Friday, August 22, 2014

First Sailing Trip with "Three Under Three"

Last week we went where very few have gone before us:  On a week long sailing vacation with infant twins and a toddler. Something that more than a few people told us we were nuts to do (and fellow moms of multiples said they'd never do).  Considering our current baby to adult ratio and the fact that our familial scenario can (and does) go from zero to crazy in the bat of any eye, we knew it was a bold move. Lucky for us,  bold moves seem to be our default so we didn't think twice and went for it. As my mentor and fellow sailor, Capt'n Fatty, says"Fortune favors the brave", and crazy brave we are.

The week long adventure was more than a family vacation. The real point was to do a test run and see how (and if) we could handle a boat with three little ones in tow.  After all, we might be bold, but we're not stupid. We wanted a little glimpse of what we might be in for this coming January, and while our experience as both sailors and parents gave us a vague idea, you never really know how something will play out until you dive right in and do it.  So that is what we did.

I am thrilled to report it went better than either of us could have possibly imagined, which is saying a lot considering it could have been a complete bust.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't without a few hiccups and of course there were challenges (and the ever-present struggle of sleep deprivation which is something we are constantly dealing with) - but overall, we learned that we can go forth to the British Virgin Island's without hesitation. 

I don't have time at the moment to recount all the details of our 'maiden voyage', but I don't want to leave you with fluff so I can say that the success of this trip was brought forth by four things:
  1. Being conservative: We were super conservative and sailed only fifty miles over the course of six days and only in fair weather.  Sailing with babies is not easy and (in our opinion) best done in small chunks.  This is why we plan to only cruise the British Virgin Islands where passages over three or four hours are almost non-existent.  Baby steps.  We've nothing to prove.
  2. Baby wearing: I "wore" the twins on every shore excursion and it made life so much easier, we didn't need to deal with a bulky stroller and could go everywhere with ease (hiking, beach, shops..etc) not to mention the fact that when the babies are on me they are almost always happy and content.  "Wearing" the twins also gave us a glimpse of what life would be like as "A-list" celebrities. Seriously, people were taking our picture everywhere and we couldn't walk 20 feet without getting stopped, pointed at, and/or whispered about.  Pretty hysterical.  I am in the process of writing an in-depth post on the benefits of baby wearing and the different ways I "wear" the twins, so stay tuned for that. 
  3. The sleep schedule: I have sang the sleep schedule praise numerous times on this blog and while the twins are not quite on a predictable "schedule", I did put them down for naps every 1.5-2 hours which meant that when they were awake, they were well-rested and happy.  Happy babies make life so much more pleasant. In addition, we timed sails around when they would be sleeping, which also made sailing with the kiddos much easier.
  4. Two full-time parents:  Having a super hands-on husband (who also occasionally baby wore!) was by far the biggest reason we were successful.  It is definitely difficult to be "outnumbered" - but three kids is totally manageable if there are two adults to help wrangle them!  I would NOT attempt a life on a boat with three little ones unless we could divide and conquer!
So there's the teaser for you.  I will write more in-depth in coming posts, but wanted to let you all know where we have been.  In the meantime, you can check out our Facebook Page for some pictures and updates from the trip.   

Are there any specific questions or topics you would like to see covered?  Share in the comments.


Mark and Cindy - s/v Cream Puff said...

It's good to see you guys on the water again.

We hope our routes cross in the Caribbean sometime soon.

Mark and Cindy
s/v Cream Puff

Holly K. Turfitt said...

Cant wait to hear about you wearing the twins. My girls are 3 months old tomorrow and I am having a hard time wearing them together these days. Looking forward to getting some tips!

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Aww, this is so cute! Your first sail. I would love to be there with you. I need to have some rest. It seems this study will never come to an end and I will never get my diploma. Unless I will find some writing assistance or at least pre written essays for sale

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