Every Spring or Summer we get the boat ready for another season of sailing, as much as my on-call schedule will allow. And every year Marc and I wonder if boating will become easier with Gabrielle. And what will be the new challenges of cruising with a child. One year, we tried to go out in lumpy seas when she was quite small (under two) and she protested vehemently. One year she was fairly easy to string up in a jolly jumper but whenever it came to docking or anchoring, she required immediate attention. The result was that every time we were pulling into a dock or an anchorage, it was to the symphony of a screaming baby.
Last year, the couple times we actually got out to sail, she fell asleep every time the engine was on. This year is another new chapter. She’s model 4.5 Sailing Fantastico. She insists on helping us steer.
But she looks behind us when she steers. She was pleasant and curious when we put up the sails and shut off the engine. She didn’t mind the heeling over as well sailed.
But she is firmly into the destination and not just the cruising aspect. When can we get off and explore? So we aimed our sails for Prevost Island and off we went.
(Above is a weird goat sheep creature we saw on the island. We assume it’s wild and roaming around. We were perplexed by the horns and the breed.)
We hiked around the island for a couple hours. Model 4.5 is terrific at hiking with very little whining. We appreciate her strong legs and her repaired heart. Our biggest challenge throughout our sail and explore was her aversion to wasps right now. She was stung for the first time a week or two ago, and since then there has been a lot of trepidation around these tiny insects. So we are learning new parenting skills at how to teach her about real risk vs. perceived risk. Real Danger vs. Perceived Danger. I wish so much, as I have many times before, that my particular kid came with her very own manual.
Sailing is my happy place. I feel like it fills up my soul. I hope the summer is giving you time for the things that replenish your soul too!