A baby went to sea

A sailor went to sea sea sea

To see what he could see see see

But all that he could see see see

Was the bottom of the deep blue sea sea sea


I was pretty nervous about taking a 6 month old baby on a ferry across the Irish sea, but it turned out the only thing I had to worry about was getting that song stuck in my head.

Photo by sickcert on Flickr https://bit.ly/2wOzksj


We arrived at the port about 40 minutes before the sailing time, and after just 10 minutes we were boarding the Stena Adventurer from Dublin to Holyhead. The car deck had a lift up to the passenger lounges so we could put her in the buggy and load up with food, toys, nappies and clothes. On the way back the car deck was ridged and we were between two vans so it was a bit of a tighter manoeuvre to get to the lift, but we managed. (Cars with young passengers are just loaded in the order they arrive the same as everyone else so there’s no guarantee you’ll be near to a lift.)


The ship has lots of different lounges and seating styles so we found some comfy armchairs in a carpeted corner, and made it our little base.


Next to us was another couple with a baby about the same age, and I was admiring their ability to transfer him still sleeping on board when our little one was wide awake and needed entertaining.


For older children Stena provide a soft play area, a cinema room and there was a puppet show, but our little one was too young for that, so we entertained her with singing, frequently swapping positions and playing on a blanket on the floor. That was when I realised how few songs about the sea I know, apart from that blasted one that got stuck in my head.


I always enjoy watching the coast recede and draw near, and I saw a dolphin in the water, but she couldn’t see those, and was just interested in us pulling silly faces.


When she got restless we took turns to put her in the buggy and walk around the decks. There were three decks open, even though it wasn’t a full crossing, so it wasn’t too boring a circuit. She even managed to drift off to sleep for a short nap like that.


There was a nappy changing facility that was big enough to wheel the buggy in, and there were no nightmare raised door sills like I remember from the ferries of my youth, so moving about was easy.


We were lucky the weather was good and the crossing was smooth. I would say my baby wouldn’t have even known she was on the sea. I’d had images of her getting sea sick, but that wasn’t an issue. (This might have been a much  more interesting story if the crossing was rough).


The only part where she got a bit upset when was when we were back in the car and she was strapped in the seat, but it took a while for the cars to start disembarking. She was slightly overtired as she hadn’t had much of a nap during the crossing, but that actually worked out well because as soon as we were moving she fell asleep and slept the whole car journey the other side.


It must be great to be a baby, when you can cross the sea, go on a long car journey and just wake up the other side as if nothing has happened. It’s kind of like teleportation. I wish I could still travel like that, but I still found it a relatively stress free trip, so I wouldn’t be worried about doing it again.

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