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Settling In

Brig, Betsy, my brother Brandon and I are settling in after arriving safe and sound in St Thomas a little more than two weeks ago. Peter had just arrived with our new boat from Antigua and everything was still in full on project mode. Day by day we’ve chipped away at the list and its just now starting to feel like home.

Every new boat comes with a few hiccups – a few surprises we couldn’t have anticipated. As soon as I got there the refrigerator and freezer keel coolers stopped working.  Peter only had the boat in the water for about a week at that point so many of the systems were being put to the test for the first time.  The good news is that Reefco, the local marine refrigeration company, was able to diagnose and supply the parts we needed. The bad news is how much the parts and labor cost us :( We began to work on getting on the schedule to haul the boat out to do the repairs.

We were on the dock at Crown Bay Marina for the first few days after arriving back in the islands, then moved to a nearby mooring that our friends Jesse and Stacey on SV Smitty helped us arrange.  When we tried to leave, our alternator and oil alarm were both giving us issues. Eventually we got it resolved enough just to get us up to Christmas Cove a short sail away but as we approached the mooring field that afternoon, our troubles continued.  The engine wouldn’t start! We calmly thought about what could be wrong and continued to try starting it a few more times. Suddenly it turned over… Our engine started and we anchored toward the back of the pack. We could have come in under sail but it’s always nicer to be able to back down on your anchor. A ton of boats were there already in anticipation for a regatta so there weren’t many spots to choose from. After we got settled Peter determined it was pure luck that we got the engine started just then and that it would NOT be starting again.

We had to wait almost a week to get Offshore Marine out with a replacement Electronic Control Unit, so not only did we have no way to start the engine, we still had no refrigeration. Our plans for hauling out to fix the keel coolers would have to wait until we had an engine to get us into the haulout slip. I’ve got towing on our new insurance but it wasn’t worth the hassle of filing a claim.  We resorted to eating soup, mac n cheese and pb&j.

Eventually we got it all fixed. We sailed back out to Christmas Cove now and we can finally relax! There will always be boat projects but we hope the major stuff is all done now.  Peter’s birthday was March 30 and luckily we got to spend it in paradise.

We’re all adjusting pretty well. Brandon is getting used to boat life. Betsy is so happy to be able to lay in the sun all afternoon again, and Brig is busy as ever. At 9 months he can walk around the whole inside of the boat using the walls for stability, he loves eating goldfish and he’s learning to like swimming at the beach! Peter and I are just happy to be back to where we belong <3

Brig’s First Sail

For the first seven weeks of Brig’s life we had a constant stream of visiting Grandparents. My mom arrived the day after he was born and stayed for just over a month.  Then my dad and stepmom arrived, then Peter’s dad and his aunt were here. We got a little bit of overlap in each visit and it was so much fun.

It was such a special time for us so we decided to take Brig for his first sail! He had already been in the dinghy a few times but he was ready to actually go sailing. Since we had moved our boat to the dock and secured her for the remainder of hurricane season it was much easier to take Aristocat instead. There were no charters scheduled that day so it worked out perfect. Jen and Mike from Three Sheets came with us and brought their friend Shakti. Mike has been running Aristocat since Brig was born so he and Peter took care of all the sailing. It was nice for me to be back on board but it was even nicer that all I had to do was take care of Brig ;)

This was the first time Dad and Stacy could see what we had been up to for nearly two years aboard Aristocat. The last time they had visited us in the islands was before we started working so this was pretty exciting for them. They had heard so much about what we did everyday and they finally got to experience it first hand!

Mom couldn’t be happier. We were headed to her favorite place in the entire world. AND, she was taking her grandson there! She was glowing the whole way!

We sailed over to White Bay, Jost Van Dyke for the day. Brig is still too young to wear sunscreen so I kept him in the shade with me on the boat while everyone else swam to shore and had fun on the beach.

We even took an afternoon nap on the boat while everyone else was having fun on shore. I think Brig, Betsy and Peter got more sleep than I did but I did manage to doze a tiny bit.

Jen, Shakti, dad, Mike, and mom… Stacy was behind the camera. They were clearly enjoying a few Painkillers at the Soggy Dollar Bar!

I think the most memorable part of the whole day was sharing Brig’s first sail experience with both my mom and my dad. I can’t even remember when I was last around them both at the same time. Babies have a way of bringing everyone together! Brig sure is loved by a lot of people <3

 

Hello Baby Brig!

On June 13th, 2017 our sweet little boy Brig was born! He measured in at 6 lbs 9 ounces and 18.9″ tall.

You might be wondering how we chose his name. First of all, Peter’s dad was named Peter, and his dad’s dad (Peter’s grandfather) was also named Peter. They all have different middle names.. My Peter’s dad passed away many years ago and we wanted to continue the tradition of giving his name to our son as well. Though we wanted to pass down the first name, we planned on calling our baby boy by his middle name to help ease any confusion. In searching for a suitable middle name, we tried to find one that had something to do with the ocean or water, but many of the cute ones had already become fairly common.

It wasn’t until the very end of my pregnancy that I found the name Brig on a baby name website. As soon as I looked up the meaning, it was instantly my new top choice. A Brig is an 18th Century sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts (not to be confused with Brigantine rigged). It’s a little bigger than a schooner; and according to Wikipedia, Brigs were seen as fast and maneuverable and used during the Age of Sail as naval warships and merchant vessels before the arrival of the steam ship. The name itself is one syllable, strong and very unique, also qualities I was searching for. I had to hold him for about a day after he was born before I knew for sure, but after a little while, it became clear that Brig was his name. Absolutely positively without a doubt he looks like a Brig!

It’s almost been four weeks since we first got to hold him and I honestly have no idea where the time has gone.  We’ve taken a bazillion photos since then but I’ve been having issues with the internet here in BVI so I haven’t been able to post anything on the website :( Even if you don’t have a Facebook account, you can still see all the photos I’ve posted on our public Facebook Page —HERE–.

My water broke at 6:30am the morning of the 13th and it took me a few hours to not be in denial that I was about to have this baby. I almost let Peter go to work that day thinking that nothing would be happening until later that night! Boy was I wrong.  At about noon Peter finally convinced me we should head to the hospital. He took Betsy over to stay with Jen and Mike from Three Sheets and then I carefully climbed down into the dinghy. Everyone had been so worried I wouldn’t be able to get into the dinghy but it was totally fine. By the time I got out of the dinghy on shore, things were finally progressing. Peter had gone to get the car but when I went to get in the back seat I was unable to talk through my contractions. I climbed in the back and put my earbuds in to listen to my Hypnobabies tracks. (More on this later). We arrived at the hospital at 12:45 and I walked from the parking lot in through the main entrance, into the elevator, up to the fourth floor and into the Labor and Delivery ward. Brig was born just two hours later at 2:44pm.

The next day, my mom arrived from the states. She was so sad she missed it by one day!! Mom, Peter, Brig and I left the hospital and made our way home on the 15th of June. We’ve all been falling in love deeper and deeper every day.

Fast forward almost four weeks… I’m so thankful mom has been here to help out. Brig wakes up just about every two hours to eat and fill his tiny belly, then goes back to sleep, which means I feel like a zombie 24/7. Each day gets a little easier though. I’m starting to get a little more energy and Brig is starting to stay awake a little longer.

Hopefully the internet issue will get sorted out soon and I can get caught up on posting photos to share with you! In the meantime, don’t forget to check our facebook page for a steady stream of Brig pics :)

The Final Weeks

I officially made it to 36 weeks on Sunday. That means only 4 final weeks left until we reach our guess date! I also turned 34 years old this past Friday though the first number is MUCH more exciting ;) This little boy could literally decide to arrive anytime now and I’m just not quite ready.

My mom comes back to stay with us again on June 14th and she’ll be bringing a bunch of baby stuff with her. If you sent us a gift but haven’t heard from us yet, it’s most likely still at my dad’s house waiting to make the journey down from the states. It would’ve been a logistical nightmare to try to receive packages here in BVI so we are very grateful that my parents have been coordinating that part for us and are able to bring everything down with them when they come to visit the baby!

There are still a few things left on our baby registry that we definitely need. There’s really not all that much left, but it does add up. I honestly tried to keep the list as minimal as possible but it’s amazing how much stuff just one tiny little person will need in the first year! Now that I’m not working anymore, we’re really feeling the negative cash flow. We recently had to make a major purchase out of safety concerns, plus Peter has to take a very expensive supplementary class for his Captain’s license this week – a setback we weren’t accounting for. I’m sure it will all work out somehow. It’s times like this that I’m extra thankful for my Hypnobabies program which helps me stay calm, centered and confident while releasing all my fears about these big changes that are happening.

*****

Everyone knows I love to organize, make lists, and prepare for pretty much everything.  Having a baby is no different. I’ve been in nesting mode the last few weeks but I really don’t feel like it’s kicked into overdrive yet. As soon as I reached the third trimester I’ve been resting as much as my body tells me to and I try to get little projects done here and there when I have the energy. Some of those projects have involved sewing, which is fun because I get to use my awesome Sailrite LSZ-1 machine. I’ve repaired all kinds of things from Peter’s shorts, sails, zippers and canvas recently. I’ve also made some more purses like the one I carry with me, as well as messing around with some fun new ideas like a fabric basket inbox for the nav station.

My favorite project so far was recently completed this past weekend and I’m quite pleased! Being as though I didn’t have a diaper bag yet, I really wanted to make one out of sailcloth from an old jib I’ve had stashed in our forward cabin. Part of getting ready for baby means using up and getting rid of things that were stored in there previously, hence all the recent sewing projects.  I had some cute anchor print canvas fabric in my supply and more than enough sailcloth. It took me quite a few google image searches to figure out how I wanted the inside to look, then I had to figure out how to engineer it. I know a backpack style diaper bag would be the most practical for living on a boat but I already have a killer drybag backpack from Drycase that I use all the time so I wanted this diaper bag to be tote-style with a zippered top and inside divided pockets – more beach bag looking. Without a pattern and step-by-step instructions, sewing creations are not easy. Although there are some things I would change on a second go-around, overall I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out :) It’s super cute but I think I’m most happy about the fact that it’s one less thing we need to buy.

Our bags are (almost) all packed and ready for the hospital!