I’m pleased to say that our short shakedown cruise went better than expected. We anchored in Esquimalt Harbour, which is very close to our sailing club. We didn’t leave the dock until 1700 on Friday so we motored to our anchorage and heated up cans of soup for dinner. Before we put the girls to bed, we had to figure where we were going to stow everything and tidy up.
Our goals for this weekend were to figure out how to live on the boat with our two young girls, test our new main sail and go for a ride in our new inflatable dinghy.
Our first night on the boat didn’t go that well. It was challenging to get Amelia to sleep and Maddie played and talked in her bunk for ages. I think she was just excited and maybe a bit scared to be sleeping in a new area that Ellery built for her. She finally fell asleep only to wake up and party in her bunk for a few hours in the middle of the night. Our boat really is a small space and if one person is making noise or talking, everyone can hear it.
The next morning was a lazy one due to lack of sleep. After fueling ourselves with strong coffee, we tidied the cabin, organized things a bit more and got out in the dingy. Ellery rowed us to a little place called Cole Island in Esquimalt Harbour. Amelia napped in the carrier while we explored the small island. Cole Island was an ammunition depot built by the Royal Navy in 1860 and is now a National Historic Site.
After getting back to our boat, we had a quick lunch and put Maddie down for a nap. At this point we decided to head out and test the main sail, which sailed beautifully. We tacked back and forth in Juca de Fuca straight under full sail in a fresh breeze for a few hours while Maddie had an epic 3.5 hour nap. This was lovely because Ellery and I actually got to talk to each other without interruptions. In fact, it felt almost like a date, except I also had Amelia napping on me.
After a lovely sail in the afternoon sun we headed back into Esquimalt Harbour to anchor and tucked ourselves in the lee of the shore a bit more to avoid rolling from the incoming waves all night. We are much more confident about anchoring now since we have a new 20 kg Vulcan anchor made by Rocna.
Bedtime went smoother on night two. We were all asleep by 2130 and slept until morning!
Our sleeping arrangements are working out well. Maddie has her new single bunk in the v-berth, secured with a lee cloth that Ellery made. Ellery sleeps in the double bunk in the v-berth. Amelia and I sleep together in the salon on a double bunk, which we make by lowering the table every night.
During the day Amelia is either in a bassinet, in the starboard salon sittee with a lee cloth or being carried by Ellery or I.
Our last morning we basically ate, tidied the boat and packed up to head home. It’s the packing and unpacking for trips that I dislike the most, especially with kids around.
We learned a lot this weekend and made a lot of lists of stuff to bring or buy. We still haven’t figured out all the routines with the girls but it’ll get better. We know it’ll be hard sometimes but it’s hard parenting on land too.
As for the boat, we are so pleased with all the work Ellery has done. Ellery still has a long list of things to do in the next couple of weeks but we are excited to leave on our sail up the coast very soon!
Arctic Loon at anchor in Esquimalt Harbour