Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Saturday, February 25, 2012
As I explained in Part I, the reason I fell into the water while getting off the boat was because the step-stool we had on the dock had moved over the edge, and when I stepped onto it, it fell into the water and took me along with it. (Actually, the step stool was tied to the dock with a rope, so even though it fell over the edge, it stayed nice and dry.) Even when it was in the proper place, our old step-stool ($10 at Home Depot) was slippery when wet and never firm under foot. Clearly, we needed a new, more robust set of stairs that we could fix in place on the dock.
We settled on the Taylor Made 3-step staircase. It is high enough (24") to make boarding easy at high tide, has non-skid steps for good traction when wet, and it has an optional handrail (which we bought and installed) for extra security. Although the Taylor Made steps are much heavier and less prone to movement than our old step-stool, we made sure that it will stay put (and thus not tumble over the edge with one of us right behind) by securely lashing it to our dock piling:
Although our new staircase cost substantially more than our old step-stool from Home Depot, it is built to last and it makes boarding a lot easier and safer. Between the staircase and the new lifeline gate, getting on and off Sea Gem, while still not as easy as walking into a house, sure is less of an adventure.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
We already had a pair of Sea-Band® brand acupuncture bands on-board for guests to use because we know many people who credit these bands for keeping them nausea-free while at sea:
Since we already owned a pair, I figured I’d see if they might also be helpful in combating morning sickness. I wore these bands 24/7 for most of my first trimester, and while I can’t tell you how I felt without them on, I can tell you that I felt fairly well during the early weeks of pregnancy. They are only about $10 for a pair (unless you purchase them at the over-priced marine store where we bought ours - in which case they are much more), so they are definitely worth trying. They certainly won't make you feel any worse.
Like all good sailors, Eric and I know ginger is great for combating seasickness, so we keep our boat stocked with the stuff – ginger ale, ginger tea, gingersnaps, and ginger candy:
Although I absolutely hate ginger in any of the aforementioned forms (with the exception of gingersnaps), I consume it without hesitation whenever I’m feeling ill. During the early weeks of pregnancy, I relied on this spicy root to ward off nausea. While I am now completely sick of ginger, I highly recommend having some at your disposal during the first trimester.
One of my sisters suggested I take Rainbow Light® Prenatal One™ vitamins during my pregnancy:
She raved about how they kept her vomit-free while she was pregnant, and her enthusiastic endorsement of the brand convinced me to try them. Again, I took them every day, so I have no idea what I would have felt like had I not, but I will tell you this...I took my prenatal vitamin right before bed, and although I was never terribly sick during my first trimester, as I got further away (in time) from when I took the vitamin, I felt progressively ickier. While this isn't conclusive evidence of anything, to me, it indicates that the vitamin may have been helping keep morning sickness at bay.
In addition to the bands, ginger, and vitamins, I also made sure I kept something bland in my stomach throughout the day:
Every pregnancy blog suggests this technique, so I was confident it would yield positive results. Before I got out of bed in the morning, my husband would bring me dry cereal to nibble on (he's good to me), and I’d snack on saltines throughout the day. During the course of my first trimester, I always felt best when I had something in my stomach.
While I have no idea if any of the these techniques actually helped, I will say that, with the exception of the days when the motion of the boat was really bad (winter winds will do that), even while on a sailboat, I felt fairly well during my first trimester.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
At low tide, Sea Gem's deck is at the same level as the dock. Our boarding procedure in that situation is to step off the dock and onto the edge of the deck, and then climb over the life lines.
High tide is much trickier. At high tide, Sea Gem's deck can be as much as three feet higher than the dock. In that case, some serious climbing is involved. Our solution was to buy a $10 plastic step stool at Home Depot to put on the dock. The step stool is about 16" high, so it took much of the height out of the climb at high tide. Still not as easy as walking through a front door, but it worked for us. For awhile.
Right around the time that we discovered that we had a stowaway, I fell in the water while getting off the boat. Our little plastic stool, being made of lightweight plastic, moves around a bit. It happened to be partially off the edge of the dock, I stepped onto it, and it tipped over and into the water, taking me with it. I was lucky - I didn't hit anything on the way in, the tide wasn't moving very quickly, and there was no jellyfish invasion at the time. Still, there was nowhere for me to pull myself onto near where I fell in, so I had to swim to the back of the boat to pull myself onto the swim platform. Overall, not the easiest process and one that I would like to avoid in the future. And, now that we have a stowaway to think of and Krissy is likely to become less agile in the coming months, we realized that we need to improve our boarding situation.
So far, we have made two changes, and they have made boarding much, much easier. Change number one was to add a gate in the lifelines where we board. That way, instead of stepping onto the very edge of the deck and climbing over the lifelines onto the boat, we can simple step right onto the deck. Much easier, and no more balancing on a ledge.
Here is what the edge of the deck looked like before, complete with lifelines:
And here is what the deck looks like now, with the lifelines detached and coiled away:
I crimped latches onto the lifeline wires, so when we go for a sail, they are easy to reattach so that our deck is every bit as secure as it was before.
Change number two? Next post.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Now that we have a handle on the situation, we are comfortable telling our readers about the most shocking thing that has happened aboard Sea Gem to date. A few months ago, Eric and I were beside ourselves when we found out that a stowaway had been living aboard our boat! Yes, you read that correctly - another human had been living on our boat, without our knowledge! Even our trusty scent hound, Moishe, failed to alert us to the presence of this freeloader.
In the weeks leading up to our discovery, I had noticed a few oddities I couldn’t quite explain, but in no way did I consider that another human was the culprit! Eric was actually the first to suspect something was seriously awry, and concluded that a “guest” might be the only plausible explanation.
Although I remained unconvinced, we decided to test Eric’s theory. Much to my dismay, Eric's suspicion was correct – I was pregnant! Come July, Sea Gem will have a new crew member. Although we know our new recruit won't be helping us scrub the decks anytime soon, we are still extremely excited to have him/her aboard.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Mugs and Glasses
The stackable mugs and glasses that we purchased to replace our old collection fit perfectly inside of Sea Gem's galley cupboards. Here are our mugs and juice glasses:
Now that we live in a warm climate, we aren't drinking as many hot beverages as we used to, so our mugs haven't been seeing a lot of coffee/tea action. Thankfully, our mugs are the perfect size to hold two scoops of frozen yogurt, which we enjoy nightly, so they certainly get used.
The tall drinking glasses we purchased didn't work out as we anticipated. They ended up being too tall for our cupboards, and therefore couldn't be stacked. Considering we went through great lengths to find stackable glasses, it was a little frustrating to know their defining feature wasn't needed. The whole thing proved to be irrelevant though because our salon came equipped with custom glass storage:
Initially, I had conflicting feelings about storing our drinking glasses in what is essentially our living room; however, the shelf on which they sit is located above our ice maker, which makes their location very efficient.