This is a repost from an old blog, dated appropriately
It’s amazing when a mundane evening turns into something incredibly cool.
I got a call, just after 7pm, from a friend of mine who I’ve been doing some work with on and off over the years – Brett. He’s a bit of a sailing enthusiast, and has been working on restoring a yacht with a mate of his named Stu.
He said they were about 20 minutes away from Gem Pier (which is about a ten minute walk from here), and would Eris and I like to come check out the boat? Eris was somewhat enthusiastic about the idea, so we grabbed a bag, added a drink, a sandwich, and a jacket, and off we went.
I hadn’t seen his latest boat. His last one (Equinox; wrecked on the St Kilda breakwater some years ago) was a pretty “cozy” affair, with not much space for a modestly-sized crew, let alone passengers. This new one is quite a step up. Substantial below-decks area, fitted out with a small kitchen (sorry, galley), shower and bathroom, and has even had a TV and DVD player fitted in.
Eris alternated between almost delerious excitement when she first saw it sailing towards us and distinct worry when she was carried over the gap to get on board, but once she was firmly planted on deck, she loved it. She learned a few nautical terms (the proper names for the front and back of the boat are known as the pointy end and the blunt end, respectively), showed amazing coordination when climing up and down ladders to go below and a healthy willingness to do as she was told – so we cast off for a quick run across the bay and back again.
The lack of an Eris-sized lifejacket meant she had to be restricted to the little fenced in bit where Brett was steering from (and downstairs, of course) when we got out on the water, but she had a “totally brilliant” (Harry Potter influenced speech patterns appearing lately) time nonetheless. She talked about loving the boat going up and down on the water, got a faceful of salt water and laughed her head off, and even got to steer the boat for a few minutes. She shows signs of being quite agile and not encountering any difficulty with standing and moving around with the boat underway.
There was a nice close encounter with the Enterprize while we were out, which Eris informed us was crewed by scary pirates, but she waved to them anyway. Various other (smaller) vessels were encountered and duly greeted. Amazing how everyone seemed to be happy to see a grinning four-year-old girl waving and shouting hellos at them.
It appears Eris likes sailing. She’s very keen to go again, so we’ll have to go shopping for her own personal life jacket so we can unfurl the sails (today’s trip was entirely motorised) and head out a bit further into the wind and the waves. This is going to be fun.
We stopped at the Groove Lounge for a quick hot chocolate before walking home – bedtime had already fallen by the wayside, so I figured a few more minutes of basking in the daddy-daughter adventure glow was called for. We talked about how, if she’s really keen and she’s a little older, there is a really good sailing school for kids right here in Williamstown. In the meantime, a few more trips and a little bit of an idea of what’s going on.
Might be good to go help the guys with the restoration work. Eris would probably be keen on that, too. I’m sure there are a few little jobs she could help out with. Can’t hurt, could be a lot of fun.