Nothing seems to go exactly as planned when you’re out sailing with kids.
We left May 31 but a bit later in the day than planned. We chose this day mainly because we wanted to leave before June. We had already delayed our departure date so we didn’t want to put it off any longer. There will always be more to do on the boat but some things can actually be done while underway.
We realized that it really was an arbitrary deadline but we needed a goal.
We finally left the dock late afternoon and spent our first night in Esquimalt Harbour just a short 20 min motor away. It was too late in the day to go further but we had to leave the dock.
Ellery woke up at 0400 the following morning so we could move with the current along the Victoria waterfront. The seas were a bit lumpy and I ended up feeling quite seasick. It wasn’t a great way to start the first day. Ellery steered the boat into Oak Bay about 0630 and we took a breather. While Amelia napped and I rested, Ellery and Maddie took the dinghy to the Oak Bay Marina Cafe to get coffee and scones.
After lunch the currents were in our favour again and we sailed to Sidney Spit. Maddie had an epic nap and missed most of the afternoon sailing again.
The late afternoon and evening are a division of labour as we have to occupy the girls while making dinner, cleaning up and then getting ready for bed. Sleep has been a little hit or miss so far. Sometimes the girls konk out easily and other times, they are both up crying until 2030. It’s the latter when we have to remind ourselves that parenting is hard at home too and they will eventually go to sleep.
The morning we woke up at Sidney Spit, we went ashore. Maddie had a great time playing in the sand while Amelia napped in the carrier.
On our way out of Sidney Spit, we motored by some friends, Tim & Aoife who were anchored nearby. aboard their sailboat Waimangu. We would have liked to stay and hang out but we had planned to carry onto Royal Cove on Portland Island.
This ended up being a very challenging afternoon of parenting as Amelia was fussy, Maddie did not nap and we were battling an opposing current with no wind to help. Maddie is also still getting used to the sound of the engine and the movement of the boat.
We finally arrived at Royal Cove only to discover we had run over a crab trap at some point and Ellery needed to cut the lines away from the propeller. In his wetsuit, Ellery quickly remedied the situation and found there to be no damage. A nearby boater was retrieving his crab trap at the same time and offered us two Red Rock crabs, which we gratefully accepted.
Maddie was very interested in how Ellery killed the crab, cooked it up and broke it open to eat the meat.
We have had both successes and challenges so far and I’m sure that will continue. We are still finding our rhythm out here but waking up to the sound of water lapping softly against the hull and birds circling each new anchorage is so worth it.