Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Boat People

Yesterday, we moved back on Sereia. No more refrigerator. No more hot water out of a faucet. We draw cold water with a foot pump, and if we need warm water, we heat it on the stove. No more flushing the toilet with a flick of a lever—now we have to open the valve, pump ten times with sea water, then close the valve and pump ten times dry. We couldn’t get the heat working last night, and the temperature slipped below freezing. In the morning, the docks were slick with ice.

And it's abso-freaking wonderful.

Who needs refrigeration when it’s this cold outside? Milk and cheese just go right in the bilge. And when it’s time to go to bed, the whole family snuggles up in the main berth. Under our big fluffy duvet last night, we were as snug as three little hot enchiladas in cheese sauce.

Perhaps I should back up. Our move was postponed for two days, due to a low pressure system that brought torrential rains and gusts of up to 75 knots to Whangarei. Yep, that’s seventy-five knots. We figured that might not be the best time for Silas’ inaugural voyage on Sereia, so we took the opportunity to do some serious movie-watching indoors.

Monday dawned clear and sunny. It took a little while to bail out the dinghy, which was flooded with about half a foot of water:

Antonia’s job was to keep Silas entertained, which she did by torturing him with his PFD:

Luckily, Peter had enlisted the help of this upstanding fellow:

Zack is a CPA who used to have a job and a clean shave. Now he’s running a tamarillo farm in New Zealand. Don’t ask.

Sereia was all ready with her new baby-catching net:

The netting, incidentally, was imported from Bologna. We’re not sure why a length of white net needs to be shipped to the opposite side of the globe, but I’m sure it made lots of money for a wide variety of people. It wasn’t cheap.

Soon after casting off from our pile mooring, Silas fell asleep in his new crib:

The “crib” consists of a custom-made lee cloth blocking off the forward area of the salon. The “blanket” he is using is a pile of clean rags. “You’re such a lucky baby,” I cooed to him as I tucked him in. “Little orphan babies in the Sudan only get piles of dirty rags to sleep in. You get clean ones.”

Once we arrived at the dock, Silas spent the afternoon charging around the boat, exploring every inch of his new home. Toys? Who needs toys? The kid spent twenty minutes playing with a garbage bag:

It’s a funny thing. Two years ago, when we first left Sereia and moved back on land, we made a very comfortable nest for ourselves. Our little apartment had hot running water, a freezer with ice cubes, and matching throw pillows. Each new possession made our lives more convenient. And with each new purchase, I felt the noose tightening around my neck:

As we have prepared to move back on Sereia, we’ve been shedding our stuff like a bad case of dandruff. As a Mom, I’ve been a nervous wreck. What if my baby is uncomfortable? What if my baby needs more space? What if my baby falls overboard?

But ever since yesterday, Silas has been babbling and panting non-stop. He has a huge smile on his face. If he could talk, I’m pretty sure he’d be saying “HELL YEAH!”

Because Silas is a boat person. And no matter how long we’ve tried to pretend otherwise on land, so are we.


  1. Hell Yeah!

    Andy in Mpls, USA

  2. Rich Boren SV THIRD DAYJuly 16, 2009 at 7:58 AM

    Ah....Fabulous to see guys! Peace again on the boat!

  3. While I applaud the netting... we got two toddlers. That netting won't do shit. It's too easy to climb and it blocks the view just enough that Silas will be wanting to get over it to SEE. (At least if he's anything like any of the toddlers to ever be on our boat.) The netting works great for dogs, sucks for kids. The only thing that *really* works on kids is a jackline and harness, which is a pain in the ass but guarantees - if the kid can't work the latch - that they won't be falling overboard.

  4. Yup... we ended up ditching the netting for the exact same reason. We stuck to vigilant PFD use, vigilant parental supervision, and jack lines with harness when needed too. We also kept a short jack line to an eye bolt in the center of the cockpit in case both mom & dad's hands and eyes were required for something. I'll admit, it's the same jack line and harness we used for the dog when he's get underfoot while we docked or dropped the hook. :)

  5. My old wise friend had a saying..."Blessed be nothing" Who needs all the traps and more and more stuff. You have each other and the Sea.

  6. Hell Yeah! Our little bundle of joy...aka snot gobbler is 8 weeks. About to head to Mexico and refloat our very own floating bleach bottle!
    Love ya work.....we may cross paths in the Pacific
    s v Kia Kaha ( NZ registered)