is, after all, one of the busiest ports on the West Coast.  At that moment it was nice to have two hands on deck.  Not absolutely necessary, but nice to have the baby down below and safe so we could move to one side and take the geniker down, while the container ship was turned and pushed out to the Bay.  Yemaya cried a bit, but I sang to her, and she was fine.

I spent some time feeding her and playing with her down below before we docked.  But then, back in her car seat, grumpy and tired, for a quick moment while I helped with docking.  Again, we sang to her to calm her down and keep her happy.  I wondered if anyone heard us and was curious as to why the small boat was docking to "Itsy, Bitsy Spider" and "Five Little Ducks."  In case there are other sailing parents out there, I have used "Five Little Ducks" on two different crying children on sailboats and both times it worked like magic.  Not sure why, but a good one to know in an emergency.

In general, the car seat was great.  Yemaya was a little over tired from a busy weekend, so she did not show her love for the car seat set up, but I think it will grow on her.  Now we just have to get the same set up going for Macha.  After that, the next baby safety project is a harness and tether for when she is walking or crawling above deck (which requires both learning to crawl/walk, and for the rain to stop).

A while back, before the baby, I summed up everything I had learned from my reading about cruising with babies and kids.  If any of you out there have more suggestions or stories to share I'd love to hear them.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Missing cars, Tsunamis, and Costal Vacation

For reasons that are too complicated to explain, I am a City Car Share member.  Which means I can use a variety of vehicles for short or long periods of time.  So, we thought we would reserve a Mini Cooper Convertible for a weekend trip down the coast.  We arrived Saturday morning at the pickup location, no Mini Cooper.  I call City Car Share, and after some time the nice woman confirms that while I have a reservation, the Mini Cooper is "missing"!  I don't think this happens very often.  So we decide to take our perfectly nice (but very messy) car on our mini vacation.

But then, Tsunami warning!  Should you drive down Highway 1 during a tsunami?  Was all this a sign that we should avoid our little vacation?  We saw a sign "All San Mateo County Beaches Closed."  As we drove along we saw closed beach, after closed beach.  We stopped for lunch at a nice little place at Gazo's Creek, and as we were finishing up the fire marshal called and suggested that they close up for a bit.  So we wondered, should we stay on the road on the coast or perhaps play it safe and head a bit inland for awhile.  So we detoured inland to buy some wine and chocolate, and returned a few hours later (supposedly post-tsunami).  So we survived the tsunami.  I gather that there was some kind of small surge, and a fisherwoman we met the next day did remark how churned up the water was, but who knows.

 At last we arrived, Costa Noa, our favorite little retreat, just past Half Moon Bay.  We stayed in a little tent with two beds.  As cute and small as can be, with heated mattresses to keep you warm and bathrooms just a short walk away.  Not sure why exactly we thought this was vacation seeing as how right now we live in a tiny space, with bathrooms just a short walk away.  It must be the heated mattresses that lured us there. 

Ari and I have spent some wonderful weekends at Costa Noa.  There are hiking trails to the beach, a nice restaurant, and no cell phone service.  For the two of us iPhone addicts, the lack of email, phone calls, and texts seems to be an important feature of a nice getaway.  This time we did some nice walking with Yemaya and generally enjoyed the time away from the rest of our lives.  Yemaya did quite well on her first (kinda) camping trip.  She slept great and enjoyed every flower, bird, and kitty cat that we met along the way.

On Sunday we drove back and stopped in Half Moon Bay.  We saw many interesting things there.  A boat covered in stuffed animals.  We don't know why, but it does get my imagination going.  An octopus caught by cab fisherman, that ate all the crab in the pot.  And most interesting of all to Yemaya, a baby that looked just like her.