As we are preparing to depart Grenada, it’s hard to believe how quickly the time has passed since we arrived, a little over three months ago. In that quarter, we found ourselves welcomed into a loving and fun community of sailors with children. The horror! We had always prided ourselves on our ability to steer clear of these breeder boats. We were convinced there can’t be much adult enjoyment to be had when kids are always present. So what changed our snobbish outlook? The week we had Tesoro, “Tes”, aboard ¡Pura Vida!
Tes is my godchild, and has been a close part of my life for twelve years, and in the past I found it was my duty to entertain her when she visited – a challenging task over the course of more than a couple days for a childfree person of forty-plus years. Don’t get me wrong. I loved every minute of it, but it was work! Knowing she was joining us for a week sent me spinning to come up with things to keep her busy and happy during her first visit on a sailboat. Little did I realize how simple she would make it. Being on a boat does something to kids, we learned. It also helped that, at almost twelve, she was remarkably easy to talk to intelligently. Who knew? She arrived solo during our frantic prep for Tropical Storm Don, but never once let it worry her. Tes jumped right in to life on a boat. She kept her cool as she assisted in readying the boat for a storm that ended up never manifesting. Right then my nerves were calmed. She made herself at home, and embraced the crazy rules we have in place regarding water consumption, toilet use, limiting the presence of sand onboard, and so much more. We went on a whirlwind day-long tour of the island, and she took it all in.
We talked. A lot. A whole lot. We sat in the cockpit and on the bow for hours having amazing conversations. We also had a surprising amount of quiet time. We floated in the water without saying a word. We sailed. We hiked. She napped. She read. She never whined about the crappy internet.
She ate everything we cooked without complaining or being picky. We swam and snorkeled multiple times daily. We dragged her, screaming with glee, in a tube behind our dinghy. We watched movies. Never once did I think, in that entire week, of what I had to do next to make her happy. She simply was, and it was so easy that by the end of the week I was truly heartbroken that she was leaving us. Tesoro showed us just how much fun having a kid onboard can be! It was good prep for the months to come when most of our time would be spent around kid boats, and truly enjoying the company of the kids that came with them. Sadly, by then she was no longer with us to enjoy the friendship of the true, full-time boat kids we came to know and love. Maybe next year that will be different. I’ve been looking forward to it since she went back home. We miss you, sweetheart.