The Littlest Looper

Note: Geoffrey does not like it when I anthropomorphize Elli, nor when I make-up thoughts for Skye. He believes everyone is entitled to their own opinion and method of communication. But I had too much fun writing this not to share it. ~Caroline

Yesterday, I work up at 3:37am. It was not my fault. I sleep through the night most nights. I had a nice belly full of milk, a comfy swaddle, and gentle waves rocking me to help me stay asleep. No, I woke up because my parents were outside talking rather loudly over the wind, something about the tide going out leaving us on a sand bar. Also, I noticed, I was now on one side of my bed and the bed was tilted at a rather sharp angle. The parents started rocking the boat, which was nice, so I went back to sleep.

2015-05-10 20.54.04Apparently, they didn’t have any luck getting the boat unstuck and came back down below, loudly grumbling about having to wait for high tide. Since they were up, I decided it was time for some milk and snuggles.

Milk. Let me tell you about milk. It’s the greatest thing ever. I love milk. You can hold me and I will smile and laugh and coo, but that’s nothing compared to how much I love milk. I will do just about anything to get milk. Scream, smile, attack the boobs of random people. Anything.

So mom picks me up and lays me next to her on the low side of the boat and I decide it is time for milk. And inform them of this fact. They’ve been trying to teach me the sign language for milk, which is to clench a fist like you’re “milking” something. I don’t much see the point in milking thin air, but the gesture is surprisingly effective when I reach out for mom’s boob. Milk is provided and I go back to sleep.

When I wake up again, it’s daylight and the boat is now level. Mom is still curled up beside me, dad is already outside driving. Mom smiles at me as I stretch. I like my morning stretches. I stretch all the way out, arms above my head, legs long and straight. Then I smile, because I don’t even have to ask. Milk is coming and it is wonderful.

It is raining this morning, hard and steady, so I 2015-05-06 17.52.30stay below with mom. She works in the galley while I lay on the couch and play with my frog toy. She keeps trying to put blankets on top of me, but I’m not cold and keep taking them off. Maybe she is playing a game with me. I will call it “The Great Blanket Escape Game.” Mom is maybe less amused at this than I am. Also, she put a board in my way to make it harder for me to escape from the blanket by simply rolling off the bench. Must remember to practice my scooting for advanced blanket escape on future dates.

After a while, mom settles down to work. I am learning all about touch screens. Mom’s computer has a touch screen. I watch her work for a while, then reach out and touch the screen to change what we’re watching. She likes Facebook, but I prefer more pictures. Sometimes we play a game I call “Mouse Trap.” I wait until mom is typing and not paying attention then steal the mouse and hide it. I think I will get more effective at this when I can sit up on my own instead of propped up by cushions.

After a while, I get bored with mom’s work. I assume mom is bored with it, too, because there aren’t a lot of pictures and there is a lot of grid. Which reminds me, it’s time for milk.

Have I told you about milk? Milk is awesome. It’s sweet and creamy and warm. It quenches thirst and makes me feel full and happy. I drink my fill and then cuddle up on the bench next to mom for my morning nap.

2015-05-11 16.02.40The rain has cleared up when I wake up from my nap and not only is it sunny, it is lunchtime. Which means more milk! Mom doesn’t quite get to it fast enough to suit me, so I help her by pulling her shirt up for her. She seems to be more interested in settling down in the cockpit and taking her turn sailing than in feeding me. But I have been working hard on controlling my hands, so I let nothing, not even a t-shirt, get in my way. There will be milk.

After my lunch, it is play time. Mom is sailing, so I get to scoot around the cockpit. First, of course, she rubs gunk all over me. I tolerate this well enough because it has an interesting taste. While she’s working on one leg, I stick the other foot in my mouth to sample the taste. When she fusses at me and works my feet away from my mouth, I wait till she’s not paying attention and then lick her foot.

I try to crawl over the legs keeping me on the cushions because there are better toys on the floor. Plastic water bottles are my favorite. No really, they are pretty fun. You can squeeze them and they make a crunchy noise. They are lightweight and you can bang them on everything. And the cap is great for chewing.

2015-05-13 12.25.47Water bottles are almost as good as ketchup bottles. I got one of those one time and let me tell you, it was amazing. I spent a good ten minutes chewing on the cap of the ketchup bottle. Makes me think there might be something to solid foods after all…

…wait, who am I kidding? Can anything be better than milk? Is it time to pester mom for milk again? I think it is. I ask politely, reaching for the boob and squeezing. Mom says she just fed me and I’m not hungry and puts me back on my stomach looking at the dog.

We have this dog who has the softest fur. I can get a handful of it and pull and the dog will just sit there. Sometimes she licks me, but mostly she ignores me. We are going to be best friends, I just know it. She moves on all fours just like I’m learning how to do.

Then there is a dog in the water! Except instead of having soft white fur like my dog, it is grey and slick. But it makes the same pfffft noise, so it must be a dog. It surfaces right next to the boat. Mom calls out in surprise and the dog gets really excited. I like this new dog-in-the-water. It is next to the boat and sometimes blows water out of its head! I must remember to try this new trick later.

It is starting to get very warm out, but mom gives me more milk (yay! finally!) and then dad and I take a nap down below. Or rather, he takes a nap and I spend five minutes pulling his hair before settling down to sleep.

I am all happy and cozy and warm when I hear mom calling out for dad. He’s still sleeping, but I wake up instantly. Mom is calling, so I get more milk, right? But I need dad to wake up so I can get to mom and milk. Pulling his hair didn’t work, so I stick my fingers up his nose instead. This is much more effective.

2015-05-13 15.54.57Dad hands me to mom, who gives me a quick snack and then, before I’ve had time to fully enjoy the wonderfulness that is my afternoon milk, we’re done. I get to ride with dad and sail for a while. I’ve master the tiller. I sit in dad’s lap very straight, just like dad. I put my hand on the tiller right in front of his and gently pull and push. Look at meeee!! Then dad pushes the tiller further than I can reach. This must be wrong, so I reach over and grab the tiller with both hands and wrap both legs around it, hanging on tight.

Mom straps me to her chest (so close to the milk, yet so far away!) and starts moving around deck. Oh, I see, land ho! This is exciting! Mom strapped me in facing forward so I can see what’s going on, which also means I try to grab onto everything. I am a good sailor girl. When someone tosses a line, you’re supposed to catch it, even when it’s mom trying to toss the line to someone on dock. Then we hop off the boat and help get everything connected. It’s a fun ride and there are always new people who smile at me and talk to me.

Mom and I go up to negotiate with the dock master and then it is time for supper! Yay, more milk!

Have I mentioned how much I love milk? It is the best thirst quenching liquid there is and after a long, hard day sailing, I am a thirsty little girl. I gulp my milk down in record time and wish there was more. But every day I grow a little bigger and can hold a little more milk and drink as much as I can.

I like walking down new streets with my parents. There are new people, new trees, new dogs. Everything is new and exciting about coming into harbor. We even choose a new restaurant to sample.

I am a pro at restaurants. I sit in mom’s lap (although she tells me I will graduate to my own high chair soon) and proceed to sample the menu. Generally the lower right hand corner is the first thing I try, but if I’m lucky, I can get hold of the upper right hand corner which is the dirtiest and thus tastiest.

After sampling the menu, I sometimes manage to sample the food. Mom will drop some on her hand (I got a drop of Thai peanut sauce this way and let me tell you, it was like milk but with peanuts!) or I will simply reach out and help myself. Mom let me suck on a cooked carrot and I really liked that. Not as much as milk, mind you, but better than sungoop.

2015-05-13 19.59.00Then I remember the dog-in-the-water that sprouted water from it’s head. I need to try that. So when mom hands me to dad, I purse my lips and blow really hard. All that comes out is bubbles, no cool stream of water with a nice pffft sound. But hey, bubbles are fun!

Then it is bedtime. I like bed time. Mom gets me ready for bed and gets my bed set up. She sings to me and I sing back. I’m just learning how to sing, but I can change my pitch, change the sound I’m making, and change the length of the notes. Sometimes, mom will sing songs to me and sometimes she will take my singing and turn it into a song. This makes me a happy baby.

And then there is evening milk. Evening milk is the best. I’ve had a long full day. I’ve learned about dogs-in-the-water and practiced making my own water-from-my-head-bubbles. So I can think about that and boob-cruise on to sleep. It’s been a full day and I heard I am getting a bath tomorrow and already looking forward to that.

Goodnight everyone, please don’t run aground at 3:37 am again.

Northbound Vessel

This is a story about sailing through a hurricane with a baby.

We have a whole bag of fancy baby toys on the boat with us and she just loves water bottles best.

We have a whole bag of fancy baby toys on the boat with us and she just loves water bottles best.

Someone loves sailing :)

Someone loves sailing :)

View from the cockpit.

View from the cockpit.

Skye hanging out below during Tropical Storm Ana

Skye hanging out below during Tropical Storm Ana

Bucksport Marina

Bucksport Marina

Geoff's blurry photo of me sailing. Just to prove I occasionally take the tiller.

Geoff’s blurry photo of me sailing. Just to prove I occasionally take the tiller.

No? Ok, well that still sounds better than this is a story about sitting in port while a tropical storm dumps rain on us and helps us discover all the leaks in the boat with a baby.

But I guess everyone is glad we’re safe and didn’t do anything crazy (like sail off the coast through some named bad weather). We spent four lovely days in Georgetown while waiting for the storm to pass with not a lot of rain, but a lot of good food and friends.

Skye had no problems on the boat. She rode down below in her tent, strapped to me, or hanging out trying to crawl around on the cockpit cushions. We pulled into Georgetown Thursday in the pouring rain, but Skye had no problems with the rocking motion while we were sailing in the rain – she and Geoff took a great afternoon nap while I drove for a few hours and she played with her toys on the floor while I worked.

There are worse places we could’ve been caught than Georgetown – with it’s cute downtown, lots of restaurants, and convenient high-priced-baby-junk store (I managed to only buy her a new sunhat.)

Now that we’re settled somewhere with good internet, I’ll try to update some more on our various adventures, etc. It took me most of the morning just to get a week’s back-log of photos uploaded!

Also, most of the day-to-day photos show up on the instagram and twitter accounts (see the side bar), but most of the updates these days are on Skye’s private instagram account (I’m sorry, but she’s photogenic).

Sand Gnat Hell

I woke up like this...

I woke up like this…

Elli above all.

Elli above all.

Mid-afternoon nap

Mid-afternoon nap

Race Week!

Race Week!

We have less than an hours’ worth of work that needs to be done before we can get the mast on Saga Blue back up to head north, but accomplishing it is proving to be next to impossible (and not because Geoff dropped parts in the water). This time of year, south of Savannah is apparently sand gnat hell (their baseball team is aptly named).

Between the swarming gnats, the misery of gnats in mouth and eyes, and the itchiness of gnat bites, nothing has been accomplished on the mast work and last weekend we all decided to decamp for St. Augustine and race week, less sand gnats, and a friend’s 42′ Carib. Geoff and Elli enjoyed watching all the dinghy races while Skye and I cuddled. And we all ate tons of wonderful food (and way too many sweets).

And Geoff finally got me my much-anticipated Christmas present.  We dinghied out to Norma one evening to hang out with the author of Accidental Sailor Girl. Geoff left with another adventure to dream of and I left with some serious boat envy (Norma is a beautiful wooden boat, and much of the interior is reclaimed wood, which in addition to being cool, looks amazing.)

Kourtney, the author we were there to visit, was sweet and welcoming, and cute playing peek-a-boo with Skye. Not to mention had dreadlocks that made me think even I could pull off the style and wish I’d asked her about them.

I was sad to leave gnat-free St. Augustine,  but work calls. We will be back in Savannah soon with a giant box fan to defend against the gnats while we get Saga ready for to sail North.