We moved onboard full time New Years last year.
We didn’t have any big plans this year as we just wanted to spend time with Cid while he was little and enjoy and witness his milestones.
He is now nearly two and we have seen him start to crawl, walk, talk, feed himself, climb, jump, dance, swim (assisted), learn the names of animals and some numbers, and even successfully use the potty a couple of times. .. Just to name a few. These are things we may have missed out on or certainly not been the first to witness if we were working and living on the land.
We have some fellow cruising friends expecting their first baby and they are planning to start out on the boat. We told them in hindsight, a baby on board would be easy. They generally don’t move too far or too quickly and they are much lighter and more portable than toddlers. We moved on board when Cid was 11 months however, had been sailing with him on day trips and over weekends since he was 3 months. This mainly being due to our boat not being completely ready rather than his age.
Cid learned to walk on the boat and while this did present some challenges, particularly underway, having Cid on the boat with us has been great and we are so lucky as a family to have been able to do this.
Cid loves being on the boat. This year we have spent a few stints ashore for periods of 1 month to 6 weeks and each time we get back to the boat, his face lights up at coming home.
Ocelot is our home, she is a good home and has been great to us this past year. While we have had some occurances that have delayed our movements at times we have had a great time this year and happy with what we have done together as a family.
2016 for us is heading back to work to rebuild our cruising kitty and maintain our landlife committments. But we have big plans for the future. And yes, it involves sailing. And yes, it involves travel. And yes that travel will involve passports.
Cid has been on four flights already this year and is about to embark on another. We never flew till we were older children/teenagers so ‘oh how times have changed’. We decided to take the year out with a bang and have one last holiday, before our ‘holiday’ ends. We are heading to Bali for a few weeks to relax before getting knee deep in reality and heading back to work.
Many people think that what we have been doing this past year is a holiday, but its not. Its a lifetstyle. Yes we have been fortunate enough to not have to work or worry too much about money, but that is because we have saved and lived without things that we didn’t need to be able to live and enjoy a cruising lifestyle. We actually could do this for a lot longer without having to go to work, but we have big dreams and would like to see them come into fruition. No magic wand or genie bottle here, just skin, bones and bit of elbow grease.
Living on board does take a little bit more effort in terms of managing your power usages and generation, your water supply (where this will come from), laundry can be more of a hassle lugging to a laudromat or hand washing, generally there are extra bumps and grazes to be had (particularly if you are me) and being a subordinate to the weather and listening to mother nature when she makes her call (no boat is big enough in the rain). All these things play a role in the tasks assumed in life aboard however, these are miniscule to the expereince you will have.
Your first sighting a dugong swimming boastfully at the surface like a mermaind daring to be found will erase any memory you had of carting 200L of water in 5 x 10L containers (you do the maths). The gasp you will hear when a turtle breaches the surface at your stern will make you forget the plumbing experience you had when the toilet blocked…twice. And the sunsets upon sunsets as you watch the moon rise above the evening star will tell you that you are exactly in the right place at the right time and everything else will seem superfluous.
There are plenty of families sailing with children of all ages, cruising coastlines or crossing oceans. One quick google search will lead you to plenty of blogs full of information about cruising with kids. The book Voyaging with kids has been recently released which would be a great resource for anyone wanting to sail with their children or babies.
I am finishing this post from our villa in Bali, overlooking the cliffs and beaches at Padang Padang. The blog has slowed down these last few months but we will keep posting things as they stumble into our lives or we fall into them. We have a few things on the horizon and a bright future ahead and would love to share these with you when the time is right.
We hope you all had a great new year! And that 2016 opens dooors for you and shoots many stars for which you can place your wishes on.
Take care and watch this space!
Bec, Damon & Cid xx