A pirate’s life for me…

So, we had a wonderful time down in the beautiful British Virgin Islands for the week after Christmas. As you can see, River seemed to enjoy his first sailing trip (outside of momma’s belly), which made the entire family very happy.

It was an exciting time with 2 new crew members, Beth and River. I think both had a good time, and it was sure fun having them aboard. Our boat that we rented was named, “Sahib” and was a 40 foot catamaran. It was an okay boat with a couple of flaws, but nothing we hearty sailors couldn’t fix. We left Colorado the day after Christmas and flew home to (COLD) Minnesota the day before school was to start again, Sunday January 3rd. It was great spending a whole week on the boat, and almost every night we were in a different location. The sailing was weak most of the time (slow winds) and we had a crazy day with winds going one way and the seas going another. I will explain that below…

Almost every time we go down to the VI’s, my mom makes shirts with all of our names on them. So, of course, we all had to get a family picture with our matching shirts. ๐Ÿ™‚

So, ya, this was much of our vacation. ๐Ÿ™‚ Most of the time we spend a lot of time on the sailboat trying to make the most of our time sailing to our hearts content. But, with a toddler on board, we decided to not do the crazy sailing thing and instead find time on the beach. There was no complaining on my end, that’s for sure.

One of River’s favorite spots on the boat was the “trampoline” on the front of our cat. Obviously when we were under sail he was in the cockpit with a life jacket on, but when we were moared or tied to a dock, he would take us up to the front and jump around. It is not necessarily bouncy, but had just enough slack and bounce to keep a 2-year-old very happy. There were many nights where we would sit around the trampoline and our hearts would jump when River got too close to the edge. Dark water+2-year-old+drinks= not a good outcome. Luckily Kyle doesn’t drink and we were all cautious enough to keep him away from the end of the boat.

So, yes, there are always a few stressful moments while in control of a 40 foot sailboat that is not yours to keep. The one day that I mentioned earlier was the day we were heading to the Bitter end in Virgin Gorda. This is a fabulous place, and one of my absolute favorites. So like I said the day in question wasn’t so bad except our dinghy (the small motor boat that is attached to the sail boat) was not put on well. I have to say that this was not our fault, because of the way it was attached was not our doing. So with the high winds/rain/seas the rope (that was way too thin anyway) snapped and the bottom half fell into the water. This was quickly saved since the front half was still attached to the boat, but there were some stressful moments when numerous people had life jackets on (which normally does not happen for the adult crew) and I was at the helm trying to make sure the we going into the wind and the seas were not rocking us too bad. So, with all of this happening, my dear child figured out (before the drama) that he didn’t have to have his life jacket on if he slept in his berth while we were under sail. So as the seas started rockin he stayed down there. I was mighty impressed until the inevitable moment when all the cheesy puffy thingies (aka: Cheetos) he ate earlier ended up all over the bed. Yuck. We soon got into a calm bay,ย  stomachs settled,ย  dinghy back in place, but a smelly berth. Oh well, he doesn’t care too much, he’s only 2, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

One of River’s favorite things on the beach was making clam soup with Grammy. The funny thing was that River actually ate it sometimes because he liked the taste of the salt water. That’s my boy.

New Year’s at the Bitter End (fitting place, huh?) was a blast. It is a great resort that had an incredible party. As you can see below River loved it so much he didn’t seem to mind falling asleep there.

So the rank on the boat went sorta like this:

My dad is the Captain (he’s done this quite a few times before) and Kyle and I were both his first mates. (I have had that title for a long time now, ever since I started taking sailing classes) and although Kyle was also a first mate, he wanted some time at the helm so we could soon go out and do this by ourselves. (Thinking this summer up in Bayfield WI, anyone interested?) So we also called him “Skipper” at times. We all had our duties and our titles, and we followed them well (most of the time). It is a fun time on a boat, but you honestly need a chain of command, or else bad things can happen. Ask my parents sometime, they have some interesting stories.

So, anyway, that’s all I can think of for now. My parents and brother and sister in law are all still down on Peter Island enjoying a beautiful resort. Ya, I’m a little jealous, but am also so thankful for the awesome time that we had when we were there. I know how lucky I am.

Signing off for now.

~First Mate Erin

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