Saturday, October 05, 2013

A Day in the Life of a Cruiser (with a toddler)

As you may have noticed, things have been a bit quiet on the blog front these past few days.  While WiFi is pretty ubiquitous in the Caribbean, it is not always everywhere, and where there is no internet the odds of me posting go down considerably.  Sure, we can post via SSB - but to be totally honest, it's nice to "unplug" once and a while.  Writing, for me, is a passion - one that I could easily do for hours on end - but a forced hiatus is sometimes a good thing for me and my family (because I will rarely give myself one).  As refreshing as "unplugging" is, I am always happy to come back to this outlet when I can.

We have fallen into something of a routine since getting underway and while every day is different, our days have evolved into a semi repetitive pattern of events.  I suppose that no matter what sort of life you lead - be it conventional or not - we all crave a little stability and predictability from time to time. There must be something deeply embedded in the human psyche that needs this, some primal instinct to make patterns and create a little order because we seem to fall into routines pretty regularly no matter what.  Passage making routines, boat maintenance routines, anchoring routines...etc.  Anyway, here's a sample day for us when the weather is nice, everything is copacetic and we are not passage making:

6:00 am:  Rise and shine! Isla is an early bird and she is ready to rock and roll when the sun comes up.  One of us goes to her in the v-berth (we switch off) where we read books, play with her babies (she has two now, to prep her for the twins) and get some early morning cuddling in (and even a minute or two of additional sleep if we are really lucky)...

6:30 am: Isla is usually requesting "down, down" at this point which means she wants out of the v-berth and free reign of the boat.  No more lying horizontal for us - it's officially "go time".

7:00 am:  Isla is playing happily with whatever toy or item has taken her fancy, and I start breakfast.  Usually bagels or toast, or maybe scones, pancakes or oatmeal (we like carbs).  If we have it on hand, fresh fruit is served.  Isla always gets fresh, whole foods and fruit (we also carry these organic baby food pouches in bulk on board for her in case we are lacking, great for on-the-go and underway).  Coffee or tea is also made.  Usually first.  We eat together in the cockpit - within yelling distance of our buddy boat, which is fun for the kiddos (who like to yell back and forth, much to the chagrin of anyone who dares to anchor near us I am sure). We also listen to weather reports on the SSB around this time.

8:00 am:  Breakfast dishes are cleared and cleaned and I start a small load of laundry.  I have found that when we are underway, doing a little bit every day is much better than letting it pile up.  Having a 30 gallon per hour water maker makes this an easy choice since we are able to replenish water so quickly (we love, love, LOVE having a high-output water maker on board.  One of the best decisions we made).  I fill a bucket with some water, add a bit of detergent and let clothes soak for at least an hour or two, agitating the water with my hands or feet sixty times or so every now and then to work out the nastiness.  It works well for minor laundry jobs like clothes, small hand towels and sarongs.

8:30 am:  Swim and/or paddle board time.  Isla has completely turned into a water baby and loves swimming off the back of the boat.  Like, LOVES it.  She demands "fwim! fwim!" as she makes her way to the aft deck and grabs her puddle jumper swim jacket.  I jump in with her and we float and swim.  Or, she demands "paddle paddle" which, obviously, means she'd like a spin on the iSUP.  And who am I to deny her this?  Fun for all!

9:30 am:  Sometimes we are having a play date with our friends, sometimes we are on the beach, sometimes we are doing chores on the boat.  Whatever we're doing, it's usually near "home base" since blessed nap time is just around the corner...

10:30 am:  Nap time!  Isla is now down to one nap a day and it lasts anywhere from one and a half to two and a half hours (usually averaging out at a lovely two).  This is a time when Scott and I can chill-out and do the things that we want to do.  Sometimes he'll go snorkeling or spearfishing, or I'll kick back with a book, write a blog post or nap as well (turns out, growing two babies takes up quite a bit of energy!).  I also usually start prepping lunch somewhere in this two hour window (because growing two babies makes me super hungry too!).  This is also the time when we make water if we need to make it (typically every three days).

1:00 pm :  Lunch time!  We eat lunch together, usually in the cockpit.  I fresh water rinse and hand wring the few pieces of laundry that have been soaking and hang them out to dry which, in the midday sun, they do in about an hour and a half.

2:00 pm - 5:20 pm:  This is the best window of time to do things like go to town and provision, go on a hike, spend an afternoon at the beach, do big boat projects or take a tour of some sort.  Almost always we do this "afternoon activity" with our friends on s/v Yolo.

5:30 pm:  last days's dip in the ocean and shower time off the back of the boat.

6:00 pm:  Dinnertime for Isla and sunset watching.  Clean up time for the boat (in fact, I am always cleaning the boat throughout the day!)

6:30 pm:  Bedtime for Isla which is also called "binkin/baba" time.  We sing our little bedtime song, brush our teeth (this is a habit we've been slacking with but are getting better at! Brushing a toddler's teeth is not easy!), and read a couple bedtime stories before kisses goodnight with a "baba" of  cold water and her "binkin" (pacifier, she only takes it at nap time and bed).

6:35 pm:  Immediately following her bedtime, I start dinner.  Almost every night we have dinner with our friends and it's usually a pre-determined group effort so I start making whatever we all agreed upon.

7:30 pm:  Dinnertime on Asante!  Our friends arrive for dinner which is a wonderful treat, not only do we each bring "something to the table" - but the four of us enjoy "adult only" time for a few hours which is a welcome break at the end of the day.  We've enjoyed many awesome meals together.

9:30 pm:  This is about the time I get super tired and I announce to everyone that it's "midnight" and time for bed.  No one really argues because we're all exhausted.  Cleaning of dishes immediately follows.

9:30-10:30 pm:  Scott and I wind down, if there is internet I might write some more, but more often than not I get into bed with a book and fall asleep by the end of the third or fourth page to catch some zzzz's and ready myself for the adventure tomorrow...

So there you have it.  A day in the life of a cruiser (with a toddler).  While it's never the same day twice, we certainly have fallen into a pattern and it's pretty dang lovely.  I feel thankful every night for these days and the fact that we are able to live like this, even if it's only for a little while longer (for the time being)...


Lisa Hanneman said...

Makes the crazy rushed days here on land seem insane... A good reminder to slow down. Lucky Isla!

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