for your viewing pleasure.

A few new videos of the dude.

http://m.youtube.com/#/profile?user=Rudderstx

We are in the bvis.  Its pretty awesome.

Except the boat is hauled out so its buggy.
And we have to climb a really tall scaffolding ladder to get on and off the boat.  Takes some skill with a twenty-some pound squirrel on your hip.
And all potty business has to be done off the boat.  I’m thankful the facilities are really nice and clean here.
and the little goob and I have head colds.  So he’s been napping like a champ.

Other than that, beach, pool, nice grassy spaces.  We will be clearing our sinuses in the sea (as the little British kids call it) and maybe add a dose of germ killing chlorine with a dip in the pool this aftahnoon.

‘Til then.

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post earth day post.

i’ve never been super concerned about the size of my carbon footprint.

i don’t even recycle (gasp!)unless the bins are there in front of me.

sad, i know. BUT, while living aboard, our footprint is very small, much smaller than when we are living in the states.

on our old boat, it was even smaller because we kayaked or rowed to shore. our new boat came with a deflatable (inflatable little raft) with a little kicker. which is really nice to carry around all of rudder’s baby crap.

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we are always on the hook (anchored) so we have never used shore power. our old boat had solar, our new boat has a really loud wind powered generator which has been named the banshee.

we haul out all of our drinking and fresh water so we conserve like crazy. we have a foot pump sink for our fresh water so the sink is never left on. we also catch water for showering (or if it’s a raging squall we just step outside) and other fresh water tasks. all deck washing is done with salt water.

rudder does his part too. he is a cloth diapered baby (mostly). and it’s been easier than i expected.

i was against it initially because i knew we were going to be living on the boat and i didn’t like the idea of stanky diapers on the boat until it was laundry day – there is no diaper service in st. croix, and they definitely wouldn’t be picking up/dropping off to the boat.

but then i thought about our trash being full of stanky diapers out in the hot, humid sun until we hauled it off. and we already haul off lots of trash so i didn’t want even more.

$$ and then i learned how much disposable diapers cost. $$

and then i realized how fast you go through them.

so, i got on craigslist last summer and wow, anchorage was amazing for cloth diapers! i bought some from three different mothers for a total of $250. and they were all in great condition, none of the liners were stained and all of the velcro was in great condition, which if you have ever used cloth diapers, is very important! we ended up getting over 20 (they are around $16 or more each brand new) pocket style, mostly the brand BumGenius. click on the link to check them out. we have this style, but not the 4.0 version,.and he can wear them until he’s over 30 lbs! they came with liners that snap down to different sizes too.

we also have some medium sized fuzzibunz, but haven’t tried them yet because they are still a little large for rudder’s tiny butt.

we love our BumGenius diapers. LOVE them.

and they are really cute too.

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we had a couple gdiapers when rudder was really small and i’m sorry to say, they sucked. they were super cute, but that little plastic liner didn’t do anything for a wet diaper and they velcroed in the back which i thought was clever at first, but it just turned out to be really annoying.

in between laundry mat (laundromat, laundermat, laundramat?) visits we spray them with a water, vinegar (according to the book “where there is no doctor” it prevents/treats diaper rash), and tea tree oil (see melaleuca.com for tea tree everything) mixture and hand wash them in fresh water. then they get clothespinned to our life lines to dry/bleach by the sun.

i can’t believe the power of the sun. it gets rid of the urine smell and bleaches the liners pretty white. it will even get out slight poo stains.

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with the poo diapers, we shake out the poo, and do the same as the pee diapers, though we send them straight to the laundry bag once they are dry.

on laundry day, the majority of our diapers come with us to get a real washing.

i also want to mention that rudder has NOT had a diaper rash when using cloth diapers.

he has had only one small rash caused by our long drive from north carolina to arizona while he was in disposables and not being changed as often as he needed to be.

and this is what saved his ass: arbonne baby care herbal diaper rash cream. my aunt sells it (i think) and gave it to me as a baby shower gift. the stuff is awesome. if i see any little tinge of redness on his lower regions, i slather a tiny bit of this yummy smelling cream and it’s gone by his next diaper change.

despite the ease of cloth diapers, we always have disposables on hand for when we are on the go and don’t want to carry around wet cloth diapers.

so there is my shpiel in support of cloth diapers. use them. they are easier than you think and better for your childs buns. and i recently heard it takes like 250 years for the plastic in disposable diapers to completely break down in a landfill. don’t quote me on that as i’m sure it’s somewhat exaggerated. but think of how many diapers you go through in a week, and then picture that pile sitting somewhere for hundreds of years. yuck.

sorry for the tangent. we also use the boat for fun and travelling around the virgin islands and puerto rico. and it’s a sailboat. so the diesel in our tank lasts forever. we only fire up our engine when we are leaving or entering an anchorage.

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a 35 or so mile journey takes a good 8 hours, but it’s all free since it’s powered by the wind! and depending on the wind strength and the amount of swell, it can be really enjoyable. and we travel in our home. no TSA, no airports, no packing, no hotels etc…

living on a boat is not always easy. trucking water, hauling trash, groceries, a baby, can get kind of hectic sometimes. but it has caused us to live much more simply. there is just no room for things that you have in a house.

we have to work a little harder for internet (we have internet on our phone, but the cell phone signal is total crap on the north shore of st. croix and pretty much on the island of st. croix in general), showers, water – things that are super easy as a landlubber.

oh, and rent is free.

i enjoy this life much more than my life as a landlubber.

’til then.

boat = endless projects.

the people who owned s/v willow boat before us were doing some major renovating.

all of the sailing related gear is new – new sails, deck paint, compass, radar, chart plotter, etc… the inside still needs some major aesthetic work, which we are fine with since we want to make it our own.

they had intentions of refinishing all of the teak, but painted all of their non-teak first so they could just sand off any drips of paint. they didn’t get to the teak hence the white splotches of paint on the floor, doors, etc… and i hate the white.

it looks so dirty and cheap.

they also ripped out the entire headliner. we have never done a headliner, but it’s pretty straight forward so we bought some vinyl at divi fabrics in christiansted to give it a try. the staples will eventually get replaced by some wood trim. it wasn’t too hard to measure and put up, but still needs some work on the edges and around the hatches.

it has already brightened up the boat quite a bit since the fiberglass behind it is so dark and the insulation is super ugly. .

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and here are the little toy pockets we made for the little fish. they are held on by snaps so they can be easily removed for washing or if they get wet (we do live on a boat!).

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other boat projects that will be completed in the near future:

new curtains. the current ones are fugly and the person who made them must have measured wrong initially because there is an extra panel sewed on the end that doesn’t match the rest of the curtain.

cushion covers. the current ones just suck. the sewing is horrible – they don’t have zippers so you can’t wash the covers. the person who made them sewed the cushion inside! and they are just a boring navy blue sunbrella type fabric. boring.

these two things will make all the difference in how the boat looks on the inside. we haven’t bought any fabric yet, but hope to do so in the next month.

sorry i haven’t posted anything fiber related lately.

my wheel is still in pieces from the move to the boat.

rudder takes up all my knitting time.

i tend to stay away from knitting while i’m doing lots of yoga (knitting kills my right wrist, and i do a lot of yoga in the caribbean).

and it’s too humid and hot to work with wool in these parts!

i will get back on it eventually, especially since we will be travelling to alaska for my sister’s wedding. and we are roadtripping it up there.

i do have some alpaca to share with you in the next post or so. i plan on spindle spinning it – and my spindles are in the box with the wheel, which is shoved in some random space on the boat, where i’m sure you have to take everything out in order to reach it. ah, boat life.

’til then.

Fajardo.

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We are in culebra, PR right now.  Its a nice little island where the groceries are somewhat limited, but super cheap, at least compared to the USVI. 

We took an hour + ferry ride over to fajardo on wednesday.  It only cost $2.25 per person!  Fajardo is where the action is- walmart, marine stores, mall shops. Its like what ketchikan is to wrangell.  So naturally we hit up the walmart to get some odds and ends- fabric, tools, etc. that you can’t find in st. croix.  And ran across the street to west marine as well for some over priced boat crap.

Yesterday we put our new little gas generator and sewing machine to work.  It worked great and we were able to complete a few projects.  The most important being a sunshade for our cockpit.  Ol’ annalisa (the old boat) had a nice canvas bimini to shade from the sun, willow (which the spanish speaking people pronounce wee-yow) has a huge unprotected cockpit.  I made a shade to hang over the boom using some discounted $2 per yard walmart fabric, some webbing, and d-rings.

We also made some pockets to snap onto the bottom of the interior benches for rudders toys to free up some space for more books in our book shelves.

The weather has been a little cloudy.  There has been some thunder and lightning in the evenings.  I enjoy the much needed rain – i set out the dirty cloth diapers and let the rain wash them to conserve our fresh water.  And the deck gets washed!  Win, win.

I will post pictures of the pockets tomorrow, along with some headliner work we did today.

’til then.

Little traveler.

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At four months old(he’s six months now) rudder had been to 13 states (most of them driven through) and a US territory.  And this is not counting layovers in airports.

We sailed over to puerto rico on saturday where he got to show his passport for the first time.  We went from the US to the US, but since we arrived by sea, all crew have to check in.  and he is crew.  🙂  so add a commonwealth to his list!

It was also his first sail (and mine on our new boat), and it was quite a roly one.  He did well, but did not like being left alone when I had to be on deck to help his dad.  He took lots of long naps.  I think he will be like me and won’t be able to keep his eyes open on boats!

We spent two nights in culebrita.  One of the days was a nice wet one.  The anchorages are really beautiful over there and there are turtles everywhere, though it has become a popular spot, especially on sundays.  We sailed to the same anchorage two years ago and it was quiet.  It was just us and our friends on their boat.  Now there are mooring balls for boats to hook up to meaning lots of locals and BEES!  The bees were so bad we had to put a towel over our companionway.

’til then.