Tuesday, June 03, 2014

First Sail for the Twinfants

It's official, the twins had their first sail in their twelfth week of life.  Not too shabby for a couple of (temporary) landlubbers during the most stubborn "summer" to ever finally show it's face (I'm still not totally convinced, to be honest).

My dad keeps his beautiful boat downtown Chicago which means we have a boat on which to get our sailing fix during this stateside hiatus, and for that we are beyond grateful.  It was a beautiful day on the lake with family; my mom, dad, sister in law and little niece joined our clan of five(!?!) for the shenanigans. It felt awesome to be floating again.  Even if it was a bit of a Chinese fire drill with all the kids all over the place, and even if the twins did have tandem meltdowns during the car rides there and back (traveling in an SUV for fifteen minutes or more with two infants and one toddler in the back seat is about as fun as pulling out your fingernails, one by one, fyi)...all of that was totally worth it for a few hours of bliss on the water. (Isla's first sail can be seen here).

It's amazing how different day-sailing is from live-aboard sailing or cruising. First of all, it's a ginormous production to pack the whole family in the car these days, complete with clothes, diapers, snacks and gear.  When you live on your boat, all that stuff is right at your fingertips - all you need to do is stow and go.  Then there's the whole "out and back" thing.  We hardly ever did that on our cruising boat and I think we went sailing for the sake of just sailing maybe once, if that.  Almost always we sailed to a destination, dropped the hook and hung out.  Both forms, of course, are great - but completely different and it was interesting to note.  

What was particularly cool to observe was how Isla took to the boat like a duck to water.  These six months on land haven't weakened her sea legs in the slightest and the incredible spacial awareness and balance that comes from a babyhood on a boat is still very much alive in her.  She instinctively knows to step over lines, avoid the cleats and go down the companionway stairs backward.  We don't need to hover over her for fear she'll fall or misstep.  She's got it down pat. When we first got on the boat she exclaimed she was going to "Isla's room" and made her way to the v-berth.  Needless to say, she has clearly not forgotten her former life.  It's etched in her incredible soul and I love that.

We snapped some pictures of the day but unfortunately there aren't many of the twins on their maiden sail because they were "worn" the entire time by my mom and me and were sleeping soundly inside the cocoons created by the Moby wraps (man do I love baby wearing, more on this to come).  Both girls were lulled to an almost coma-like slumber on our chests by the rocking motion of the boat and we were able to enjoy the afternoon without a single peep from either of them.  Until we got ashore, of course.  Then all hell broke loose. They are babies, after all.  And there are two of them. And, no, I still can't believe it.

We have some fun things in store for us aboard my dad's boat this summer... Scott, along with my dad and brothers will be doing the Chicago to "Mac" race  in July and the plan is for my sister and I to drive up and meet them.  From there, Scott and I will take a couple weeks and do our first "test sail" as a family of five (with my sister in tow) up in the Northern waters of Lake Michigan and then hand it back over to my mom and dad for their sailcation.  We're excited.  There are a ton of logistics to figure out, lifeline netting to install and the mere thought of a seven hour car ride with three under three makes me want to run straight to the looney bin and jump into a padded cell, but - hey - we'll figure it out.  These days, we're taking one day at time and just putting one foot in front of the other.  Baby steps.  It's all about baby steps.

Summer is here.  Thank God.  And we're going sailing.

Family photo, minus Mira who was on my mom.
Isla and Grandpa.

This looks like foreshadowing :)  Isla and her cousin and bestie, Bryn.

Isla calling wave sets.
This pic was taken by my SIL of Brighteye Photography

I always wanted my very own laughing Buddah.  The Universe gave me one.
She represents the Lollipop Guild.  Very well, I might add.
Chilling in the pilot berth. 


Marie said...

I was born in Marquette and live in the Detroit area. Going home to visit family with small kids was never fun. We used to leave at night as they went to sleep. Hubby and I would take turns driving and sleeping. It made the 7 1/2 hours in car seats so much more tolerable.

LOVE the new Straits Harbor in Mackinaw City. Nice wide docks; clear water and very nice restrooms.

Can't wait to read about your Lake Michigan vacation. We plan a three week trip next summer around the mitten.

Anonymous said...

I'm not the most politically correct person around but "Chinese fire drill" is no longer PC.

How could you post about a day of sailing and not fully document, in pictures, what appears to be a gorgeous boat????

Anonymous said...

Glad your day went well! Saw you headed out to your boat pre-sail. You could sense your excitement/nervousness/excitement . . . when we have babies onboard we call it a Polish fire drill (we are) so what ev. Mad-cap fun all around. Hope I didn't offend the caps.

MaryJo Boyle said...

Love Traverse City and Sleeping Bear Dunes--in fact the entire area around the Leelanau Peninsula is just so gorgeous for boating!

Anonymous said...

Hope that Scott can blog about the race!

Anonymous said...

Love reading your blog! We have an 18 wk old and took him on his first ovenighter at 12 weeks which we also had to take a mammoth amount of stuff with us however it was worth every aching step! Because once your out there you never want to return really! We are planning to head off early next year after his first birthday and go crusing for however long. Your experiences with isla have helped us prepare for this and love reading about what worked/didnt for you. We are in australia btw look forward to your next post! Bec :)

Anonymous said...

Having lived in Beijing and seeing several fire alarms, no term could be more expressive and accurate. I don't think it is an insult as it is a visual image encapsulated in a simple phrase.

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