Our days are slowly settling into a rough routine. Because the sun is so strong, we try to avoid it between 10 am and 3 pm. We wake up early and go swimming or head to the beach. Then back to the boat for breakfast and chores. The galley has a saltwater foot pump so I’m training Joshua to wash the breakfast dishes. He washes them in salt water and then I do a final rinse in fresh water. Malachi puts the dishes away and hangs wet swimsuits.
After clean-up, we do boat tasks and homeschooling. I have been able to get good books at used bookstores for relatively little money. They tend to be older, more classic books. Malachi will read anything that has words in it. He tells Matt about the current book he is reading (The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, a French author whose last name is pronounced Dew-mah). Malachi reads the brief bio of the author aloud, calling him “Alexander Dumb-ass” and looks at me puzzled when I cannot stop laughing. It is, of course, the proper English phonetic pronunciation of the name (and he’s never heard the alternate use of the term before). Perhaps there needs to be a bit more homeschooling supervision.
After school, we have lunch and quiet time. In such a small area, everyone needs a break from the constant togetherness. It also gives the boys space to nap if they need it. After quiet time, we go back to the beach and snorkel or swim until about 5 pm. We bathe on deck with a small, hand-pumped water canister or a cup in a bucket of water. Primitive perhaps, but it feels great to be clean (the boat has a shower hose but it gets the entire head wet and most cruisers just shower on deck). After dinner, we clean up, get the boys ready for bed and read a book together. The boys are in bed by 7:30 or 8 pm; Matt and I sometimes sit on deck (when there are no mosquitos) and look at the stars. Parts of St. John are relatively uninhabited so they show up brilliantly against the night.