We moved onto Carina two weeks ago and we’re settling in, despite it taking a little time to get used to the space and each other once again. There’s a certain choreography required when four people live in such a small space. We’re all gradually getting used to knowing where to go to be out of each others’ way when dinner is being cooked or served up, when someone needs to get to the loo, when stowed items need to be retrieved. Right now there’s a lot of ‘I need to get past; you’re in my way’, but from past experience I know this phase won’t last long, and soon we’ll be moving around each other beautifully (or as beautifully as two ungraceful parents ever manage to move around two young children who have the spatial awareness of a pen-full of sheep!).
So, we fall back into our everyday routines of household chores, boat maintenance, work, education and having fun. Each morning Lily and Katie do a little school work before, during or after breakfast. Most days, usually before bedtime, Lily asks if she can do some more. And when Lily wants something, Katie wants it too, so I get their workbooks or notebooks out and set them off.
We’ve been spending a lot of time visiting the places we have loved in previous years – exploring the rock pools at low tide on the beach near the marina and playing on the sandy beach at Bovisand. As the girls get bigger, the walk along the South West coastal path to Bovisand becomes more fun. We still have to stop to ooh and aah at every butterfly, bee, bluebell and blackbird along the way, but I’m no longer cajoling them home on their tired little legs. I find a supply of snacks in my backpack is enough to bribe them along to the next rest stop.
There has been a lot of change over the past few weeks. We’re all getting used to being with each other so much more. Lily and Katie are adjusting to not going to school, and I’m adjusting to spending less time at work and more time in the company of my family. Finding time and space to be alone and follow our own interests takes negotiation and understanding. Right now, Julian and I try to give each other time alone on the boat by taking the girls out on adventures for a few hours, and as with all other aspects of living aboard, I know from past experience that we will develop a routine that works for all of us as time goes on.
It’s good to be home, to be out in the fresh air for so much of every day and to be able to explore the Devon coast with family. It’s nice to have barbecues on the beach on a whim, to make a fun game out of scrubbing the decks, and to sleep in our warm comfortable aft cabin every night. I’ve yet to pluck up the courage to go for an evening swim in the sea. Maybe next week….