How to survive Stakeout (with a toddler)

Back in 2018 I decided I would do Stakeout with my son who was then almost 2 years old. Solo. Here are some lessons learned that might help other desparate parents out there:

Tip #1

When travelling solo with a toddler – just realise that you are TOTALLY on your own schedule. Other people might get together for beers, overnight playboating trips, sunset – and sunrise session – for you, as the single travelling parent – forget about all that. As soon as you let go of all expectations of doing anything except from normal daytime sessions on the water, IF you are lucky enough to have a babysitter or another family sharing the kids – Stakeout is AWESOME even when you miss out on most of the social times.

Tip #2

If you are a parent having a hard time letting others help you out with your child – forget about travelling solo. If there is EVER a small promise of babysitting – grab it, with no guilty feelings. A happy mother is a happy child, and vice versa.

Tip #3

Be efficient. There is no time to faff around in parking lots, gear up for hours, or spend endless times organizing everybody to paddle with you. I tried a few times, and only ended up getting frustrated when things did not work out. When you have the chance to get out – you go, no matter if it is alone, or with a few also efficient people.

Tip #4

There is nothing like a big-ass wave to take your thoughts off a late-night fever, a diaper rash, or a certain worrying behaviour from your offspring. Some glorious faceplants, half-whiplashes and big volume lines are like yoga to the paddler-parent´s mind. Take my word for it.

Tip #5

Have some core people around you with more or less  the same schedule. I could have never gone to Canada and enjoyed it so much if it wasn´t for the fact that Matt Hamilton opened up his home (and especially the front yard) for us, letting us throw endless rocks in his backyard creek, play with his dogs and use his bath-tub. Also – Leif and Natalie Andersen with their son were keen to share babysitting chors – which was a win-win. I got to paddle a lot with both of them, and they definitely did more babysitting than me – I guess that is a direct consequence of them being two parents and me flying solo…