Monday, October 10, 2011

Climbing home

A house is designed for nearly anyone--from a stumbling two-year-old to a shuffling nonagenarian--to be able to move from one room to the next. A boat, not so much. Boarding our boat from the dock can, at times, be an adventure. Even once we are aboard, we don't enter the cabin (really, the house) by walking through a door from the front porch, or even walking through a door at all. We need to literally climb into the boat through a tiny door and down a ladder. Our cabin ladder, or companionway ladder as it is properly called, is actually about halfway between a staircase and a true ladder. If you are good and the boat is at dock, you can climb down the ladder without turning around and climbing down backwards, as you would have to do with a real ladder. No matter how good your balance, however, you won't be bouncing up and down the stairs while carrying the laundry and playing with your iPhone--the companionway ladder requires at least half your hands and all of your concentration!

Although no two-year-old is going to get up or down the companionway ladder, we do just fine. The companionway ladder, after all, is made for adult humans. It is not, however, made for tiny dogs with stumpy legs:

Miraculously, Moishe has figured out how to ascend and descend the companionway ladder. It isn't pretty, but he manages. Going down is best described as a controlled fall: he tumbles down the first two steps and then jumps the rest of the way to the rug below. Going up is much worse. He starts with his paws on the second step, as you can see above, then rocks back and forth a few times--possibly to build up momentum or courage or both--and then quickly and clumsily scampers to the top. He succeeds about 90% of the time. The remaining 10%, he makes it about halfway to the top and then tumbles down backwards to the floor. He's a good sport, though--he wastes little time in trying again until he makes it up.

Here are some videos of Moishe showing off his mastery of the companionway ladder:

Going up...

Going down...


  1. If this were long enough, the sound track would be "when the going gets tough.....the tough.get.going!!"
    It is too funny!!

  2. It is really funny to watch in person...He gets a workout from it for sure!

  3. As long as the boat isn't rocking, then Moishe will eventually get the hang of it. Now, your house isn't what we call "traditional," but if it works for you and your family, then so be it!

    - Brendan Amorose