Since we have begun our cruising life two weeks ago, we have had many ups and downs with problems to solve daily. We are learning so much each day from diving in murky water to see if a rope is wrapped around the propeller to daring dingy rescues, plus learning to work as a family in a small space. It has been a very challenging, yet extremely rewarding experience. Many times I feel like Dorey and find myself saying, “just keep swimming, just keep swimming…..”. So far we are working out each problem as it comes and the old saying “Cruising life is just fixing your boat in exotic locations” is coming true (although we are not quite in an exotic location yet). However, we have been truly blessed to have the chance to meet up with many old friends and family along our travels thus far.
The following are some of the major adjustments/issues in the first couple weeks…
#1 The Potty
The potty issues has been the largest issues thus far, especially with two kids that need to go potty all the time. We decided to start docking at marinas to try to ease us into the cruising lifestyle and because we had no functioning toilet, but the walk back and forth to the bathrooms was exhausting. As soon as a hear, “Mommy, I have to go potty”, I sighed and began the routine of putting life jackets on the girls, hoisting them off the boat and walking the 200 feet to the bathroom while they stopped and looked at any and everything along the way. Once in the bathroom, this same fascinations continued and deciding what stall to use takes another couple minutes. After they are done we walk back the same 200 feet and I hoist them back into the boat. Honestly, I am surprised they are able to hold it and we have not had any accidents so far. I am so excited that we now have a functioning head. Bryan installed a new one and took out the old pipes and put in a new one (not a pleasant job). This process took a little longer since we were waiting on shipping and I am sure Bryan will write about it in the future. But all is good now!
Obviously, we do not have a dishwasher, so we need to do all the dishes by hand. Plus, we need to conserve water when we do dishes. We were really bad with dishes even when we had a dishwasher, so our dishes stacked up over a couple days. This created a terrible mess in a tiny space. Bryan and I debated about how to scrub, rinse off, and dry the dishes. I never knew we could come up with so many different options. After an in-depth conversation about dishes and how to wash them and conserve water, we spent about 45 minutes washing, drying and putting away dishes. And then we realized that the water was not draining out of the sink! Apparently the valve was corroded shut and this also needed to be replaced!
#3 Toddler Meltdowns
Avery has adapted better than Leslie so far, but it might be because she is one year older and Leslie is in the middle of the terrible three’s. She can have some horrific meltdowns. On a boat with 38 feet of space, handling these meltdown have been tricky. Since the girls have their own cabin, this is the place that she is sent to “cool down”, but in such tight quarters is can be tough to even get her in this space. And when at marinas, I can imagine her yells are being broadcast through the wind to everyone. At home, it was much easier to handle these times because their was more space and privacy. Just hoping the meltdown will pass soon!
The highlights of our two weeks have consisted of time with family and friends. A day with Claire, Aaron, and Blake on the boat and grilling out; swim time with Jen; carriage rides, movies, parks, and the precious help of a hotel room with my dad and Julia; sailing through the Charleston harbor with Bryan’s family; and library time, a play, and vacation bible school with Chris, Lindsay, Harper, and Price. The generosity of our friends and family has been incredible and I am so thankful for them all!
Overall, I can definitely say that these first weeks did not go as I expected, so I am learning to not have expectations….it makes life easier!