Hello! Greeting from the sea new friends! Thanks for checking out my website. In this article, I am going to talk about the pros and cons of becoming a liveaboard parent of both children and our fur baby Miss Bagel– a pocket pitbull. We have lived on a sailboat now for 2 years. Tiny living has its struggles but in my opinion, the rewardment is far more than the struggle. I am going to discuss the most asked questions about living aboard with a dog and a child.
Privacy on a boat
There isnt any! Haha just kidding. But it is definitively restricted. Living in tiny quarters means you know everyones business. Hiding yourself in the restroom is smelly and can often turn into an opportunity to be cornered for a conversation. Sexy time is no longer spontaneous but planned. However the key to happiness is haveing an understanding when someone needs space. My husband and I do a pretty good job going out on an adventure most days. And either one of us leads the adventure, or we all go. Given that we do live in tiny quarters it is very clear when someone is having an off day. Communication is key. When we are on the hook a day of fishing is a good way to change the energy. And if we are at a marina, Often times we run into other boat families and the kids are able to run and play around the marina. We have Walkie talkies that we use to stay into communication with our son and if he has a more open territory to roam. We love our walkies and If you are looking into purchasing some for your child we recommend these ones( CLICK HERE) They range 2 miles inland and up to 35 miles in open terains like mountains or open water communications. They even pick up the weather channel, are waterproof, They float, They have a red light for night time light, And they have an emergency button that tags the other walkie to let me know if he is in danger. They also hold a great charge. We charge ours once a week and he uses it every day now that we are at a marina for hurricane season. We love them and highly recommend them.
This is a big scary thing when thinking about life on a boat. I get it!! When deciding to move into a boat I was terrified of the Idea that I would be breaking society norm and becoming a teacher without the proper education to take on the role. It was a daunting reality that I had to face and over come because my sons education is the most important thing to me when it comes to parenting priorities. I didnt want to limit his ability to thrive in this world, for our dream chasing. He is a human too and his feelings, concerns, and needs are top priority.
So which route did we take?
Virtual learning or the old fashioned workbooks.
In my experience my son does not do as well in virtual learning. He is more likely going to guess his way through the questions and focuses more on the reward then the education. He does own a tablet and all the games on the tablet are educational. But he sees his tablet time as a time to play then to educate and we want him to think that its for fun when it is secretly more school work ( because we all remember how school work makes us feel as a kid ) Often times the educational programs have a reward system like if you complete the lesson you receive coins to use to feed your hampster or upgrade the housing situation for your fish tank. I understand why programs are built that way but it puts the focus in the wrong place and he doesnt actually retain what he learned, Because hes often guessing. Not all children learn the same, and I can totally understand how virtual learning is easier that workbook learning or the difference between hands on learning vs structured. A lot of online education is also very pricey and with covid and everyone having to quarinteen for 2 years they know that people need their services and the prices are outrageous. Education is a right, not a privledge in my opinion. Teachers have terrible pay and deserve so much more but since the educational system doesnt pay out their teachers much I have a hard time purchasing programs when I am more than capable to meet the annual educational requirements.
So here are a list of books that we used to educate my son.
WE LOVE :
APPS for a tablet
ABC Mouse was a bit too easy for my son and He was far more for focused on caring for the class pet than the program but! It is still a great program filled wit lots of topics. We are considering trying this app again but their spanish version instead
And we saved the best for last!! TAPPITY INC is the best educational program on the market. It is run by a woman named Haley who is an absolute Joy! We love her so much and she does amazing work with the kids. This program is far more than just an app. It is very interactive, Out son joined their science fair last year and he loved it! CLICK HERE to watch his science Video
Best parent hack I have to give is this:
For every chapter book my son reads, he gets a dollar. He reads for an hour in the morning and as long as he wants to at night, But he must be in bed by 9 regardless if he is tired or not.
As far as how we handle our work load is that he wakes up and makes his own breakfast, After breakfast he can read or do workbook pages. Then after workbook pages he writes a page or two in his journal, every other day he does a couple pages in his spanish workbook. Occasionally his writing assignment is to write definitions out of his childrens dictionary. He also practices ( and prefers to write in ) cursive. We were given a keyboard recently and for this hurricane season we are staying at a marina. So our summer fun has consisted of lighter school work , fishing, and learning how to play piano.
Other things to consider about homeschooling on a boat is that traveling has so much education built into it. Some days we go on feild trips. For example we explored Charleston and their buildings have a lot of history. We went to the prison, explored the college and art museum, My son tried his first oyster at a restaurant, and celebrated with a vegan icecream. We have walked plenty of military forts, and sourced foraging for food, He is a natural master at marine biology, He has an understanding of the compass, wind direction , how sailing works, why wave lengths differ. We watched a Rockets launch and then went to the Nasa museum and then we came home to our boat surrounded by dolphins for the rest of the day! It was an amazing day.
How do we make money and Do we have internet?
YES! yes we have internet MOST of the time.We are a sailing family and we travel often. If we are heading to a new spot we tend to hop offshore for 2-4 days. Its no big deal however once we are passed the 3 mile mark we often loose service. I know in this time era that is a scary thought but it does amazing things for our mental health. We end up spending family time, we read together, jam to music, fish, and play mind games. Then we come back to the real world and have service again. As far as internet goes, we have had the best luck with hotspots. We went almost a year chasing internet at local coffee shops or hotel lobbies. The cost to sit in a coffee shop a couple times a month costs the same as unlimited hotspot so we caved and upgraded our plan. I am so happy to be able to work from my computer on the boat instead of planning late night adventures to source out wifi and work till 3 am in dark spaces.
So what do we do for work.
Well John has many skill sets but his highest paying is electrical and mechanical skills. He does a lot on work on other peoples boats and does a great job so is often requested apon arriving in new areas.
We also install watermakers on boats which turns sea water into drinkable water. If you would like to learn more about watermakers CLICK HERE
I am in charge of the social media marketing. I film and edit all the videos, Im constantly reaching out to companies for branding opportunities, and fufilling the needs to our sponsors. We have an etsy store for clothing merch redbubble for stickers and This website to connect everything together!
I also pick up jobs through Fivver and Received training to become a virtual assistant here— Also If you want to learn everything you need to know about affilliate marketing try this 14 day challenge!
We are also trying to launch a program called TUSC Which stands for the Ultimate Sailing Club Which is a program that connects the boating community. The idea is to have space for old salt sailors to connect with the new and can offer their services as a paying service or a barter for services . An example might be if you needed to do your bottom job and wanted more help getting it done. Maybe someone just aquired a boat and is overwhelmed with the information online about doing the job. If they are a tusc member then they can reach out and offer to help in exchange for the learning experience. We also want to build a tier program so If you have helped with x amount of jobs and have professional skills you can offer your videos as a $5 flat rate to watch, or you can be an insured member and work in marinas legally. We dont have the money to properly fund this project just yet but hope we can get this rolling soon.
If you would like to fund this program please email me at inspireyourself.3009@Gmail.com
Owning an "Aggressive breed"
This is Miss Luna Bagel. We adopted her the second time we stayed in Hampton Virginia. Legally she is a boxer, Shepard mix ( on paper) but anyone who has their eye on her knows. That she is indeed a pocket pit(bull), She was left tied to a tree for the first chapters of her adolescents, until she was rescued and fostered into a very large pack. She did wonderful with them however they already had 37 or so dogs and couldnt take in another one.
We were suckered in by her cute face and of course adopted her. Our last dog had passed away 8 months prior and we had a huge hole in our hearts. We have never been without several dogs in our care and 8 months was a long time for us,we felt incomplete. I kept telling myself Iwill not adopt anothe pit. It would be too difficult to travel with a pit, and the looks people give, we honestly had our hands full already but when I saw her cute face, my heart melted. She was small, and sweet, and needed a home .. And well.. Im a sucker.
Transitioning into sailboat life came easy for this chick. We decided to stay at a marina for a few days and get her aclimated to a moving home. The next few days we got life essentials like making a potty pad, toys, food, treats and then the unexpected happened… We were told she was fixed and I was aprehensive about not seeing a tattoo but took the previous owners word for it and well… She wasnt fixed and her period was starting. So we just adopted a new dog, moved her into a sailboat with her new owners, and she had started her heat cycle in an area that has many dogs. ( dogs can smell heat from very far away) So we spent a couple days in the marina and thought it would be best to take her up the ICW. We bought diapers and cut open a hole for her tain ( Always make sure your dog has a big enough hole that it doesnt weigh down their tail, that can cause depression ) And we were off! She did absolutely wonderful on her first few days on the boat. We had no potty accidents because she had the diaper on and we only took it off when she was tethered and brought up front. When she did go potty the whole crew cheered her on and she learned that he potty pad was the place to potty real fast! At one point she ran up on deck and I didnt know she was going to go potty but she did.. And the diaper was still on… And she was pooping… so that was a sight to see for sure!
She quickly adapted and training came very easy for her.It felt like good karma from all the dogs we have taken care of over the past 10 years, all the crazy neglected dogs we cared, rehabilitated and found homes for rewarded us with an angel. Our pup is a natural sailor and we are so happy to have her aboard.
Training a new dog has its difficulties.
The first month we owned her, was a nightmare. She was in heat and absolutely every dog that passed her acted crazy. She had new owners with changing territory and well, we no longer had our original pup Batman who was excellent with helping us train the new pups in the past. I underestimated how difficult it turned out to be.Our pup was 90 % wonderful. However she did not have leash manners yet and it seemed like neither did any other dogs we walked by.. Im not sure if it was covid and because everyone was social distancing maybe the dogs werent getting the freedom they need to be balanced dogs or If people just didnt train their dogs like I was used to being in such a huge dog community in Texas.
Miss Bagel had developed a bit of leash reactivity that seemed mean from afar but if given the chance to greet she was just excited and kind. It wasnt until she was attacked by a larger dog who had been previously claimed as friendly, and blinded by the attack that her leash reactivity became a more serious fear. Her body posture changed when other dogs started reacting. I continued to work her through this , and with proper distraction she started to ease up on her insecurities. BUT! We change cities often and I have learned the most marina dogs are little dogs whos owners dont believe in basic training. They are all leash reactive, on 12 foot leads, and react aggressively but because they are small, They get an excuse. Its not fair… It is also very difficult to teach a dog that that behavior is unacceptable when 90% of the dogs we pass all act that way. The looks we get when walking our pup is very judgy. A lot of people will say snarky remarks about her even after she has melted into their lap for a belly rub. We are finally at a point in her training where she is no longer acting leash reactive as long as the other dog isnt completely loosing its marbles but even then if she has a treat to work for she is doing much better at ignoring them. She spent some time in New York with our friends dogs and my sisters dog and was very friendly with all of them, Which was a relief knowing that her leash reactivity was a slight insecurity that will heal in time.
Traveling abroad with an aggressive breed
Legally, She is not a pitbull and we are hoping that having a DNA test that states she is not a pitbull will help tremendously when traveling abroad. She is fixed with all of her shots. She is no threat to breeding, or disease, and as long as we can get through this one behavioral issue then we wont have anything to worry about. Her only threat is if she did get in some sort of altercation in a country who bans her breed they can legally confiscate her and put her down but honestly we dont think this will be an issue. She is young but she is at an age where shes about to transition out of teenager mentality and into adulthood mindset and every day we work to boost her confidence, We stick to her training, and we continue to show her beautiful positive interactions.
I currently work at a boarding Facility who has over 200 dogs. I want to formally state that aggression is a dog charactoristic not a breed charactoristic. Today I watched many small dog fights, The care giver did keep making the mistake of correcting the aggressor with attention and pats then released the aggressor back to rinse and repeat.. I am in charge of the medium sized dogs. They have the worst case of aggressive out breaks and you know what… The huskies, The poodles, The cattle dogs, mixed with the pitbulls are all trouble. Equally! If you dont constantly correct them when they are stepping over a line, If you arent monitoring whos playing with who and what each dogs triggers are you will be dealing with big dog altercations with a mobbing affect. For example. We have 2 huskies who are siblings, The female plays nice but can get rough and if she gets rough the male will loose it and attack who ever shes playing rough with. But they like to play with a cattle dog who likes to rile everyone up with a game of chase. The cattle dog loves to play with a pitbull who loves to be on top when wrestling and can take it too far if the husky is involved, and if they take it too far the poodle will jump in and bite the ankles which pisses everyone off.. everyone hates the asshole ankle biter… He only bites when there is a play session so he doesnt get targeted. But there is a white lab who is a very high jumper and loves to steal things. If she does get ahold of anything she runs like a crazy man and will do everything in its power to get the humans to play chase. This behavior pisses off the senior chocolate lab who barks in anxiety as the dogs begin to chase along side the white lab who leaps over everyone. A german shepard doesnt like high energy and often sticks aroung the humans. If the lab is going crazy and jumps near him he will absolutely take down the lab which escalates quickly. Meanwhile is small dogs they are all doing the same thing. There is a crazy dog, a fast dog, a mini poodle, who are all trouble if the right person isnt handleing them. My point is that it is not a breed thing but a dog thing and If you dont take the time to train out bad behavior the behavior wont change.
We think in a year from now our dog will be emaculate. We are advid trainers and we hope that traveling abroad wont be as big of an issue as we read about but! We will let you know.