A question that we are frequently asked is how we will manage to keep the baby in the boat once she is born. Based on the questions that come before and after, I don't think anyone is actually expecting an answer to this question. Rather, it is usually just another way of asking: "So, you are selling the boat, right?" And that, of course, is a kinder way of demanding: "Sell the boat and get a house already!"
Well, we certainly aren't selling Sea Gem, and as it turns out, the question has a pretty clear answer. It is actually harder for us to wrap our minds around the question than the answer, as we need to remind ourselves that most people are still picturing us bobbing around at sea in a big canoe. In that sense, the question of how we will keep the baby in the boat falls right line with asking what we do when it rains.
The short answer is that we will keep our baby in the boat the same way that parents all over the world keep their babies in their houses. Sea Gem is fully enclosed. You can't get up from the easy chair, turn around, and stumble into the ocean. The interior and the deck of Sea Gem are completely separate spaces, much like the inside and the outside of a house. Although the exterior of Sea Gem is near the ocean, we won't allow our baby to crawl around the deck anymore than a land-based parent would allow his baby to crawl around the street or around the swimming pool.
What's more, it is much harder to leave the interior of Sea Gem than it is to escape from inside a house. Whereas a door knob is about three feet above the floor, the latch to Sea Gem's door is three feet above the top of a four-and-a-half foot ladder:
If you don't worry about your baby unlocking and opening your front door and crawling into the street, there is certainly no reason to worry about our baby doing the same after first scaling a tall ladder. In addition, the latch to our door is far more difficult to unlock and open than a typical door, so even when our baby grows big enough to climb the ladder and reach the latch (we estimate we have at least a few years), opening it will be another matter:
Although raising our baby on the boat will certainly bring its challenges, including many we have not yet anticipated, keeping the baby inside is one challenge where the boat is actually advantageous, as compared to a house.