Weather Helmed

an adventure in renewing the spirit and living the dream…on a sailboat

Weather Helmed

Our Bundle of Joy

March 17th, 2010 · 6 Comments · First Mates, Funny, Life on the Boat, Passages, Thoughts on Family

In honor of my good friends’ Baby Boy #2 who should be arriving sometime today (yay A&L!!!!!)………………


Over the last few years, I’ve watched several of my friends become parents and go through the trials and tribulations and triumphs of raising their babies.  And, since Matt and I are hoping to become parents ourselves one day, I’m somewhat tuned in to watching and preparing for what life might be like when we have little ones.

I just never thought that having a boat would be so much like having a baby.

The similarities are so hilariously obvious that Matt and I have started joking about it.

For one, on all of our passages so far, even just the over-nighters, we find ourselves exhausted all the time.  Largely because someone always has to be on watch.  And then when it’s your turn to sleep, you worry constantly about the other person on watch and whether the boat is ok.  Every little noise can wake you up, and you lay there, ears straining to hear – is the noise going to happen again? did something go wrong? is something wrong with the boat? And, if a sail change is needed in the middle of the night, the person on watch might come wake you up to help.  Also, on passages, so far it’s become very challenging to do even the most basic things – like brush our teeth, wash our faces, change our clothes…. because when you’re tired all the time, those things fall way back on the priority list.

Then, when not sleeping, you’re constantly worrying about the boat and attending to its every need – is the boat ok? Does it need a sail change? Why is it not happy? Why are the sails fluttering? What is that noise? What does it mean? Does it need more oil? Should I turn it up a bit? Should I turn it down? How come ____ isn’t working?  What does it want??

And, God forbid you leave the boat at anchor one night, you’ll spend the entire evening worried whether it will still be there – and be ok – when you get back.  Preferably, you would have binoculars along so you could check it on every five minutes, and Oh! the joyous reunion when you pull up in your dinghy and find that it is safe and sound.

Even on our excursions ashore, Matt and I push around a handcart stacked with bins that is providing great practice for pushing around a baby stroller.  I mentioned this to Matt once, right before he ran the cart into a bush and toppled our goods.  As he struggled to regain control of the cart, he laughed, and said, “Almost dropped the baby on its face!”  And, of course, when we’re out, one of us has to babysit the cart at all times because it does usually contain our most valuable cargo.

I had hoped that this trip would be a vacation for us before we became parents, but apparently, it’s going to be a training ground instead   🙂

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6 Comments so far ↓

  • Cheri

    hahaha… I have to say that in earlier posts, I have thought of your boat as a baby, especially during your 9-day passage. 🙂 You’re so funny, Karen.

    Keep enjoying your time! Keep up the hard work!

  • Kim

    That pretty much sums up parenthood. You guys will be awesome when your time comes!

  • Neil Topliffe

    You’re not a wimp Karen, you put up with us Engineers with grace and dignity and everyone here misses you and hope you’re safe and having fun.

    Between your emotion filled blog and Matt’s technical updates the combination makes for fascinating reading. Most everyone here back at the office checks your blogs on a regular basis and is basically living the dream through you guys!

    Keep the great stories coming!

  • Karen

    Cheri~ I know, right?!?!?! at least we’ll sort of know what we’re in for when we have kids…

    Hi Kim!!!! Thanks for the vote of confidence 🙂

    Neil~ you rock. I’m so glad the office hasn’t forgotten about me! and I love knowing that everyone is following along on our (mis)adventures. Thank you so much for your comment! 🙂

  • Karen

    p.s. Neil~ which do you think gets more hits – the MNLB blog or mine?!?!?!?! 😉 hahaha

  • Amy

    hilarious! loved the post and the shout out…now…when do you get to “meet” dylan by skype? we head home this afternoon…

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