Rebel Heart: Why I sat down to write

 

Fynn napping in the cockpit as we cross the Straight of Georgia

Fynn napping in the cockpit as we cross the Straight of Georgia.

I don’t often have a strong response to media. However, the recent events of Rebel Heart and the ensuing comments have really struck a chord. Everyone seems to have an opinion, and outside of the cruising community, they are mostly negative.  Even the CNN newscaster sounded appalled when he announced the daughter’s ages of 1 and 3. You could hear the criticism in his voice, if not his words.   As far as I can tell, criticism is in three main categories: 1) putting children’s live in danger 2) not being prepared for such a trip and 3) the cost of the rescue. Mostly people are outraged that the parents would be so reckless with their children’s lives. Other (American’s) object to the cost of the rescue and feel the family should foot the bill (note: the US Coast Guard does not bill for rescues, unless a hoax is involved). One commenter went to far as to suggest that is people are stupid enough to do something so reckless they do not deserve to be rescued.

What really gets me, and has inspired me to sit at this computer and write something no one will bother reading, surrounds the idea of risk. Families die in car accidents everyday, and no one says “Well serves them right, they never should have been doing something as risky as driving a car.”   People are appalled that these children could be subjected to such horrendous conditions yet ignore the millions of children living around the world in poverty.  It is the blindness that pulls at my heart. Blindness and fear of the unknown.

Cruising families are risk takers. Not because the act of sailing is risky, which it can be. They are risk takers because they decided to ‘screw their courage to the sticking place’ and dared to have a different life. They escaped the rat race. Cruising kids grow up with parents that are present, not on their phones or in the office.  Our culture pushes consumerism at us 24/7, suggesting that we are not good enough if unless we are buying the latest trend. And to buy the latest trend we must work more, work harder, and see our families less. Cruising families have said ‘no thank you, we don’t need things; what we need is each other, experiences and love.’  And as far as being prepared, any adventurer knows you can never be too prepared. And you can never be prepared for everything.

So before you pass judgment on other’s life choice, just stop and think. Are you judging because it is different from your own choices? Assuming you value your own freedom of choice, you must accept that others have such freedom too.  Things that are different or unknown can be scary, but try to see some perspective. The Kaufmann’s have a dream to give their family a different life. Their children are loved, cared for and nurtured. This is more than can be said for many children.

Fynn experiencing her first sail - a good starboard heel!

Fynn experiencing her first sail – a good starboard heel!

We only have one life to live. Or as Mary Oliver wrote: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do, with your one wild and precious life?”

New Toys!

We have a new GoPro (to replace the one that was stolen) and a new kite! And not the kind you would give to your kid. Well unless you wanted them to fly off into the distance….. So connect a camera to the kite and you get K.A.P. – Kite Ariel Photography! Here is a sneak peak of our first flight.

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Following up on Baby on Board

With the arrival of our daughter Fynn, I can now compare what we thought would happen, to how things actually went.

1) Should we paint the baby room blue or pink?
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The office/bunk room did become the baby room
1. The desk is a great ready-made change table -true!!
2. It is easier to turn the bunk into a crib with a lee cloth than the aft stateroom bed – we found a pre made lee cloth on Defender, which we will use when Fynn is older
3. It is the smaller room, leaving us with more space and the potential to have guests on board (assuming they still want to sleep on board….) - this room has really become a storage room…. But just while we work on all our new boat projects.

However, the soon to be baby den requires some small changes:
1. We are going to remove the top bunk for now. This just gives more space to maneuver in the room
-done, this worked great!
2. We will also have to take out our office stuff…. Well the printer can stay, but the stuff in the rawers will have to find another home. This includes our files, so we will have to come up with some new storage places. We have plenty of empty storage place, so it is only a matter of thinking, planning and reorganizing. Given that baby will grow into small person, future small person deserves his or her own space! -Turns out the printer died last week, so now it is just a baby room!
3. Babies need to sleep on a firm surface, so the bottom bunk mattress may need an upgrade to a firmer mattress -decided it was fine and left it as is.

2) But what about a bassinet?
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We definitely don’t have room for a bassinet in our room. Well technically a small one would probably fit, but that would leave us without any room to walk. Current ideas for co sleeping at the beginning include a basket or box on the table in our room, or maybe a drawer. Clearly not completely sorted out yet – we found something called a Travel Bassinent- a small bed that you can pack up and take with you. There are several to choose from, but the winner was The Nest by Phil and Teds, mainly for it’s travel ready bag.

3) Where to put the nursing chair?

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Kolby installed an eyebolt in the ceiling for the hammock just the other week. It is fantastic! We have enjoyed cuddling and swinging. Fynn tried it out herself too!

4) High chairs, baby proofing and other stuff.
The high chair was an easy one; ages ago we met a couple with their baby on board and they were using a high chair that clamped onto the table – Our favourite was the Chicco 360 Clamp on High Chair, because is is oneo of the only ones that will swivel. Perfect! We don’t have this yet, but it is still the plan.

Early mullings of baby on board

We thought it might be interesting to record some of our baby plans pre-baby and see how they compare to reality with baby.

1) Should we paint the baby room blue or pink?
Both of us decided we didn’t want to know if we were having a son or daughter ahead of time, but lucky for us teak is a very gender neutral wood making the baby room colour choice a non issue. However we did have to decide which room would become baby’s. We currently have two state rooms to choose from: the office/bunk bed room (currently known as the man cave) or the aft stateroom. In the end we went for the bunk bed room, for a few reasons:
1. The desk is a great ready-made change table
2. It is easier to turn the bunk into a crib with a lee cloth than the aft stateroom bed
3. It is the smaller room, leaving us with more space and the potential to have guests on board (assuming they still want to sleep on board….)
However, the soon to be baby den requires some small changes:
1. We are going to remove the top bunk for now. This just gives more space to maneuver in the room
2. We will also have to take out our office stuff…. Well the printer can stay, but the stuff in the drawers will have to find another home. This includes our files, so we will have to come up with some new storage places. We have plenty of empty storage place, so it is only a matter of thinking, planning and reorganizing. Given that baby will grow into small person, future small person deserves his or her own space!
3. Babies need to sleep on a firm surface, so the bottom bunk mattress may need an upgrade to a firmer mattress

2) But what about a bassinet?
We definitely don’t have room for a bassinet in our room. Well technically a small one would probably fit, but that would leave us without any room to walk. Current ideas for co sleeping at the beginning include a basket or box on the table in our room, or maybe a drawer. Clearly not completely sorted out yet

3) Where to put the nursing chair?
Although everyone we know who has just had a baby swears by a nursing chair, we don’t foresee this as being a very practical choice for us. For Kristine’s recent birthday, Kolby gave her a single point hammock. Sometimes we set this up inside by opening the hatch and hanging it off of the boom. The last time we did this it occurred to us that if we installed a mounting point inside the boat, the hammock could function as a boat version of a rocking chair: it can swing or rock, it holds Kristine in a comfortable semi reclined position and it is easy to get in and out of. But most importantly it can be unhooked and put away. And we already own it!

4) High chairs, baby proofing and other stuff.
The high chair was an easy one; ages ago we met a couple with their baby on board and they were using a high chair that clamped onto the table. Perfect!
Boats are already pretty baby proof, if you ignore the heavy machinery, 4′ bilges and the whole surrounded by water thing. What already comes standard is rounded corners, latched cupboards, and a built in jungle gym. We are still thinking about whether or not we will put netting on the lifelines. We have lots of time for that decision though!
In terms of toys and other bits like strollers and whatnot, we shall see what happens. Ideally baby will fit with us into the space, rather than take over it. We live more simply and with less stuff because we live on a boat. Baby will just have to follow suit!

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Changes

New crew! Coming September 2013

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New project maker!

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I am the new proud owner of a Sailrite sewing machine! Also known as ‘the never ending list of projects just got longer’.

Recently I was working on a regular home seeing machine and remembered how much I enjoyed sewing. Naturally I mention it to Kolby, and tell him we can buy a good used one off of Craigslist for about $80-$100.

Never one to go halfway, he jumps into a Sailrite pitch and next thing I know I have committed to sewing canvas and learning sail repair.

If you are not familiar with Sailrite machines you can check out their website, but essentially they are industrial machines for sewing heavy materials like canvas and sails. We decided to buy the LSZ because it can do the zig zag stitching needed for sail repair.

I’m sure the learning curve will be steep… My first project is a much needed canvas cover for our dinghy.

Update!

Yep, it’s been awhile! Between Kristine spending 6 weeks In Sri Lanka on a clinical placement and all the spring boat chores, we have been very busy.
Time to update the blogs!

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A new crew mate

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We have recently acquired a new crew mate, well two technically. When Kristine’s brother found himself without place to live, we took him in, not a problem with Asunto’s large spare room. More interestingly he came with a bearded lizard named Petrie. We like the lizard just fine; he lives in a terrarium in the office, but Petrie also likes to explore the boat, which rally confuses the rest of the zoo!

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Finally a snow day!

So far we have had a very mild winter. And while this does help to keep the boat warmer, winter just isn’t winter without a nip in the air. Now that the temperature is finally below zero, the heaters are running full time to keep the boat around 20 degrees C, the hoses in the marina are running full time to prevent the water from freezing, and Kristine is a happy camper!

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Why I love Vancouver

 

Early morning

 

Sunrise over the city. Need I say more?

 

Kyber

Kyber takes in the view