Author: Mummy Bear
Before Daisy Bean’s (DB) arrival I was very blasé about having a baby on a boat. I’d seen kids being raised on boats, hoisting them up the mast and whizzing around anchorages by themselves in their dinghies. Many blogs about babies on boats said they were much easier to deal with than toddler’s as they can’t walk yet. During my pregnancy all I could think was what an amazing life our little one will have being raised on a yacht.
After 9 (& bit) long months of waiting our little girl is finally here and now I have become ‘mummy’ The Health & Safety Officer. Helicopter parenting I think this is referred to, hovering around my child and conducting continuous risk assessments in my head without even knowing it. Despite this I was still looking forward to getting back on board and showing Bean Bag the way of the Boat Hobo.
Simon had spent a few days getting the boat ready to be put back in the water while I chilled out at the AirB&B enjoying the aircon. There had been a slight delay with some engine problems (a seized alternator) but once this had been diagnosed Simon was able to disconnect it, delay the repair and still sail around to Jolly Harbour where I was waiting eager to introduce our Daughter to her new life.
When I stepped on board with Daisy in her car chair NOTHING had really prepared me for what it was going to be like even though I thought I’d considered everything. In fact I’d go as far to say that I had totally underestimated it. …………There was no shade outside as the Bimini wasn’t up and the cockpit was cooking nicely. Suitcases and bags were everywhere some half unpacked with their contents strewn around the boat. Managing to clamber over tool boxes and boat bits I got inside out of the scorching sun only to find no running water as the tanks were still full of bleach and needed emptying & refilling and the entire interior was covered in a layer of mould & mildew. I’m talking everything, the cupboard doors, the bulkheads, every pot & pan, even the cutlery in the draws. My initial thoughts were ‘What the fuck am I doing here with a baby!” Our poor Air B&B host John, who had just dropped me off saw the shear horror on my face which I’d describe as the ‘rabbit caught in the headlights’, needless to say he made a quick exit and I don’t blame him!
In amongst the carnage I had to try and find somewhere safe to put the baby so I could at least try to get things in order. ‘Its Ok’ I thought at least there’s a cot we built in the back cabin she’ll have to go in that, getting through the ‘Alice in Wonderland’ corridor with DB was quite a challenge but we survived. Then when I got there I find half the wood on her bed is rotting and covered in fur where rainwater has seeped in through the porthole during the 6 months we’ve been away. A ‘Mummy Meltdown’ was bubbling just below the surface, with no choice I had to stick down a blanket, put up the cot bumper on (Daisy put her arm straight through the slanted bars without it…another accident waiting to happen) and chuck in Daisy to fend for her self.
So now what, I know I’ll clear the bed and make it up in order to create a new safe spot for the baby allowing me to clean her cot, sounded good on paper but when I opened up all the vacuum packed bags with the bedding it was rotten and stinking too. Damp had just eaten its way into everything. It was at this point Simon said ‘I think as long as we all have clean beds made up to sleep in tonight we’re winning!’
After several small tantrums, Simon on baby duties and a trip to the marina showers I’d cleaned the cot as best I could and hand washed the bedding in rapid time. Luckily we had millions of non-mouldy cushions donated to us last year by our friends Mark & Tina aboard Magic to replace the pillows I had to throw away. Plus a clever pop up crib (courtesy of my cousin Louise) complete with mozzie net which fitted perfectly into the cot we made preventing DB from rolling around banging her head, snapping arms and inhaling E.coli. #WINNING
Our friends Matt & Amy turned up the same day for a 5 day holiday with us, good knows what they though turning up in the middle of me at panic stations about literally everything! But Bean Bag went straight to bed at 7pm and slept like a dream & we all made it through the night in our ‘clean beds’ ….. In the morning we were up early ready for another day of challenges …mainly taking the boat out of the marina and into the anchorage but your have to stay turned if you want to know how that went!
(with everything going on there really wasn’t time to take photos but heres a few & theres some videos i’ll eventually put up on youtube)