Outfitting Kosmos For a Baby: Miscellaneous Useful Items

A while back, we started a series on baby products for the boat. Since boats have limited space, one has to be choosy about what they bring aboard. Here is a list of fantastic baby products we wouldn’t want to live without:

Happiest Baby on the Block DVD by Dr. Harvey Karp – the techniques are for calming down screaming infants. They really worked for Keith, as long as there was not something physically wrong making him scream.

Halo Swaddle Sack – swaddling was wonderful for helping Keith to sleep for the first five months. We could never get it right with a regular blanket, but the swaddle sacks made swaddling easy. We chose the Halo brand because you can position the arms so they are in or out (or one in, one out) and change diapers without taking the sack off. Here is Keith at 4.5 weeks with his arms out.

Continue reading Outfitting Kosmos For a Baby: Miscellaneous Useful Items

Keith’s First Ocean Adventure: Enjoying Catalina, Then Back to San Diego

This is part three of a three part series. Click on the links for part 1 and part 2

Saturday morning we headed to shore right after breakfast. Keith was again furious about the life jacket, but this time his screams weren’t as hysterical as before. We quickly made our way over to Isthmus Cove, where Richard and Pam were waiting for us at the dock in their 1991 Sea Ray Sundancer 420. We hopped onboard. Here is Eric approaching the boat while holding Keith in the carrier.

They were on their way to Continue reading Keith’s First Ocean Adventure: Enjoying Catalina, Then Back to San Diego

Keith’s First Ocean Adventure: Leg 2 Oceanside to Catalina

This is part two of a three part series. Read part 1 here

On Thursday, June 7, we took off bright and early from Oceanside. Conditions were almost the same as Wednesday, except the wave interval was 8 seconds instead of 10 and they were hitting us on the nose. Eric and Christi were both green almost as soon as we pulled out of the harbor. The good news, though, is that Catalina Island offered some shelter, so the closer we got, the better the sea conditions became.

Keith slept about half the time. While he was up, he seemed unaffected by the seas. We brought his changing pad upstairs, so diaper changing was no longer an issue. We saw the Hover Crafts again, and this time one came up very close to us so we got a good look at it. And a couple pods of dolphins came to visit.

We pulled into Catalina Harbor in the early afternoon and radioed the Harbor Patrol to get a mooring assignment. There were about a dozen boats in the mooring field and at least forty empty moorings. We were assigned a spot with no one around it so it would be easy for us to tie up. Amazingly, as we were motoring towards it, another boat tied to the mooring next to the one we were assigned to. We asked if we could move one over so we would still have plenty of space to maneuver. The Harbor Patrol said no problem.

The moorings at Catalina are a little different than any other mooring we’ve been on. Since it had been so many years since we’d been there, neither of us really remembered the right way to tie up. After some arguing and awkward fidgeting with the muddy lines (that left us both coated in mud), we finally got properly secured. “Ah,” we said to one another “It’s time to relax!”

Literally one minute later, the Harbor Patrol radioed us and let us know the slip we were on had just been reserved and we needed to move one over. Sigh.Now that we knew what we were doing, the second tie up was simple and completed in a few minutes.

That night we stayed onboard and enjoying the peacefulness of the anchorage. Here is a picture looking back at the entrance of Cat Harbor from Kosmos’ deck.

We started Friday off with Continue reading Keith’s First Ocean Adventure: Leg 2 Oceanside to Catalina

Keith’s First Ocean Adventure: Leg 1 San Diego to Oceanside

We mentioned in our May 2012 update that we had taken Keith on three cruises around San Diego Bay by the time he was 8 weeks old. Shortly after his 2 month birthday (in May), we took him on a fourth bay cruise, and this time we stepped it up a notch by anchoring out overnight. Keith did just fine – in fact, that night he slept for 7 hours straight! (6 hours was/still is his norm, and believe us, that extra hour was a blessing.)

We decided Keith was ready for more adventurous cruising, so we planned a mini-vacation to Santa Catalina Island, about 80 miles northwest of San Diego. The last time we went to Catalina was in October 2006, when Kosmos was brand new.

We decided that instead of going to the main town of Avalon, we’d go to an anchorage called Catalina Harbor on the northwest side of the island. Despite the fact that it was probably the most sheltered cove on the island, it wasn’t all that popular of a boating destination. The nearby town of Two Harbors was tiny with few amenities. Niether of us had been to Cat Harbor before, but from the description, it sounded like it was the perfect “getaway” destination for us: quiet and peaceful.

Getting to Cat Harbor would take us 15 hours in head seas. We decided it would be best to break it up into two legs, with an overnight stop in Oceanside (about 40 miles north of San Diego Bay). The detour to Oceanside would add an extra couple hours of sea time to the trip, but we didn’t know how Keith would do in the open ocean and thought it was best to play it safe.

On Wednesday, June 6 at 0900, we untied the lines and headed to out. Sea conditions weren’t bad, but they weren’t good, either. Swells were coming from both the northwest and the southwest, hitting us on the port beam. Waves were 2 – 6 feet, gently shaped, and well spaced at about 10 seconds. There was a time when we had such a tolerance to the seas that we would have thought the conditions were fairly nice, but we’ve lost that tolerance and were both green the entire trip, though neither of us got sick. (Eric took seasickness medicine before we left; Christi did not as she is breastfeeding.) Keith slept for the majority of the 6 hour run.

The only exciting thing to report on the passage up was that near Oceanside we saw two military Hover Crafts doing exercises. We discovered that neither one of us wanted to change Keith’s diapers. The diaper changing station was located in the forward stateroom, a place neither of us wanted to be while fighting off seasickness. (Not being able to see the horizon often takes a person over the edge from nauseous to sick.) We also didn’t love walking up and down the stairs holding him while the boat was in motion. Keith pooped an hour out of Oceanside and we both agreed that he could wait for a fresh diaper until after we arrived. Fortunately, Keith didn’t complain.

We arrived in Oceanside around 1500 and were assigned a slip near the mouth of the harbor.

We’re kind of ashamed to admit this, but Continue reading Keith’s First Ocean Adventure: Leg 1 San Diego to Oceanside

May 2012 Update

We have just lowered the price of the epub books from $7.95 to $6.95! Woo hoo!

Part 1 of The Unexpected Circumnavigation is available in e-pub at Lulu, iTunes, and Barnes and Noble.com. It is also available in paper format from Lulu and Amazon. Currently, Part 2 is available in both paper and e-book formats at Lulu. Part 2 should be available at the other retailers within 10 weeks. We’ll let you know when the other sites have the books listed.

If you’ve read either book and liked it, please write a review on any of the retail sites above, or on GoodReads.com. We’d appreciate it!

Our upcoming workbook, Recipe for Success: What Cruising Aboard My Own Boat Will Cost Me was about 95% done when Keith was born. We haven’t worked on it since, but we plan to finish it as soon as Keith is a little less needy.

Christi will start working on The Unexpected Circumnavigation Part 3: Oman to Gibraltar as soon as Recipe for Success is done. We estimate it will take her about 10 months to write it once she gets started.

In personal news,  Continue reading May 2012 Update