- Environmental Education and Wildlife
- Sled Dog Racing
- Community Farms and Small Holdings
- Camper Van Adventures
- Sailing Adventures
- Shetland Islands
- Cumbria and the Lake District
- Republic of Ireland
- Northern Ireland
- South West
- South East
- Channel Islands
- East Anglia
- North West
- North East
- South Wales
- Mid Wales
- North Wales and Anglesey
- Scottish Highlands and Islands
- Mainland Scotland
The Not So Ancient Mariner
By the time Charlotte was 1, she had sailed 750 nautical miles, having crossed the channel and explored the Channel Islands; she even got a mention in Yachting Monthly! By the time she was 2 she had sailed the Essex Coast and got more nautical miles under her belt that I had by the time I was 35!
There is no reason why long distance sailing shouldn’t be enjoyable with a baby; but some lessons I feel I learnt the hard way....
So having done all the preparation for a weeks sail, it dawned on me, a few days before, that we were going to sail across the Channel, then it dawned on me it was going to be at least 10 hours and the most we had done was poodle around the river and what a baby likes doing one day a baby can very much despise the next day. “Why oh why” I wailed to Daddy “didn’t you tell me that meant not being able to run for cover and that once we were committed to the open sea, tide and current there was no changing minds?” The fact that I have done that same crossing on several occasions did not help matters. “What if she cries all the way, what if she hates it, what if the weather turns foul etc etc?” “Why didn’t we do a short dummy run?!!!”
A partial solution was provided, the plan was for Daddy to leave the day before, pick the yacht up in Eastbourne and meet us in Portsmouth the next day, instead we all went and took the boat to Portsmouth and met the grandparents. It was still a long sail but at least I would be able to see land and if it went terribly I could get off. And if I thought the crossing was going to be hideous I could get the ferry to France and meet them there.
In true Charlotte style she took the whole thing in her stride; she passed out in the cock pit by the time we got into open water! She spent very little of trip to Portsmouth and then to France awake but it did take a couple of days before she decided that she liked being in the cockpit, which was very hard on me as I had to spend much of the crossing down below. A good tip is that if you are doing a long crossing, have people on board who can care for your little one to give you a break and having more than one competent sailor on board is invaluable.
Unfortunately, Grandma suffers from chronic sea sickness and can’t even go to the head and Grandpa is not confident enough to skipper, that left Daddy virtually sailing single handed and no one to help me!