This was Alex and my fourth trip to the Squirrel Island, Owen’s third, and Kinsely’s first. Our first, adults only trip, was for the whole day. We ranged along the whole island, following the paths and boardwalks, filling the pockets of my cargo pants to overflowing with sea glass. It only took one trip for both of us to fall in love with this small, private island.
A big part of this trip was to find out what worked well for our family. We’ve been collecting advice for years, sorting through it for thoughts that matched our kids and situation, and building a list of ideas to try. Two weeks away from the dock, we now have a better sense of how we like to travel and of what works well for our family.
Finally, finally, Goblin left the dock for more than a day’s adventure.
One year ago we packed up the cats, said goodbye to our house, and moved aboard Goblin full time. A year on the water. A year with no yard but with a whole city to explore. A year of small, close living. A year of learning.
Last year it took us until the fifth of July to sail. I guess that means June 17th is a big improvement. It took my almost a month to write about it though, I’m not sure what that says about me.
When the weather won’t cooperate to sail, what’s a family to do? Get out on the water anyway. This past weekend the water was mirror still and although that’s beautiful, it’s not especially conducive to sailing. Rather than fill another day with boat work we decided to head out onto the water.
Brightwork, the varnished woodwork on a boat. All the beautiful teak was one part of what attracted Alex and I to Goblin in the first place. No teak decking which requires so much work to maintain, but just enough in the rubrails, grabrails, and companionway to make her glow in the sun. We bought her knowing that we had a lot of refinishing in the near future to keep the wood healthy. A summer on the water followed by winter under shrinkwrap put a lot of UV into the already aged finish. As the wrap came off this spring it was clear that the someday of refinishing was now.
Last spring Goblin sat on a mooring ball waiting for her masts to be reinstalled while I cursed, packed, and purged to burn off my impatience.
In the fall, I “did school” with Owen each day. We sat down to work through a chapter of math, a page or two of handwriting, and a little bit of written language. Then we got busier with homeschool park days and museum visits, as well as multi-hour library visits and our dedicated morning time became more erratic. One day we realized it had been at least a week since he had sat down to formal school, and neither of us was longing to return to it.
I forget, often, how so many things in our life are just a little different living on a boat than they were living on land. Take making dinner one night last week.