We've been working towards this all spring - our first weekend on the boat with the little dude. We launched Mata'irea back in May, but travel and the wet weather have interfered with our boat time. So despite the unseasonable chill on Friday, we headed down to Newport to spend the weekend on the boat.
It was too chilly on board for Axel to sleep alone in his bunk in the port stateroom, so we all hunkered down in the aft cabin. Between getting whacked in the face with flailing baby arms and the squall that blew thru the harbor in the pre-dawn hours, not a lot of sleep was had. But we were all toasty warm together.
|Axel sporting the latest in the Krissy Davis Collection. My friend Krissy has a son who is 7.5 months older than Axel. Her timely shipments of super cute, gently used clothing have kept Axel dressed in style. Beckett's winter pj's were somehow the perfect thing for Axel to wear on his first night on board in early June.|
After breakfast we dropped the mooring and headed up the bay to Potter Cove on Prudence Island, a protected anchorage, which is approximately a two hour motor or sail north of Newport.
We initially considered bringing his infant car seat on board with us on the weekends and just strapping it down in the cockpit, as many of our cruising friends suggested. But that thing is wicked heavy and still in use in the car. Maybe later this summer when he moves up to his convertible car seat we will consider bringing it on board for the rest of the season.
For now we are using his Fisher Price Space Saver High Chair, which used to reside on one of our dining room chairs. It reclines and it fits on both the salon settee and under the cockpit table; so, until he can sit up on his own, it is the perfect place for him to chill out while we make and eat dinner, or raise a sail or drop anchor.
We also added a small rug at the bottom of the companionway ladder so that he would have a place to play, roll around, and practice his ooching.
|Here Axel is sporting his "Sherpa pants" as Sten calls them. With a baby in cloth diapers, finding pants that fit his fluffy bum without constricting his movement is hard. My mom came to the rescue with cosy knit pants. Don't you want a pair?|
Starting at about 8 weeks old I began making Axel wear sunglasses every time we went outside. This kid is going to grow up on the water and in the sun and protecting his eyes is a priority. He doesn't fight us too hard when we put them on, but now that he has figured out how to take them off I'm wondering how long it will be before his first pair goes overboard.
We've also been keeping a hat on Axel whenever he goes out in the stroller or if he is in the Ergo or sling. He is so used to having something on his head now that he doesn't even fight it.
And then there is the sunscreen. It turns his already pale skin a shade that a vampire would admire and it makes his hair really greasy, but it is a necessity. Sten's sister gave us a tube of Badger for Axel. It has nothing nasty in it and works really well.
Our winter preparations for having a baby on board paid off. We all had a very relaxing weekend up at Potter Cove. Axel truly enjoyed his first ride in the launch and the motor up the bay. He was fascinated with the dinghy engine and with watching Sten raise the jib. He loved playing Row, Row, Row Your Boat in the dinghy.
And somewhere along the way he discovered his toes.
And when it was all over, he slept like a baby the whole way back to Newport on Sunday.
I loved spending a quiet weekend together, just the three of us. We've been so busy for the past few months with boat prep, work, and travel that it was such a treat to be alone, just the three of us, to celebrate Axel's 5 month birthday on board. I love that Mata'irea gives us the opportunity to get away from all of life's other distractions and just be. Together.