(7 Nov – 20 Nov)
When 4 month old Daisy was first introduced to life on board the Tudor Rose I worried how on earth I would settle her in some sort of routine after our time as landlubbers. Only a cold shower on the aft deck to wash, a homemade bed on top of a sideboard that pitched and rolled, a swelteringly hot and humid climate and lots of mosquitoes.
9 months on I’m returning home to visit my parents house and ironically I’m worried about the time difference and how I’m going to settle her into the everyday tasks on land. With no memory of her first few months of life everything back in England has been new to her; the cold climate, being stuck in a car seat, traffic, city noise, lots of different people, baths in a giant tub (not overlooking the ocean), spending most of the day indoors, being dragged around shops. Her Day to day existence had been completely turned on its head and I’ve totally underestimated just how much all this change would affect our little Bean Bag.
In my head a trip back home meant lots of support, less chores and consistent good quality WIFI so of course I was going to get lots of things done, including getting the blog up to date. Phaaaaaaa ha ha ha how optimistic of me.
DaisyPotamus was very unsettled to say the least, the only stable thing in her life right now was Simon and I so obviously she clung to us like a monkey, she started waking up at all hours and she constantly breastfeed. It was a bit like having a newborn baby all over again.
Typically the nature of our visit involved lots of time in a car, visiting lots of unknown people and staying at various houses, which did not bode well to improving the situation. Also adapting to this scenario ourselves we were beginning to expand our parenting skills, it didn’t take long to figure out that planning in naps & taking plenty of snacks were the key to surviving most car journeys!
It may seem obvious to the rest of you but when your car is normally a dinghy, you’re living out of bags, still programmed on ‘Island Time’ and constantly gallivanting around logistically its not always possible to leave when daisy is due a sleep and have nibbles available.
Needless to say doing anything in the evening once the baby had gone to bed was out of the question as she either refused to go to bed or would wake up all the time and if we weren’t there she went into meltdown mode. Simon and I had hoped for a romantic night out but I guess that was wishful thinking. She did however get used to being around familiar faces and settled during the days. Watching her get to know family and become more trusting was wonderful. Soon she was creeping off in the morning to my parent’s bedroom to tinker with my mum’s jewellery and climb into their bed.
Despite these challenges Simon and I had an amazing time reconnecting with friends and relatives but most of all though we loved that Beanie got to spend time playing with her grandparents. Giving them kisses, sitting on theirs laps and developing a closer relationship with them in person instead of over FaceTime!
Poor Daddy Bear only had a flying visit as he had to return to Grenada to collect the pup and navigate 1500 miles solo up to America. The trip should take about 13-15 days and we’ll have very limited contact as phone signal drops out once off shore. There certainly won’t be any mobile Internet, so no video calls either or sending picture messages. The only way we can keep in touch is via satellite phone where I can send him text only emails with a limit of 160 characters and he can text message reply with the same limit. Sat phones are not cheap and 50 credits cost Simon £120, 1 text was half a credit (£1.20) and phone calls 2 credits a minute (£4.80). Therefore speaking to each was not an option unless we wanted to re-mortgage a house!
The next time we will be reunited is Miami International Airport where a new adventure starts, traveling up the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) a series of canals that run from Florida Keys to Norfolk, Virginia. I wonder what the USA will be like after 18 months cruising in the Caribbean ……….