Finding Our Sea Legs

CaptainClaireAs we speak (or, I write), Claire is sleeping, my tea is steeping, and all I hear are the soft and soothing sounds of the boat tugging gently on the dock lines.

We’ve made it through the first two weeks! As a family, we’ve spent six days on the boat (with a few stops to Oak Park sprinkled in). We’ve taken Clarity out for a short motor cruise, a lovely afternoon sail with friends and over for a sleepover at the Columbia Yacht Club docks.

Here at 31st Street, we hosted a lovely Memorial Day BBQ with close friends, made countless trips to the park and spent so many hours pushing Claire in the swings that I’m pretty sure her name is etched in.

These first few weeks instantly reminded me of everything I love about this life – and also reminded me of some of the challenges as we find our routine. For example, Claire has yet to succumb to napping on the boat. (How can you possibly nap when a duck could be swimming by right outside your cabin at any moment?!) The silver lining is that she goes down pretty easily at night, for the most part.

I’ve also been reminded that the confined quarters combined with my propensity for clumsiness creates a beautiful bouquet of bruises on my legs.

Sailing, however, will be a whole different ball game this season – in amazing ways and tough ones, too. That first trip out, strapping Claire into her harness and heading out past the break wall, we weren’t sure what to expect (she’s double her age now and a real little walking talking person). But Claire was mesmerized – by the boat slicing through the water, boaters waving as they passed by, the breeze on her face and her delight in the always-dependable double-horn of the lighthouse.

She wants to be a part of everything – which gets tricky when she tries to climb back and grab the wheel while Aaron’s driving, or asks (not quite politely) for me to pick her up right when I’m about to blow the jib sheet for a tack. A word to the wise for those who plan to go boating with a toddler – don’t hesitate to throw Cheerios at the problem.

We’ll find our groove, though – after all, Aaron and I are remembering so many things from last year, but given that she’s only 2 years old, Claire doesn’t really remember. She’s learning fresh! And the best part is that through all of these experiences, we grow as a family.

For now, I’m going to sit back, revel in the quiet, snuggle up in our cabin with a good book and drift off. I must conserve my energy for tomorrow’s adventures.


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