What’s Scarier, Kids or Pirates?
Well, I use the word ‘plan’ loosely. People keep asking us, what will we do if we do get pregnant? I keep answering that we’ll just have to change our plans. To be fair, our ‘plans’ do include the potential addition of kids, after all we have two spare berths! And we have this space in the front of the boat, sort of a landing (or that’s what it would be if it were a house) between the fore berth, main cabin and heads. It would be ideal to set up as a playpen, if this kid thing were to happen. I even have the foam alphabet floor mats to use as padding for such a setup. And when the storms do blow through, the trick is to stick them in a car seat – which of course you need to fix securely to something or other!
But you know what, I read loads of blogs y cruising families who boat school their kids as they go. And you know what? During twelve years of primary school teaching, I have been flexible and willing to move year groups to help fill in staffing gaps – and as a result I have one or two years teaching every single age group between KG and Year 6 – that’s kids from 3y3m up to 12 years old (yeah, kids do get kept back here, and by the time they get to Year 6, there’s quite a few of them!); giving me experience of teaching all subjects to the entire age range. Plus, at my last school, I spent a year teaching full-time supply, and that enabled me to teach English and Social Sciences at secondary level as well, up to Year 11. So, if God is eventually kind enough to bless us with a kid (and I reckon we deserve it, after 7 years of fertility treatments) I am sure we’ll be able to fit them in, somehow!
A bigger concern is pirates. Well, I’m not sure if pirates will actually be a bigger problem than kids, but just in case, we have already changed our plans. The normal circumnavigation, until Somalia got cocky, included a choppy trip us the Red Sea, against the predominant wind (I’m sure it can’t be much different to sailing up the Arabian Gulf), with a spot of diving thrown in, then into the Med for a bit of Satsiki. Now, it seems it’s virtually impossible to squeeze past Oman, Yemen and Somalia without a military escort resplendent with AK47s.
Well, that’s beyond the budget of most cruisers, so we are left with two options. Either ship the boat to Turkey (I’m not sure why not Alexandria, actually) which is also costly, or hug the left coast when we leave the straights of Hormuz, and pay our respects to Pakistan and India. We’ll probably do that, cos I dreamt about it.
That would take us into the southern Indian Ocean, and once we hit Kerala (where Marc and I were married, incidentally) we would have the choice to do the circumnavigation and hook a right around the cold southern tip of Africa and visit Marc’s birth land which he’d love to show me, or go left to SE Asia. We don’t know yet. But both of us like warm weather. I had thought at one stage of looping around Australia, then heading back. But it’s also fairly common practice for folks to head east across the Pacific to get to America. It’s also a possibility to cruise up the east coast USA, and go visit his sis in Chesapeake and my Uncle and Aunt in Quebec. Then we could loop across to Liverpool, then pop into the Med, but Marc keeps reminding me he hates cold, and it’s cold up there.
Oh you know what? The plans keep changing anyway, cos neither of us really knows where we’ll want to go this time next year. Oh wow, that sounds so real when I say it like that. This time next year. This time next year. Wow!