Let me start with The Worst.
There was the six hour slugfest from St. George’s to Carriacou, sailing upwind into heavy gusts and waves that seemed to be stacked 10 feet high. The weather app we used had forecasted great weather, but all of the girls on board got nauseous, and poor Juliet vomited. Captain Andy felt bad for taking us out in these conditions and First Mate Gretel (who looked and felt pretty green) said the following ominous thing: “You're really going to have to convince me to sail again after this.” Luckily, the girls didn't complain much...probably because they were busy vomiting or just laying down, paralyzed with nausea. It really felt like the boat was going to explode; so much creaking and banging. Truly, I thought we were going to find the bilges full of water when we got to Carriacou. Not so, however. Sea Monkey while not happy, handled it overall quite well. Our home still stands proudly!
And, then there was The Worst Night.
We decided to move on from Carriacou and check out St. Vincent and the Grenadines; Union Island being the closest. Unfortunately, beautiful Clifton Harbor was bug city. The flying ants started landing at 4pm, the mosquitos arrived right at dinner time, and by 6:15pm we were all barricaded inside the boat with every fan on full blast and every window (with a screen) open...and, we were still sweltering. Andy and I stayed up as late as we could killing ants and mosquitoes and then tried to sleep ourselves. Poor Juliet also has tales to tell about the 2 stings she got from jellyfish. We were all sweaty and buggy and itchy...and vowed to leave as soon as we provisioned with groceries and cooking fuel the next day. We were pretty bummed too, because it's a fun island and Clifton Harbor has a ton of kind people selling beautiful fruits and veggies and crafts. Ahhh, next time…
Otherwise, the Good and the Bad days are mingled together.
I would say we are definitely having more good days now. Sometimes I feel like I am killing it as a mom. But, then just like when we lived on land, reality kicks in as the kids argue or get on our nerves. There have been only a few days when us parents feel like we're being smothered by our kids--which I think is totally normal--but it is compounded a million times by the fact that we are on a boat with limited space. Truly though, we are lucky as these kids are so adaptable and really do play well entertaining each other.
A typical schedule goes as follows (keeping in mind that this will change depending on which port we’re in):
-Wake up at 7am (the girls are up when the sun rises at around 6:30am but they play quietly in their cabins at the special request of their parents).
-Make coffee (French press or aero press, currently).
-Make/eat breakfast (today, Andy made crepes!).
-Get ready to leave the boat (this typically takes at best 20 minutes as it includes: cleaning up toys/activities, getting dressed, putting on sunscreen, closing all the hatches).
-Dinghy to homeschooling location (this is usually a cafe or restaurant with internet that will allow us to linger and take over a table for a couple of hours. This is typically not a problem, people don't rush you along at all).
-Walk around town or grab something at the marine supply or grocery store.
-Head back to the boat for lunch, and afterwards reapply suncreen.
-Trip to the local beach.
-Return to boat to scarf down loaf of homemade bread, maybe swim a little more off the back of the boat after reapplying yet more sunscreen.
-Make/eat dinner. Or, go out for dinner (if the island has a restaurant available).
-Play a board game/cards/watch a show.
-Kids go to bed by 7:30 or 8pm (and, boy are they ready!)
-Adults drink on the trampoline, discuss how the day went and tomorrow's plan.
-Watch a show/read a book/do a crossword, plan homeschooling for the next day.
-Bed by 10pm (totally exhausted).
“Mommy, your eyebrows are getting wild!” Juliet, on Mommy’s low-maintenance beauty regime.
“This is the best beach ever!” Said by Madeleine after every new beach we visit.
“Sea turtle! I see a sea turtle!!” (It never gets old).
“That sunset is amazing!” (Ditto)
“Ugh, laundry day again.” Gretel, who has some muscles to show for it.
“Yay, mangoes!!!!” Juliet cannot get enough mangoes.
Finally, some overdue pictures:
Juliet...and her smile 💗
Catholic Church atop Mayreau with a tired Juliet.
Boat-schooling in progress.
Happy Island (man made).
Juliet's best Hermit crab (Hermie).
A playground on Carriacou!
Lots of cemeteries on Petite Martinique.
Pointing to Tobago Cays atop Mayreau.