Like his father, Jake took his first sail while still in his mother's womb. We'd planned just to go out for a daysail and managed to convince a very pregnant Carrie to come along. Before we knew it, we were miles north of St. Joseph and decided to continue on to South Haven and spend the night aboard. The trip would mark our first overnight aboard Ariel. Poor Carrie. She had no idea what was ahead. Without any bedding, we spent a cold, uncomfortable night in South Haven and returned to St. Joseph the following day.
Jakob's first real sail was at three weeks on a calm, sunny fall afternoon. Jake spent most of the trip in his car carrier tucked away in the quarterberth, emerging for a while to eat a bottle and take a look around.
Sailing with a small child presents challenges. The fear of losing him over the side is a constant concern and safety is paramount. Life jackets and harness are imperative, but they are not a guarantee that the child will remain on board. Additionally, falling is a concern until the kid gets mobile enough to move around safely. We have learned that the only way to sail safely with small children is with two people: one to handle the boat, the other to maintain a constant watch of the boys.
Jake has gotten a couple of extended cruises under his belt since his first sail, and he's looking forward to more. He made the trip from St. Joseph to Charlevoix in 2008, and in 2009 he traveled from White Lake to St. Joseph. He's becoming quite the little sailor, and he's always eager to head out on the boat.
Photo taken October 2007.