Thursday, 19 June 2014

When the dinosaur came to stay

Many parents know the feeling. Your child appears in the classroom doorway with a big beam on their face and the class crocodile/Barnaby bear/random stuffed toy tucked under their arm. You smile and say something along the lines of ‘how wonderful’ it is that he is coming home with us whilst mentally calculating what is planned for this weekend, how you are going to carry the thing around everywhere, take photos of it, get the child to do all the writing and ensure no major catastrophe ends the creatures reign of terror before Monday morning comes round.

This was another of those pivotal moments that have marked our transition from cruisers to live-aboards over the last few weeks. It is the things like this that show us how much our life has changed in a short time.

The class dinosaur grazing the in laws front lawn
It is good to be back, good to catch up with friends and family and spend time with them. Really nice to say ‘see you again soon’ and mean it. It’s good for the boys to make friends who will be around for the long term. Good to find out about events happening in a few months and be able to plan to go to them. It’s very good to see the deck hands enjoying school and throwing themselves into everything.

Solitaire de Figaro boats - a major sailing event at
Sutton Harbour, Plymouth 
We are now registered with doctors and dentists, have an address when people ask us and own a car. Shopping is a quick stop off after the school run rather than a job which takes the whole morning. I’ve managed to get a place on the course I had been longing for and return to the world of nursing next week. Life is moving on, our new life has started and it’s good.

Our new home
But yes, we do miss it. We miss the moving on, the planning and the excitement of a new place. We miss trips out exploring all day, working together to translate a sign or figure out how the washing machines work.

Life is actually less spontaneous now. The diary is suddenly full of dates and times instead of just birthdays. On the other hand we can now arrange dates with friends and family to put into the diary. The skipper is working away converting our cruiser into a live aboard boat. Changing the storage, replacing windows, adding ventilation; the list is long.

The skipper fixing windows
Some things carry on the same. I still fill the rucksack with washing and head up to the laundrette. The main difference is that the iron has had more use in the last week than in three years of cruising. We still deal with condensation and bilge water and all the other boaty foibles.

Most importantly, we still love the gentle rocking, meeting new people, the sunsets over the water and the peaceful creaks of ropes and fenders.

Sunset over the Bristol Channel taken during a lovely
weekend with family

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