Every year, we look forward to hearing from Pilar and Bruce Martinelli and the adventures of Rex, their son, while out fishing for lingcod aboard their boat the ‘Tantrum No.1’. We hope you enjoy this fantastic account of their trip in Pilar’s own words:
A new year… a new season… a new experience. Once again, I board the Tantrum not knowing what to expect with Rex. Almost certainly, it will not be what I think it will be and all my “preparedness” will prove to be mostly useless. Isn’t that just life in a nutshell though?
Well, this trip was no different in that regard. I packed for endless hours of indoor entertainment; Hot Wheels, Legos, board games, arts and crafts, school material and books. Even Captain Daddy-O and First Mate Maximus, who are used to my excessive packing (usually in the culinary arena), were rolling their eyes with the number of extra crates we all packed on board. In the end, it wasn’t “the stuff” I brought on board that proved to be as captivating to Rex as much as the Tantrum itself.
A kid of the 21st century with a mechanical mind is of course drawn to the computers and machines on board. Within that realm, lies the fun for this kid. Rex pretty much learned to man the radars and get a good grasp of the mapping system within the first week. We no longer had to worry about him flipping switches haphazardly. He now knows what a lot of the switches are and how and when to use them. Of course, that makes my job a little easier since I no longer have to man the switchboard from a curious toddler. It does not however stop the boundary-pushing-5-year-old from deciding when he thinks a certain radar should be running or what setting the mapping system Captain Daddy-O should be using when he’s fishing!
Outside the wheelhouse computer center, it was the deck itself that our active child was drawn most to. Technically, we have three levels to explore outside and Rex wanted to explore all corners of them. I can’t say that it was the fishing itself that captured his attention most at this age. Yes, the water hose was quite fun (less fun for the recipients of the spray), but his knife skills are falling a bit short and, in all fairness, those big fish require quite a bonk in the head to make for a quick and easy end to life (our goal). All in due time, I’m sure, but for now, it’s way more fun to swing, bounce, and climb… areas I did not plan or account for in my preparing for this voyage. Rex did not need endless indoor actives, this active boy needed ways outside to expend all that energy. We may have not come prepared, but we did make do; a mast for climbing, a boom for scaling, an inflatable skiff for bouncing (our on-board version of a trampoline), ropes for tight-walking, and a scotchman and a beach-found-ladder-plank made for good-enough-swinging. I’m sure we could do better. The swings could go higher, the tight ropes could go longer, and there is more research and planning to be done.
I know we are not the first family to live aboard a working vessel. Somewhere out there, I’ll find the right equipment and set up and we really will have a proper playground known as The Tantrum.
Written by: Pilar Martinelli
Allison Hepworth - June 7, 2023
The Tantrum Playground
Allison Hepworth - June 7, 2023