Fifty posts, one hundred followers and a gorgeous new addition to our family later I am now celebrating exactly one year since my first blog post. Its been quite a year. Reflecting on the last twelve months I wonder if I achieved what I set out to? Committing to writing about my adventures has definitely motivated me to get out on the boat whenever we get the chance. With small children I have often been tempted to stick it in the “too hard basket” but with some convincing from Reg I have hit the water and (mostly) never regretted it.
When I first started writing I assumed that the biggest challenge would be coming up with interesting topics to blog about but unfortunately my list of ideas has been far greater than the time I have available to explore them.
I also correctly predicted a dip in blogging activity around the arrival of Jones baby number two. No matter how adventurous you think you are, most of the time, tiny babies, small, open aluminium boats and winter weather are not a successful mix. Instead I spent a couple of cosy months indoors getting to know my new little crew member and telling her about all the wonderful adventures we had planned for her.
On the whole I think I have ticked off most of the intentions on my original list; tinny tracks, beautiful things, useful things, Rhubarbs dog blog, guest blogs, beaches and “fin fur and feathers”. Food and fishing probably took a back seat and I will try harder on those this year. With the exception of our recent trip to New Zealand we didn’t even pick up a fishing rod; we soon realised that simultaneously wrestling a crayfish and a toddler whilst standing in a tinny is an unwinnable challenge which will surely result in tears. But you never know, we might catch something this year if we can get our act together.
What have I learned from my year on the water? Here’s my top ten reflections on a year of boats and babies:
- No matter how cold the water is when you jump in, you will never regret it. Chickening out on a dip in the briny always leaves a bad taste in your mouth
- “The house is too messy and there’s too much washing to be done” is a pointless excuse for not getting on a boat; when you’re out on the water you can’t see the mess and besides, it can’t get any messier when you are not there
- Always take loads of food; there’s nothing as frustrating as stumbling across the perfect secret picnic spot and having nothing to sustain you but a packet of salty sultanas and a bottle of water with toddler saliva in it.
Don't leave home without your thermos!
- Expend the same amount of effort applying sun screen to yourself as you do to your kids
- Sort your kit out the night before; you get to spend more time on the water and you know what they say about the early bird…
- Put carpet in the bottom of your tinny, its much kinder on the paws
- Don’t get out of an anchored tinny when you are seven months pregnant; you won’t be able to get back in again
- Just occasionally, be content to leave the camera in its case and just suck up the moment
- Don’t make yourself rules about what age/temperament/mood/shoe size is the perfect one to take kids/husband/friends/dog out on the water. Everyone’s different and with kids you get good days and bad days, keep an open mind, decide on the day and use your common sense to stay safe
Built for comfort...
- Last but not least….have fun; after all, a bad day on the water is still better than a good day in the office!
One of the most pleasant surprises of the last twelve months has been that blogging has not become a chore. Recording my adventures has given me the photography bug and Secret Water is growing in a direction that I hadn’t planned. I recently selected a few of my favourite and more print worthy images and have started to create handmade cards…with a twist…so on that I will keep you posted…
Coming to a shop near you...
I intend to keep blogging about my on the water adventures so I would love your feedback; what did you like? What didn’t you like? What would you like? It would also be fantastic if you posted photos and details of your own adventures on the facebook page.
May 2011 be a safe and sunny year on the water for you and your family.