Worldschooler Exchange

Worldschooler Exchange

We’re being featured on Worldschooler Exchange this week!

One big thing we work on while traveling is finding other kids to play with. We’re lucky right now that the marina we’re at has other toddlers (plural!!), but sometimes it takes planning to find friends. Facebook groups, the Kids4Sail map, and Worldschooler Exchange are all ways we locate other families traveling through the same region. They also provide support groups that speak specifically to the nomadic parts of our life.

Adding an Engine

Adding an Engine

On our first boat, our engine worked but wasn’t the world’s most reliable. After a few times having to bring the boat around under sail and get a lot of help to back it into a slip, we had the engine rebuilt, but it never ran quite the same.

The boat we started cruising with had a reliable engine, but it burned an insane amount of oil (probably more oil than gas). The back of the boat was always covered in black soot and cleaning it was a pain. The plan was to replace the engine with a new one but that never materialized.

With Little Minx, we pulled the engine out right away. We were either going to completely rebuild it or buy a new one. Meanwhile, we used an outboard to push the boat. We bought an almost new engine after Hurricane Matthew (40 hours on the engine, that’s pretty much new) and have been redoing the wiring and prepping to put the engine in. Last weekend, Geoff, with the help of an A-frame and a strong friend, we got the engine on the boat and then down below into the salon. Our next challenge is to move it from the salon floor onto the engine mounts, but we’re having to move more wiring before it can slide in place.

So this week, we’re moving around an engine in the middle of the floor. Geoff is trying to convince Skye that the engine is named Joe. She simply refers to it like I do, as “the engine.” You never know what she’s going to pick up on.

We also completely remeasured the rigging and are replacing most of the standing rigging. The goal is to leave Beaufort at the end of the month with mast up, the bimini and dodger attached (this might be a stretch), and the engine in and running. Still lots of work to do, but certainly it will be nice to be back on the adventure.

Functional Fitness

Functional Fitness

I have a number of friends who are big believers in functional fitness and who generally go to crossfit-style gyms for their training. Which is awesome. I’m all in favor of people being in shape. I think living on the boat, however, provides a different type of functional fitness.

Last night, on a whim, I dropped by the local pilates studio to try a barre class.

Geoff: Hehe, I’m watching the baby while you go to a bar. I’m sharing that on Facebook.
Me: That’s fine, so long as you spell barre correctly.

I’m not what anyone who does aerobics would consider in shape and at the end of the class, the instructor told me how well I’d done, especially on the abs portion which gives most people issues. Abs were fine – lunges about killed me, though. Where in the world do you lunge in real life? (Lunging to catch toddler is a totally different set of muscles.)

I regularly lift, carry, and swing a 30-lb (moving) weight (also generally plus groceries). I’m up and down a ladder all the time and squatting to get into lower lockers. Geoff and I both regularly engage in boat yoga (on this boat, that generally occurs when we need something out of one of the deep cockpit lockers or work needs to be done in the anchor locker). This time last year I was spending three hours a day holding a sander over my head while working on the repairing the bottom (this was before I got smart and hired a college student to do it for me).

I recently sold my car, something I was planning on doing before we cruised north in the spring. As a result, for day-to-day transportation, I’m now reliant on my feet (the marina we’re at has a loner car). I calculate I can rent a car twice a month for the same price I was paying to simply own the car (taxes, insurance, regular maintenance). But biking everywhere has been great for me.

Yesterday, in addition to the 1.7 miles to and from barre class, Skye and I popped over the bridge to drop items off at the UPS store. She’s a huge fan of riding on the bike. She goes into the backpack on my back and loves waving at everyone who passes (yes, did I mention most of this biking is done with an extra 30-lb weight on my back?). We also wandered a few blocks down the road to pick up dinner since I didn’t feel like cooking.

I’ve got my bike set up for groceries. In addition to a rack, I’ve got two panniers on the sides that fold out and hold a pretty substantial volume. My weekly farmer’s market haul totally fits, as do several cases of La Croix.

I still try to workout regularly, because I think that targeted exercise has value and makes you feel better (when you’re done). But I’ve found no type of fitness that prepares you for standing on the edge of one of the lockers outside holding a 25-lb boom over your head reached out to the center of the boat when your husband asks you to raise it just one more inch and your toddler decides to attack your weight-bearing leg. (Needless to say, the boom hit me in the head on the way down and I’ve got a lovely bump to show for it.)

I read an article recently that was talking about octogenarians in Japan and how many of them pursued crafts where they worked while sitting on the floor. The article suggested that the mere act of getting up and down and to get items they needed around their workshops helped keep them a little more spry and healthy. In other words, while exercise is great, living a lifestyle that requires movement is important.