Saturday, November 17, 2007


Elias began walking two and a half weeks ago. Baby’s first step is of course supposed to be one of the special moments in parenthood, and Elias’ lived up to those expectations and exceeded them. It was like hearing for years about how spectacular Geographic Harbor is, then going there and finding that the descriptions you’ve heard don’t do it justice. He started walking one day at the housesit in Berkeley, and when I got back from the boatyard he was trotting in circles around the ottoman, holding on with one hand to keep his balance. Every now and then he launched out into open space towards Alisa, who was kneeling two or three baby steps away. His walking was really just a controlled crash, as he managed to totter on his unsteady legs for a moment before collapsing into Alisa. The redeeming part was the pure joy Elias was expressing, the huge smile that filled his face and the giggly laughter as he tried his new trick over and over, his little body overflowing with the excitement of what he could do, his head thrown back in a good imitation of ecstasy after every crash into his mother’s arms. What fun.

For the first week or so he walked just like an orangutan, with both hands held out front, up high over his head for balance. He’s still very unsteady, and has collected a prime series of bruises from his various encounters with fixed objects, most notably the floor. Our boy seems to lead with his head. Notice the cut temple and rug burn around the eye in the picture above.

Still in Alameda, but getting close to leaving. Throwing down for a new ham radio today, having decided that the Kenwood that came with Pelagic is too geriatric to make the trip. Mounted the Monitor windvane on the stern yesterday, fresh back from the shop with a bunch of new welds, two new diagonal cross braces and a new pinion gear. The people at the shop were very helpful, throwing in used parts and factory seconds at no charge, and this most useful of all optional devices on the boat is strong and (hopefully) ready for another 17 years of steering Pelagic.

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