It was fathers day a while back and Simon’s great passion and joy is sailing. We are lucky enough to be co-owners of a beautiful little Holiday 23 which is based in Saldhana. For two 6ft plus adults and 2 growing kids, it can be a little cramped but it is our stepping stone starting point for our long term family goal, but generally I come away with bruises everywhere each time we go. I am a clutz at the best of times, put me in a mall space and it is disaster waiting to happen!
Anyway, the kids and I planned an overnight journey to Grace (our boat) for Father’s Day and my mum in law, Caroline, was coming along for the day. We were going to head out into the bay for a bit of a sail, drop anchor for some lunch and then return to the club for the evening so Caroline could head back to Cape Town before it got too late. Got to love good intentions! Thirty minutes into our outing, motoring along as there was no wind, we get yelled at by a stranded jet ski couple who’s motor had cut out. A 20 minute detour later taking them to Slipway Restaurant where they could get help, we set off again.
Just as we are getting somewhere the kids start to grumble that they are now getting hungry. We decide to stop at a close little bay for lunch where they could have a kayak while I prepare and then maybe play on the beach after lunch for a bit. Just as we drop anchor a rolling swell starts to come through which means in about 3 minutes after sitting down to make lunch, we are now slightly queasy and uncomfortable. By now Jesse, our son, has started saying that he has a bit of a sore tummy. He’s not the greatest eater at the best of times, so I don’t really believe him (remind me of that later.) Lunch doesn’t go down overly well. Kayaking gets shelved as the swell is crashing onto the little beach and it was a guaranteed promised soaking if attempted. Being winter, not so much fun. So after packing up and motoring out the little bay we now discover the wind has disappeared completely. Oh well, back towards the harbour where en route I somehow manage to lose my Paez overboard. Thankfully it floats a charm so I am able to fish it out with the boathook.
By this stage, Jesse had mentioned a few times that his tummy was sore but was still asking for treat snacks, so I still didn’t believe him. Back at the club, we pulled up to the hard (the permanent jetty you can moore your boat onto for a bit) and the kids went off to play. The rest of the afternoon was relaxed and because the club was so quiet we decided to sleep on the hard for the night and not go back to our mooring. It means the kids can come and go without having to paddle from the boat back to land etc. With no more mishaps, dinner was uneventful and the kids went off to bed.
Now a Holiday’s layout is pretty clever for the size. Simon and I sleep in the main cabin and there is a loo literally next to the bed (obviously there is a little wall) but it is ‘open plan’. And by open plan I mean the space is not enough to swing a cat nor stretch or actually even stand up straight if you are over 6ft. The kids fight over the quarter bunk and the ‘couch’ and take it in turns. That night Olivia was in the quarter bunk and Jess on the couch.
30 minutes after everyone was in bed we suddenly hear the trawlers leave and then we remember why we shouldn’t sleep attached to the jetty. The boat was rocking like it was a bucking bronco. And then the rattles started. Now my husband HATES a rattle. He will pull our cars dashboards apart to find a squeak or rattle and if he can’t find it he starts to get a wild look in his eyes and a nervous tic. Now when we went to bed it was so still we didn’t think to secure the boat hook pole and various other boaty things (yes I am a complete boating terminology officianado….not!). I think for the next hour or so Simon was in and out of bed and back up to deck to find the latest rattle, knock or noise. All of which are amplified when inside the boat. Finally we seem to have sorted them all out and are just drifting off to sleep when Jesse bolts upright, runs to the loo, says he doesn’t feel well and proceeds to vomit…..everywhere. He is standing right in front of the toilet, it is literally right below his face and yet do you think he manages to actually get his aim right? Nope, he misses! A lot! And my husband is one of those that if someone is vomiting he starts gagging too. Put that together with the fact that your face is inches from this delightful spectacle your son is providing…not a good combo. We opened up the forward hatch above the bed, gulped fresh air and proceeded to put our big girl panties on.
Between trying to change child out of clothing, clean up the mess, wash down the area and crying with laughter because hell, what else could we do?! You then look across at the partner and friend and realize amidst the calamities of what life throws our way, joy is found in the small things. That even when things don’t go as planned, hell they went completely sideways, to realize that the planned outcome isn’t the important thing but the journey in getting there. So choose to find the humor in your unusual situations you may find yourself in, look out instead of in, build memories to last a lifetime, don’t get upset when things might not be according to plan and look around at all that you have! Life is good and wondrous and messy and beautiful, seize it!