Friday, November 27, 2015

Prepping to head Back to the Boat

This new chapter calls for a new piece of Patrick O'Brien art on our walls.
The girls and I head back to the boat and our new home of Tortola in four days. I have been single-momming it the past two weeks (a whole blog post in and of itself!) Scott has been on the island getting our boat ready and finalizing our work situation. My mom and dad have also been out of town, leaving me little time for preparation as solo-parenting three toddlers is a full-time job. Luckily, we've done this back and forth thing a few times now so we know the drill. But still, it's daunting and a little stressful. No matter how experienced you are, international travel with little ones is not for the weak of heart.

What makes this particular trip a little different is the fact that we are, in fact, moving to the British Virgin Islands. We will not be "cruising" per se, but we will be living on our boat (at the incredible Nanny Cay Marina), and will continue to sail and island hop when our work schedule allows. Lucky for us this is not hard to do in our chosen home where you can be at another incredible island in an hour or two if you wish. Long weekend? Let's go!

So how are we preparing for this move?

First of all, our boat is pretty well kitted out since we made the "big move" onto it last January. We shipped two boxes of goods via Tropical Shipping like we did last time. This was easy and painless - our boxes have already arrived in Tortola - and will make it so we travel a little bit lighter when we fly.

Times have certainly changed and instead of boat parts and such, we have shipped mostly household goods and children's gear. What's in our boxes? Take a peek:
A. Rattique Shelf Basket- I got three of these (in three great colors) for boat storage. They are plastic and durable, and will be great for holding our Turkish towels on deck and other items down below.
B. Sorbus Foldable Storage Drawer Set - I already have a small set of these on the boat and wanted one more for the shelves in some of our rooms. They are great at organizing small items and still looking nice.
C. Melissa & Doug On The Go Water Wows - I've written about these before and we love them. A simple, portable, and CLEAN 'on the go' toy.
D. Spielstabil Sand Toys - there is seriously no brand of sand toy superior to this one. We are thrilled to partner with this company and have a bunch of sets that will replace all our broken, mega-cheap sand toys. Because we use these daily - a quality item is important.
E. Cacala Turkish Bath Towel - my love of the Turkish towel is well known and we've turned quite a few people on to them. I got a couple more for our galley and one more large one for showering and the beach. Can never have too many, right? 
F. Vidalia Chop Wizard - This is one of my most beloved galley gadgets and, after four years, ours finally broke after I chopped down on a veggie a little too hard so I wanted to replace it.
G. LEGO DUPLO Box of Fun - our girls LOVE legos. The ones we currently have on the boat are generic and have lost any and all of their grip power, so I got the girls a nice deluxe set that works. They love them.
H. Brown Bear & Friends Board Books - We love the Brown Bear series of books and I found two more at TJ Max for a steal. Had to grab them.

A. Melissa & Doug Deluxe Mini-Puzzle Pack - the twins love puzzles but space being at a premium, I wanted something small. I found these sets at TJ Max for mega cheap and decided to given them a try. 8 tiny puzzles that take up hardly any space and come in their own little storage rack.
B. ClosetMaid Collapsible Storage Cubes - we keep all the girl's toys under our nav station in these stylish storage cubes. They fold flat, are super light, and not expensive so I grabbed another color to brighten things up.
C. Living on Twelve Volts With Ample Power and Get Your Captain's License - Scott had these reference books here at home and wanted to bring them down. The Captain's license book has some great information on marine laws and such, and the 12V book is also full of great power information.
D. Melissa & Doug Cube Puzzle - Another great TJ Max find, these amazing cube puzzles solve the problem of loosing thin, flimsy puzzle pieces by using CUBES! The girls LOVE these challenging puzzles and the best part is that one set provides six puzzles. We love to work on them together.
E. Roger Priddy Wipe Clean Toddler Workbooks - these wipe and clean work books come with a dry erase marker and are fantastic for the beginning homeschooler. We are going down island with a bunch of these and Isla loves working on them with mommy.
F. Re-Play Divided Toddler Plates - I wanted to get some new plates for the girls since the ones on the boat were getting yucky, and found these whose color scheme I love (Our boat is very colorful!) The fact that they are made of recyled plastic and are super cheap was a nice bonus.
G. Usborne Touchy Feely Books - these books are fantastic and every time I can grab one, I do. The twins LOVE them and they are great for introducing sensory skills to beginning readers. We probably have ten of these.

A. Swim Vest with Safety Strap - of course we have life jackets (and puddle jumpers) for the girls, but I wanted something very low-pro that I could use in a pinch when on the beach or pool that would provide enough flotation but not be super cumbersome like a life vest. We'll see how these work.
B. TubTrugs - very proud to partner with this company who's flexible (and mega-durable) tubs will be awesome for everything from doing laundry, to lugging items to and for, to toy storage.
C. Pre-Washed White Quinoa, 5-Pound Bag - Groceries are ALL expensive in the BVI's, but Quinoa really broke the bank. $25 for a small bag! We eat a lot of quinoa so I sent 10 lbs of the stuff down!
D. Plan Toys Nuts and Bolts - we are very interested in the Montessori method for educating our girls, and these toys are well aligned with the theory, teach dexterity and small motor coordination as well as take up a small amount of space.
E. Spielstabil Sailboat Set (and extra water can) - we will be at the beach every day. A nice array of quality sand toys to help enjoy it are key!
1. Green Toys Tea Set - our girls LOVE playing "tea party" and when I saw this set for $10 at TJ Max, I had to get it.
2. Deluxe Duplo Lego Set (in lock-n-lock bin)- Already wrote about the legos, but I chose to store them in a lock and lock bin to deter legos spilling all over the place when sailing (this happened a lot with our last set!)
3. Sailor Bags Back Packs - I cannot sing enough praise about this backpack. We love and use it so much we have TWO!
4. 2-Quart Teakettle - I wanted a replacement water kettle so opted for this 2 quart model. I love the color and the size is perfect for our little galley.

So that is the bulk of what we shipped. The rest of the stuff is mostly clothes and toiletries.

My lists have been made and are slowly getting checked off. Three out of our five sailor bag duffles have been packed and we just made a diaper run to Costco to fill a bag with those.

Goodbyes are being said and while it's always hard to come and go like we do, it's nice to know that we will be coming back for visits in the summers (aka "hurricane season) to connect with friends and family. We are also very excited and eager to begin this new chapter of our life. It's going to be a big one! Luckily, Scott has our boat all ready for our arrival (he even stocked up on my wine!) and so the transition will be a little bit easier not having to spend a couple nights in a hotel. We will simply pick up where we left of in our little floating home. We're excited, for sure. Change is in the air and we are as ready as we can be.

For now, the girls are napping and I've gotta get packing! More to come.


Bill said...

Exciting! Safe travels and I'm sure I speak for many when I say we all can't wait to see what you are up to down there!

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