Monday, October 10, 2011

Birthdays, Repairs and The Force

Lots of things to report since we last wrote. Mickey and I are both a year older, rain brings dampness to older boats, my hair is scarier, home schooling is a marathon not a sprint and I married a very patient man.

After our first day at sea, we anchored out in Half Moon Bay and put our new dinghy to the test. This is the moment the boys had been waiting for! Forget the old school oars, put an engine on anything and watch three boys display the look of joy as if they had just won the lottery. Everyone took turns taking it for a run before we set out for a lovely dinner at Mezzaluna. It was a restaurant my mother loved so it brought back fond memories and a chance to reflect on how she would have absolutely loved this idea of “cruising” (by the way that is the accepted term for people who live on their sailboat and travel…let’s be clear….it’s ‘cruising’ not ‘crazy’). Although she died over a year ago, she is never far from my thoughts and I thankfully inherited the travel bug from her. She would be tickled that her grandsons were able to have this experience.

Afterwards we settled in for a great night’s sleep at anchor and headed out for Santa Cruz the next morning, a ten hour sail. At 4:00 a.m., Ben used the windlass (a motorized anchor puller-upper) to get us on our way, but it took a few tries and the boys awoke with all the ruckus. We were underway and encountered a 10 knot southwest wind, with swells 2 to 5 feet. Nassau was had by all, as we are all still getting our sea legs. Although I have experienced a wide range of boats (ferry from Brindisi to Crete, boat across the Irish Sea, sailing on the Bay….now you’re thinking, “oh stop it Molly, you’re just bragging…) getting used to ocean swells on a sailboat is a different beast altogether. I was actually shocked since I tend to have a stomach of steel. For proof ask my sister about our ride on the stormy Irish Sea, where I partied all night in the disco downing Guiness, while she lay paralyzed in her bunk with sea sickness. We have adopted a variety remedies, but the most productive seems to be spending more time on the ocean. I’m happy to report that with every new passage, we are all becoming more and more comfortable with the foundation of our new home.

A few days later we arrived at the Monterey Marina where we waited out the weather and experienced a deluge of rain and high winds. One of my favorite parts of being on a boat is the ability to cozy up in bed and listen to the storm throw it’s snotty fit outside (in a marina, at anchor it’s a different feeling). On the flip side, my least favorite things about our floating home are the surprises and constant repairs required. We discovered several areas of the boat that leak (i.e. windows) and spent a good part of our time in Monterey drying things out and repairing leaks. I have to confess I had deep, dark thoughts (Darth Vader like) about my husband, while completing a leak repair well into the night on Friday. Before turning in, I returned from the dark side to instill good will towards Ben once again. May the Force Be With Me.

Jedi Master Ben continues to exhibit his inordinate amount of patience and fortitude while completing boat projects, tending to his wife’s unstable emotional state and teaching a cranky wild haired Chewbacca how to sail. As we docked, after completing a recent passage, I asked Ben, “how’s my hair look?” To which he replied, “it just keeps getting more interesting!".

Patience is a definitely a virtue while I begin the home---uh, boat---schooling process. We have eased into it since the boy’s have undergone significant changes in their lives allowing them time to adjust. Most of their learning (and mine) has come from “field trips” like the Monterey Bay Aquarium and “teachable moments” that we experience every day. For instance, Mickey was focused on cutting up our old dining room rug to fit onto the boat’s floor. He and Ben tackled the project dockside one day and the math lesson of area and perimeter began with real life connections. The carpet now has a new home and pride of ownership by the 10 year old mathematician who created it. Another teaching moment came from a walk along the “historic path” in Monterey as I pointed out information on the Native Americans and California Missions. After listening for a while one of the boys turned to me and asked, “why would the Spanish want to make the Native Americans believe what they believe about God?” Thus, the teaching of history through multiple perspectives has begun. On the more structured front, we have begun our “book club” and our first selection is Dear Mr. Henshaw, which the boys are thoroughly enjoying.

Sorry for the rambling, but I had the time to catch up as I watch the boys play in the park. Ben, Mickey and I thank you for all of the birthday well wishes! FYI – J.P. is due for a birthday March 13th!! Who knows where we will be!!??

Next blog entry will cover all of the trials and tribulations of our first overnight passage. When I’m ready to relive it, I will post it.

Cheers, Molly
My business, Doolittle Cakes has been temporarily shut down. Here is the new "boat" version for birthday cakes aboard Knee Deep....chocolate donuts!
What's he smiling about?
JP literally passes out when we take long passages. We had to check and make sure he was breathing here as we arrived in Monterey Harbor. I wish I had known this when he was a baby!


  1. Your collective courage and good spirits have me green with envy and thinking hard. Party forward!

  2. Don't stop with the long blogs! They are so interesting :) "let’s be clear….it’s ‘cruising’ not ‘crazy’"

    Oh and happy birthday to you both!!

  3. Please send pictures of your hair. :) xoxo

  4. They are the best in the market and their vast track record of experience and reference will attest to the truth that they are indeed the company that is extremely expert in the rain leak repair. They can even do water intrusion, leak repair, waterproofing, water damage removal and mold removal. There is no other company than Rain Leak Repair LA that can repair any damage in your house that has been caused by rain leak.