Tag Archives: Cruising with kids

Arriving in Italy

After having been delayed by several weeks with repeat mechanical issues and bureacractic hurdles we eventually pulled up anchor just before sunrise in Gozo and said a fond goodbye to Malta. Sailing in that magical morning light we were excited at the promise of a new country and a new chapter awaiting us at the end of the day.

Motoring out of Gozo while waiting for a breeze to fill in the boat suddenly slowed and shuddered.

‘Oh no…I think something is on the prop’ I instantly put the engine into neutral and went to the back of the boat to have a look. I couldn’t see anything, so I put the boat into reverse for a bit hoping to back off a net if indeed we had hit one and then back carefully into forward.  We began to make way happily again hitting our 6 knot cruising speed under motor. Crisis averted! (we thought).

The rest of the passage was uneventful, some motorsailing, but the breeze did fill in the afternoon. Just as we sighted Sicily we were greeted by a pod of dolphins. Always a welcome sight!

As we approached Licata in the late afternoon we entered the harbour cautiously keeping a wary eye on the fish traps that crowds its entrance. As the boat slowed I felt that vibration again that points to something not right being right. We debated the merits of diving on the prop but in the end we figured we were still making way and would be at the dock shortly so continued.

As we approached the dock I slowed the boat and put her into reverse ready to back in Med style between the Catamaran Arakai and a large steel yacht Mediterranea.’ As I started to back, while steadily increasing revs the vibration magnified and I reached a grand speed of 1 knot in reverse.  ‘ Motore Problema! ‘ with the help of the great staff at Marina Di Cala Del Sole we eventually managed to get tied up incident free.

Feeling pretty downcast I sat in the cockpit looking across at the town of Licata, feeling generally sorry for myself and wondering what madness made me decide to bring my family here to the other side of the world sailing on a 25 year old boat with a clapped out engine.

Yet it actually would be here in Licata that we would begin to find ourselves, get to know our boat a bit better and start slipping more into the wonderful cruising life.


(Please excuse the fact that we are a bit behind on our blog posts!)

Sammy turns 2 (weeks)

2 weeks old with a Christmas under his belt and a new year begun and Sammy seems to be taking life his stride so far.  


Between the four of us,  some of the time, some of us are getting some sleep. Which is about all that can be hoped for if my blurry recollection of Sophie’s first few months are anything to go by. 

Sammy met the boat today. Josie is quite keen to get out sailing.  Balmy weather, regular sea breezes it is hard not to want to. 

Which does mean that yes the title of our blog was perhaps a little shortsighted and will need modification in the future! ( Notepad is at the ready for brainstorming during 2am feeds).

When it was initially created Sailing with Sophie was basically for friends/relatives to find photos of Sophie and us while we were cruising and so was thus named! 

Meanwhile the list of boat jobs is quietly building steadily, we will be out of the water early Feb, there are new electronics to install( dedicated post coming on this) a new dodger, the genoa needs repairs, the liferaft needs a service and there are a 101 little jobs that seem to never end .


Must read cruising with kids blogs


Ok these are  the TWO must read blogs if you are looking for inspiration to go cruising with your kids.

Windtraveller: A cruising family with a toddler, expecting twins, currently in the Caribbean.

OK, these guys are awesome.

Beyond the fact that we love them ’cause they are sailing with bubs, their photos are AMAZING, and this is one well written, funny, poignant blog.

SV Totem : Jamie, Behan and their three kids are currently in South East Asia. An inspiring family.


An Update


We have spent a bit of time this year enjoying cruising the NSW coast.

We kind of rushed past alot of great spots on the way north in 2011 and although there are challenges sailing the NSW coast, it is good cruising in a part of the world to explore closer to home.

We have also been topping up the cruising kitty and are now working through  a major refit in addition to just being busy parents, which is why there has been a bit of a lack of cute Sophie photos on here lately!

There is a plan, head north up the east coast of Australia again, and then head into either Asia or the Pacific?…..and then????  Stay tuned!!

A Whirlwind Whitsunday weekend!

“Ummm Hi, excuse me I was just wondering if I could get some change for the laundry????”

“The blinds are down that means we are closed” snapped the Marina office lady barely looking over the the top of the desk as I entered the office.
“but umm I thought you guys are open to 5, and umm it’s four fourty…..”
“Well I’ve counted the money so I can’t help you, besides the laundry isn’t our problem” she barked back in front of the “Welcome to the Whitsundays” sign with the look of someone who was well tired of boats, boaties and their endless thirst for 1$ coins.
We had arrived in a tourist town. Gone was the small town Queensland friendliness that had shaped our last month and instead there were backpackers, charter boats, more backpackers and the long suffering locals of Airlie who after 2 cyclones, the GFC and now at the end of the current season had a right to perhaps feel a little miffed.

After a 30 hour delay due to the late arrival of our guests due to bad weather and airlines we took them off on our whirlwind Whitsunday’s tour.



First stop was Whitehaven Beach with it’s world famous white sand, which is on the eastern side of Whitsunday Island. The weather was lovely, very little wind and swell and a great afternoon was had by all swimming and lounging on the beach followed by an italian style lunch (ciabatta, pesto, bocconcini, prosciutto, and tomatoes) aboard Iolanthe.


We then tucked ourselves into Tongue bay, a little to the north for the night, to what was turning out to be a lovely peaceful anchorage, until a large boat full of party goers turned up and “entertained” the anchorage until the wee hours.

Day Two, we sailed north around the top end of hook island to try some snorkeling in Butterfly Bay, however it wasn’t meant to be, as all the moorings were taken and a charter boat had anchored itself in fairly deep water in the middle of any potential anchoring area and after 3 anchoring attempts with no success, the anchoring committee was revolting and so we continued around Hook Island to Stonehaven where we snavelled the last mooring buoy there and Warwick, Alix and Craig did some snorkelling, which wasn’t too bad, although no brilliant coral or fish were seen.

Early the next morning we moved the boat across to Langford Island to the sand spit where there was another attempt at some snorkelling. We then sailed back across the Whitsunday Passage to Abel Point marina in time for airport transfers the next morning.


With the guests safely on the bus to the airport we are starting to think it might be time to move on from The Whitsundays. There is a lot to love about the place, and we do, but having now discovered so many other beautiful places we are again yearning for a quiet anchorage.