Sailing with a baby is a whole new world… (in The Basin, Maine)

So, truth time — as much as we’ve been *on* the boat and out motoring around, we hadn’t actually gone sailing until this past weekend. Turns out getting out sailing with a newborn is harder than you might imagine (who knew?? 😉 ).

We did get to try out the carseat-as-cockpit-seat though, and that was mildly successful. “Mildly” because the little man definitely prefers to be strapped onto a human 😉

Pretty much the only reason we made it out this weekend was because we told our great friends Bill & Kitsie that we’d meet them, so we HAD to leave. Kind of like inviting guests over so you have to clean your kitchen. Not that we ever do that either, right? 😛

Especially since Saturday started as a foggy mess!

Our other motivation for getting out was to try the new furler (Harken MKIV Unit 1, for those that care about these details). Turned out that the luff line on our old genoa was too big for the new furler (not a happy moment), so I spent Friday night madly sewing a new luff tape on the genoa. A boat job that was indeed easier than I expected (not something we say often around here!!).

The Basin is a mere 8 miles away from our mooring at Jon’s mom’s house, and stands as one of our favs no matter the time of year.

All that sailing wore little Z right out, so he had a nap in the big-people bed. Why are sleeping babies so irresistible??

I had literally been dreaming of waking up at anchor, with my baby asleep in the vberth and a hot cup of coffee in hand since we first found out we were expecting. So this was a VERY happy morning!

To add to the fun, I mentioned to our friends that The Basin was pretty much perfect, “except there isn’t anywhere to go for a walk”… to which they happily showed us the nice little trail that circles the bay!

On the baby front, Zephyr can now hold and examine toys (usually with his mouth) which makes life quite a bit more interesting for him.

And when toys get boring, there’s always time for a dinghy toot around the bay…

Brio has clearly been replaced as the primary focus of my photo-taking excursions 😉

Post-dinghy-toot naps are an added bonus!

We were having such a nice time just hanging out as a little family on the hook, we decided to stay an extra night and come back super early Monday morning.

Best decision we could have made!

And a funny aside — we’re not actually sure that Zephyr understands most humans live indoors.

He loves being outside SO much (rain or shine) that we think he might think he’s an outdoor baby — like an outdoor cat but a little louder and definitely needier.

But given that he lives on a pretty open, breezy sailboat, that’s probably a good thing 🙂


Oh hey! We had a (boat) baby!

I’m not usually at a loss for words, but in the case of Zephyr and all that has transpired in the last 13 weeks… it’s a little tough to know where to start!

How about with some basics? Zephyr was born 4/19 at 4:13 am after 7 hours of labor and a mere 14 minutes of pushing (a fact the delivering doctor encouraged me to not share with my friends, lest they kill me in annoyed rage).

He was 6lbs 4oz and 19.5″. (Someone said that the reason people are so obsessed with these stats is because it’s really the only thing you have to talk about for a while, and I think that’s pretty accurate 🙂 )

Zephyr Alvah Kruger Tetro - Newborn baby living aboard on a sailboat in Portland, Maine

“Zephyr” was literally the *only* name that Jon and I agreed on, so it’s the name he got. For reference, Jon wanted to name him Ernest (cuz “Ernie” will definitely make you friends on the playground) and I wanted to name him Brio or Ocean or Bravery or something really out there. Which also probably doesn’t make you friends on the playground 😉

So instead we settled on something kind of in the middle, a name that people will probably always struggle to spell (apparently “zed” is a Canadianism and not well understood in ‘merica — add it to my list of USA lessons!) but that felt and continues to feel absolutely perfect for this little breeze of a baby. (A ‘zephyr’ — for anyone who doesn’t know — is a gentle west wind, sometimes considered the harbinger of spring… so a perfect fit for our nautical little babe).

Zephyr Alvah Kruger Tetro

^^He’s approximately 20 minutes old here.

I’ve made the joke that I wanted a baby just so I could dress him up and take a zillion cute pictures, and it’s really not far from the truth. I love this little man endlessly but I *especially* love taking his cute little picture. Dropbox is housing the 4,962 pictures I’ve taken since he was born to back this claim up.

Zephyr Alvah Kruger Tetro - Newborn baby living aboard on a sailboat in Portland, Maine

I hoped that having a baby on a boat would be similar to having a baby in a house, in that neither Jon nor I would have any idea what we were in for, so it really wouldn’t matter where we were!

And so far figuring out how to nurse the milk monster, get his teeny little fingers through impossible baby outfits, clip his frightening little claws, calm him down when he’s upset, soak in the early morning cuddles and learn to survive on not nearly enough sleep has been exactly the same on a boat as I imagine it would be in a house, except a) we can’t escape his sounds (and he was a NOISY newborn sleeper… no one warned me I was giving birth to a farm animal) and b) we have a built in noise machine / baby rocker.

Zephyr Alvah Kruger Tetro - Newborn baby living aboard on a sailboat in Portland, Maine

“Where does he sleep?” is probably in the top 3 of the most-asked questions, and I have to admit it was something I stressed about in the early days of pregnancy too. Brio has an offset vberth (to port) and there used to be a super deep sail locker to starboard, so we built a recessed shelf that I made a mattress for, and we’ve had the perfect little baby-bed ever since! The best part is that he’s literally within arms’ reach but also held in by a little wall of his own — so no rolling on the baby or worrying about him rolling out of bed when he’s napping!

Zephyr Alvah Kruger Tetro - Newborn baby living aboard on a sailboat in Portland, Maine - Baby bed

We came straight home to Brio from the hospital and spent the first 9 weeks in our DiMillos marina, surrounded by helpful family, friends, neighbors and marina staff. Then about a month ago we moved up to Harpswell, where we’re now living on a mooring off of Jon’s mom’s house. Zephyr gets the benefit of a full-time grandma (which he loves!) and we get the benefits of extra hands, laundry, and all the shore-side amenities that Brio sometimes lacks (bathtub, anyone?).

Zephyr Alvah Kruger Tetro - Newborn baby living aboard on a sailboat in Portland, Maine

Zephyr Alvah Kruger Tetro - Newborn baby living aboard on a sailboat in Portland, Maine

I could go on and on for hours about what it’s like to be a new mom (easier than I’d feared, exhausting and relentless, but also magical in a warm-your-toes, melt-your-heart, pull out all the cliches way) and how much fun we’ve had as a little family figuring out life over the last three months — not to mention share a few more hundred of the thousands of photos I’ve taken — but I think I’ll just leave it at this for now and go back to my baby instead 🙂 )

Many more photos to come,


Liveaboard Life & March in Maine (Hint: Winter is not over!)

Never one to miss an opportunity to be cliche, I’d like to just talk about how February was a giant tease…

Liveaboard life - winter at DiMillos Marina, Portland, Maine

We had a couple days with highs of 68°F (20°C!) that had us all dreaming of flowers and “early spring” and other such fantasies…

Portland harbor is pretty spectacular - DiMillos Marina - Liveaboard

Is this my good angle? Pregnant life on a sailboat - time for dock photos

Which of course makes for a good excuse to have an impromptu photo shoot… is *this* my good side?!? 🙂

Pregnant life on a sailboat - time for dock photos

But winter (that unpredictable lady) is having the last laugh…

Freaking cold day in Portland, Maine

Early morning visitors - liveaboard life

Winter 2018 in Portland, Maine

Jon’s been busy with more winter boat projects… this time replacing our old cracked companionway board holders…

Replacing the companionway board holder to be more rugged

With new aluminum-plate backed ones. These guys should never break:

Replacing the companionway board holder to be more rugged - new board with aluminum backing plates

And finishing off an epic amount of paperwork (seriously, we picked “new horizons” as our theme for 2018 but maybe we should have just called it “the year of the paperwork”).

I don’t know if I’ve ever posted a picture of the Lagun Leg table?? Jon saw these on a Sail Life video, and they work so freaking well in Brio — much more adaptable than the old fixed table! I’ll have to take some better pics at some point.

Have you seen the Lagun Leg table on sailboat?

Did I mention I officially became a US citizen?? With a passport and a team USA toque to prove it 🙂

I became an American Citizen!

My friends in Maine (side note: I have FRIENDS in MAINE. Leah of 2015 would be SO proud of this statement!) threw me an incredible baby shower, complete with these tear-wrenchingly thoughtful little candles (could also be pregnancy hormones, but I thought they were pretty special) 🙂

Baby shower candle wishes

Speaking of friends, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned that DiMillos has the most liveaboards we’ve ever experienced this winter, and we love it — it’s like living in a small town (“where everybody knows your name…”) while simultaneously living downtown while simultaneously living in the world’s smallest plastic-wrapped floating bubble. We feel special 😉

Winter liveaboards at DiMillos Marina, Portland, Maine

Hiding from Nor'Easter at DiMillos

Of course that’s not to say that we don’t run away to my mom-in-law’s house for just about every serious snowstorm… as much as we love Brio, there’s something pretty amazing about being able to hide out in a house (with hot water and great storm-watching views!) for the worst of it…

Bailey Island, Maine

Bailey Island, Maine

Oh and pregnant life on a boat? It pretty much looks like this…

Pregnant on a sailboat

Except when it comes time to put real shoes on, then it looks like this:

Can't put my own shoes on anymore - pregnant on a sailboat

(I married well 😉 )



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