With Charlotte, Children and a Dog

It looked like the perfect day to try it for the very first time: to go out on a short boat trip with the whole family (including our newly arrived rescue dog from Romania), and see whether it would turn out ok or a disaster. I was pretty exhausted after our delivery from Germany, but after having talked and thought about it for almost a year, I think Charlotte and I both just finally wanted to do it.

Off to a Bad Start

“No, I’m not wearing the life jacket!”, M shouted. “It doesn’t feel comfortable! It’s pressuring my neck! I’m not going!”

We had all been quite stressed to get the final things (food, clothes, life jackets for children, life jacket for dog, etc) sorted out and now that we were almost there and ready to cast off, the stress started to show.

“What, we’re not going?!”, O screamed to M. “I’ve been waiting for this all winter!”, he continued and ran into the boys’ cabin, slamming the door shut behind him.

“Hey, don’t slam the door! It will break”, I shouted angrily down the hatch.

We just sat there for a moment, Charlotte and I, sighing and looking stressed.

It took a while for everyone to calm down.

“Maybe you can try this other life jacket? See if it fits better?”, Charlotte said to M, trying to find some way to comfort and encourage her.

M looked like she was pondering her options for a while, and then she nodded silently.

All this sailboat and sea stuff was quite scary, of course. New and big things sometimes are, to all of us, but of course she really did want to go.

And then we were all ready.

I started the engine, cast off the lines, and drove slowly out of our pontoon berth.

There is something special about taking to the sea and leaving land behind. Lo and behold, no more stress, just a bunch of curious adventurers embarking on their new adventure.

First time out with our boat! From the left: J and O behind the wheels, Charlotte, Aiko, the ship’s dog, and M. Little L is hiding somewhere to the right, but she seemed to enjoy it as well.

Ship’s Dog Suffering

Aiko, our Romanian rescue dog, was feeling less adventurous than the rest of us. In fact, he even vomited a couple of times. Maybe this was due to the heat and him refusing to drink water, or maybe he was experiencing some motion sickness, but the first part of the trip, unfortunately, wasn’t very enjoyable for him.

Things got better, though, and a couple of hours later he was already carefully and delicately strolling around on the deck, sniffing out ropes and Selden blocks.

It Went Well

We anchored outside a nearby island. Ice-cream for the children, some (non-alcoholic, and actually quite tasty!) sparkling for me and Charlotte.

A couple of hours later, we started to head back, carefully timing ourselves to meet and greet two familiar passenger ships on the way. The children especially knew the ships (Baltic Princess and Viking Grace) very well and it was a cool event to see them going close by us, out on the water.

We had just moored when M came up to me and touched my arm.

“When will we go again? Please, can we go soon again?”, she asked, with a shy but excited smile on her face.

“What about tomorrow?”, I replied, and felt both happy and relieved at the same time.

J, O and ice cream on the bathing platform.
Cheers, my dear!


  1. What a lovely day.
    Delighted all the family enjoyed their time on the water. Afterall, there’s nothing quite like the wind blowing through your hair and the sun on your face.
    Albeit I would have swapped the sparkling for the real stuff!
    So kind of you to rescue a dog. We did the same and now have two.
    And like us, they love the yacht. Which is somewhat fortunate… lol

    1. Thank you for your message!

      Aiko has been with us now for about three weeks and it hasn’t been completely without problems. Unfortunately, there was a scheduling mishap so he arrived here while I was away sailing the boat to Finland. When I returned, I was a “new person” and he was afraid of me and also aggressive towards me. Funny, though, that was only at home. In the boat the dynamic was totally different.

      Luckily, every day it’s getting better at home as well. We’ve learned that some rescue dogs are afraid of men, and this seems to be the case here. Also, the initial stress of traveling here etc affects everything. But things are looking better as the days pass by, and it is a relief that he likes the yacht (we already had the opportunity to spend the night and everything went perfectly).

      Kind regards!

  2. Hi
    Just read through all your posts, it brings back memories of me collecting my new Hanse yachts from the Hamble uk and sailing them the 350 miles home to Cardiff Wales . It all started 14 or 15 years ago at the London boat show when I purchased a Hanse 315 not knowing anything about sailing or boats, in truth this yacht was delivered by lorry, I only had it three months, loved it so much I contacted the dealer and up graded it to a H 370 demo yacht they had in stock,
    I sailed this yacht for about 18 months loving every minute before I ordered a brand new H430e just after the model was launched in 2007, we kitted this yacht out with the intention of sailing off far , med , Atlantic , 11 very happy years later , still not left uk waters but very close to retirement I sold her to a young couple Faye and Ryan who have taken her on the adventure she was intended for. Check out sailing Chelsea on YouTube.
    I’m not done with sailing yet though I’ve bought myself a Wauquiez pilot saloon 48 , got a dog called Barry from the dogs home , my wife Sarah, Barry and I have big plans just need to get bloody work out of the way.
    Happy sailing
    David pickford

    1. Hello David,

      Thank you for your comment and for sharing a bit of your sailing history! I’ve actually watched some of the Sailing Chelsea videos and how nice to know that it used to be your boat.

      Moving from one Hanse to another, you did your upgrades pretty quickly, indeed.

      The Wauquiez must be a beautiful boat, so get the bloody work out of the way soon! 😀

      All the best to all of you!

  3. Hi Mikael, this is what your face displayed when we met at the pier in Greifswald. We wish you many such days ending with the question: “when will we go again?!”
    Regards from Swen-Olaf and Armgard (still enjoying Lithuania)

    1. Hello Swen-Olaf and Armgard!

      Thank you so much for your comment! I hope your trip is going well? Luckily it’s quite warm already 😀

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