“There is barely enough space for me and my growing belly in the grocery-laden dingy as I putt-putt back across Elizabeth Harbor from George Town, Exuma toward Sand Dollar Beach, where Take Two is anchored in the lee of Stocking Island in the southern Bahamas. I have grown considerably over the last three months since we left Florida, and Jay’s prophecy about my discomfort while climbing in and out of the dinghy with groceries has proven to be true. When we found out I was pregnant, I had nonchalantly said, ‘Babies are born everywhere. We’ll just stop off on an island somewhere, add a crew member, then keep going.’ He looked at me sideways and said he thought I might feel differently in six months…”
–from Leaving the Safe Harbor: the Risks and Rewards of Raising a Family on a Boat, an award-winning memoir by Tanya Hackney
Some of you may remember all my boat-baby posts from 2011. Rachel, the baby in the photos, is now ten, and learning to drive the dinghy! I can tell you this: climbing in and out of my bunk while pregnant was not comfortable, and bringing a baby to our floating home was not easy, but it was wonderful, and we now have a daughter who has a healthy sense of adventure and is at home on the ocean. She is home-grown and all-natural: I had her without drugs at a birthing home, nursed her for two-and-a-half years, used cloth diapers, home-made all her baby-food, taught her to swim, and homeschooled her. If I can do it on a boat with five kids, anything is possible…dream big!