Sunday, July 20, 2014

slow summer : giant bubbles

There's nothing like a lazy morning making enormous bubbles with friends. We looked up the many recipes and tutorials out there for making the bubble wands and the extra super strong bubble mix. This is the one we found the easiest to follow. We didn't even bother putting eyelet screws in the dowels, we just tied the strings to the end, added the washers, guessed at string length, and went on our bubble quest.

It's took a little practice to get the big ones formed and released just right, but the kids soon got the hang of it.

What was crazy was watching them pop. They seemed to burst and the splatter of bubble would hang motionless for a moment, like a cartoon version of a popped bubble. And when the kids popped them, they would get totally slimed with bubble juice.

Naia got some help from the big kids, but she lacked the height and the coordination needed to really make a giant bubble.

She didn't mind though, she was more than happy with her job as official bubble chaser and popper.

The only piece of advice that wasn't obvious and we learned the hard way was that the strings on the bubble wands tangle easily once they are wet and soapy. If they get tangled it helps to lay them in the sun to dry for a bit and then untangle them. Luckily we made several wands, so if one went out of commission, we just grabbed the other ones and shared. We will definitely be more careful next time to avoid tangles.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Moon Is High, The Sea Is Deep...

Sometimes when the wind is down and the temperatures are up, we head out for a drift. It's sort of pointless really, sailing the Chesapeake in July is hot and slow. But sometimes when you have nothing but time and nowhere in particular to go and you just want to savor the 14 hours of daylight the bay just calls out.

And for these two who on most days never seem to stop talking or moving or asking or doing or climbing or jumping or spilling or singing or sword fighting ALL. DAY. LONG. For these two salty little souls who have called this sailboat their home since birth, it's just natural to cozy down and drift off to sleep.

In the words of Sandra Boynton...

Saturday, July 12, 2014

slow summer: dinghy rides

After years of nursing along our old Nissan 5hp outboard we finally gave her up. She gave us 13 years of service and for that we are grateful.

Doug decided on a Lehr propane outboard as a replacement. What we really wanted was a 15hp 2 stroke Yamaha Enduro, but we can't get them in the US, so that's on hold... for now. Long story short, this little 2.5hp outboard is small, light weight, reliable, and will serve us well just kicking around the Chesapeake for now.

So dinghy riding season is back in full gear as part off our slow summer. We like to tool around town, go up the creek, just wander about and see the sights along our busy waterways.

Zach of course can captain the dink solo, which isn't just fun, but also useful too. When we head out sailing, we have to do this ridiculous maneuver with the dinghy. We back into our slip, and the dingy doesn't fit into the slip hanging from the arch in the back of the boat. So we leave it wit the other dinghies at the dinghy dock. So when we want to head out and go anchor somewhere, what we do is have someone drive the dinghy into the creek and wait while we get the boat out of the slip. Then we go pick them, and the dinghy up lifting it into the arch. And away we go. When the kids were little, we would ask a marina worker or neighbor to do that, and then we'd drop them back off at the fuel dock. But now we just have Zach do it.
There he is, zooming through the busy harbor away from us to take the dink back to the marina. My big kid.

Naia never likes this routine, because she always thinks we are leaving the slip without Zach, not quite grasping that he is waiting up the creek for us.

Monkey see, monkey do... Naia is learning to drive the dinghy as well.

Messing about in boats has become another aspect of our slow summer. Aside from lovely sailing weather on the big boat, we have had a fun time just tooling around in the dinghy and kayak and Zach's wee sail boat (which I have no photos of, because I never bring anything with me that I don't expect to get soaked, just in case we capsize.)

(kayaking around)

There is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing as messing about in boats.

Monday, July 07, 2014

slow summer: sheet forts

I was struggling with things to say around here because truth be told we have been doing a whole lot of nothing. Summer for many families is a time of family travel, camps, summer school classes, reunions and the like.

Every spring I ask Zach about summer camps. I dig up a few I think he might like, we talk to his friends about their plans. And every summer he simply says, "No thank you."

So we have spent all June and so far July just hanging out. We made a tree swing. We've been reading a lot. We've been trying out recipes.  We have been spending a lot of time on the water in the kayaks, dinghy, and sailing dink. We are building and crafting and swimming and fishing. But it's all rather unplanned, very slow and simple. We don't really know what we're doing until we're doing it.

When the hotter weather appeared and the shade of the big oak tree at the marina wasn't enough, some rummaging through boat lockers happened. Some rope, a couple of old bed sheets that were set aside for play and sewing, and some rocks from around the marina.

Then add books, snacks, and friends.

This is such an easy set up, the kids did it all on their own, and it was quick enough to take down at the end of the day (which we need to do because it's not smiled upon for the kids to leave a mess around the marina grounds.)

I didn't realize that we weren't actually doing nothing all this time until I read this post from Little Acorn Learning. Yes, that's it! We're just having a slow summer. Simple. Slow. Fabulous.

(for now)

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