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Old 13-09-2012, 12:07   #16
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Re: Cruising With Kids ICW First Time

CarlF and Azul are giving GREAT advice. If Bahamas is a must, do as they suggest. Don't let fantasy cloud your vision. The vacation is where you are! Make it count for the whole family. Don't make it a delivery.

If you're in CT you have the best summer cruising anywhere, very close by.... Don't overlook your own backyard:
Mystic/Stonington/Watch Hill, Gardeners Bay area, Narragansett Bay area, Block Island (spend at least 5 days there), Westport MA, The Elizabeth Islands, Martha's Vineyard (each harbor and town has a different flavor), The Cape, and on up to the coast of Maine. Many things to do and see, nice beaches in a few spots, and some pristine harbors too when you want to get away.
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Old 13-09-2012, 13:06   #17
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Re: Cruising With Kids ICW First Time

"The ditch" will put you in many places with few (or no) activities suitable for kids.

New England will let you harbor hop, and you can easily limit your daily sailing time to 3-5 hours which will be more tolerable for kids. When bad weather is in the forecast you can plan to be where there are activities ashore. 10+ hours of rain with 5 kids in a 37-foot boat will not be a happy situation, unless you can go ashore and find things to do.
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Old 13-09-2012, 17:36   #18
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Re: Cruising With Kids ICW First Time

I was mainly concerned with heat and bugs,we drive to florida 25 hours straight through and drive to maine 8 hrs ,so 8 hours is nothing ,was really only looking to cover 40 miles a day.maybe head straight to norfolk from new york harbor would be quicker to get on the icw so we can take our time once on it.the cockpit enclosure i am making will hold kayaks,was planning on early morning starts the kids can do stuff earlier in the evening,,explore on kayacks shore ,activities.and yes x-box,i pods are already coveredy,kites,powered scooters and fishingpoles, is 2 months not enough time?and as for bahamas ,how much time would you recomend? I can take two months off a year,so a bahamas cruise wouldnt happen till the year after,.and the trip is not to get to florida,its to go down the icw,so a delivery would be a waste.
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Old 13-09-2012, 18:37   #19
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Ya.......going north is prob your best but. You are talking about cruising during hurricane season after all. I think Nova Scotia would be my destination if were you.
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Old 13-09-2012, 20:10   #20
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Re: Cruising With Kids ICW First Time

Pompano Beach is ICW Mile 1055. That's 26 long days from Norfolk using your 40 miles a day. It will be hot and humid. You'll be motoring almost all the time. And you'll be trapped with five kids in an oversized garment bag.

I apologize for my earlier recommendation about the Chesapeake. I wouldn't go to the Chesapeake in June either but it seemed better than further south.

Maine is the answer. My kids best memories of sailing are Maine. Go as far East as you have time. Roque Island. Even cross into Canada at Grand Manan. No contest...

Roger Duncan in The Cruising Guide to the New England Coast got Maine right

"To be headed east by Schoodic bell before a summer sou'wester with
Mount Desert fading astern and the lonely spike of Petit Manan light
just visible on the port bow is about as close to perfection as a man
can expect to come on this imperfect earth....


Carl
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Old 13-09-2012, 21:19   #21
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Re: Cruising With Kids ICW First Time

Popeye you sound like your mind is made up and what you really wanted was encouragement, not advice.

You really should think about a Plan-B if it doesn't work out like you expect.
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Old 14-09-2012, 08:11   #22
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Re: Cruising With Kids ICW First Time

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Originally Posted by SailFastTri View Post
Popeye you sound like your mind is made up and what you really wanted was encouragement, not advice.

You really should think about a Plan-B if it doesn't work out like you expect.
I agree, I think we are all wasting our time on this thread. Not even an acknowledgement for time spent but your point of view is not mine blah blah, the type of common courtesy that goes a long way on a 25 hour car trip with small children. Was it Shakespeare that said "A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still?"
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Old 14-09-2012, 08:22   #23
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Re: Cruising With Kids ICW First Time

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I agree, I think we are all wasting our time on this thread. Not even an acknowledgement for time spent but your point of view is not mine blah blah, the type of common courtesy that goes a long way on a 25 hour car trip with small children. Was it Shakespeare that said "A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still?"
Reminds me of a situtation I was in when I was in high school. I was riding my bike in the town I grew up in, and a driver stopped to ask directions. I told him how to go but he said, "No it's the other way, isn't it (pointing)?" I said I just told him the right way to go, but he can go the other way if he wants to (via China). He chose the wrong way.
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Old 14-09-2012, 09:35   #24
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Re: Cruising With Kids ICW First Time

One final note, in desperation. What is your plan for keeping the 3 yo alive? I hope that you are going to keep the child in a life preserver 24/7 (make sure it is tight enough so their face turns red) or at least chain the child to a galley table leg in the AC which is arguably more considerate. I think as an experiment, you should build a room off your house with little tiny windows too high for you to see out of, fill it full of mosquitos and set the temperature to 90 degrees, slather yourself in sunscreen and DEET until your eyes burn, then don a huge fluffy life preserver like small children are forced to wear and lock yourself in this room for 12 hours a day for several weeks to see how it goes. Maybe play some music in the background for entertainment or watch the same Disney movie over and over and over and over.
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Old 14-09-2012, 09:58   #25
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Re: Cruising With Kids ICW First Time

That's pretty harsh, Azul, but your point is not without merit.

Two years ago I overheard an actual mayday call in Long Island (Huntington Harbor) because a 2-year old had been overcome by heat stroke and passed out. It was exceptionally hot and humid for LIS, but probably typical weather for Virginia and points south in summer. The panic in the parents' voice was heartbreaking. I was very concerned also and never heard the outcome, but it haunts me to think about it.
(Edit: The child was still unconscious as the harbor patrol sped the baby and mom to the waiting EMT/ambulance ashore. They took about 20 minutes to get to the boat in a very well populated area. Immediate help might not be available in rural parts of the ICW.)

I can just imagine what a nightmare that trip is going to be for this family, at times. Not that there wouldn't be some great moments, but all that motoring in the heat and limited space is going to be a test of how much boredom the kids can put up with. I can just imagine 5 active kids and 2 adults in a 37-foot boat stuck in some backwater place with 3 days of steady rain. That boat's going to seem very small and damp, especially all loaded for cruising. It sounds like he's planning on keeping the kids amused and entertained as much as possible but unless he's prepared to stop after 3-5 hours per day the ICW is mostly motoring long hours day after day. I hope Popeye's not the type who yells at the kids when they don't behave like adults.
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Old 14-09-2012, 10:18   #26
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Re: Cruising With Kids ICW First Time

My post is not at all harsh, it is EXACTLY the experience the 3 year old child will have. They hate life preservers and lack of change in environment in general, they are so hot their faces get flushed even if it is 80 degrees ambient, the poor mother will have to watch the child like a hawk every moment while dad is playing with the older kids in the kayaks living his dream, even with a life preserver and a jackline attached as they are basically suicidal. It is one thing to do this trip because there is no other choice, but for pleasure??? I'm going to go on record as saying subjecting a child to this day after day is akin to child abuse unless and maybe even if one parent dedicates every waking moment to the 3 yo's welfare, which will make the other children feel neglected. Somebody needs to play devil's advocate here as the OP appears to have convinced himself that this will be the family's dream trip and is thinking only of himself. Reminds me of Michael Jackson dangling his baby over the railing for God's sake. At least leave the young children home with the grandparents. Excuse me, but gentle prodding (my mother was afraid to say anything to my father etc) didn't get his attention. Even for a day trip extreme care must be taken on a boat in saltwater regarding a small child's best interests.
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Old 14-09-2012, 11:41   #27
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Re: Cruising With Kids ICW First Time

Some of these comments are getting ridiculous.

The guy is has a solid 37 ft boat with A/C and sounds like he will fit appropriate bug netting.

If you get underway each day by 8am, a pretty standard time to leave, for a 40 mile day you will be at your destination by 2-3PM. If you are the marina type, or if it IS indeeed scorching hot, plug in the A/C and hop in the pool or explore town. Find an ice cream shop. Go paddling or biking. Or relax. If you are at anchor and if your family is like mine you will be jumping off the boat within 20 minutes of dropping the hook. Instant heat relief. Hell, for that matter I can run one of my A/C's off of a Honda EU2000i if it gets unbearable, but my 4 and 6 year olds would rather jump off the back of the boat (or the bow!). They also did this when they were 3 and somehow didn't die a horrible death...

Regarding life preservers, they are required topside but certainly not down below. In fact, you'd pretty much be a moron to make your kids wear a life preserver 24/7 on the boat.

If you are a close-knit family and have fun ashore you will have the same experience but amplified on the boat. Just don't do the trip to fix any family issues... Hundreds of families enjoy what you are doing every year. Maybe for not as long, but after a week it is all the same.

All that said I would personally head to Maine, but that is more due to my personal goal to get up there and explore that beautiful coastline!

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Old 14-09-2012, 12:44   #28
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I grew up sailing with my family, and now am Chesapeake cruising with my wife and 2 kids. Kids are 1 and nearly 3, and our rule is no sailing more than 2-3 hours per day. OP's kids are older.
That said, my opinion is that any 2-3 day stretch of solid motoring will be tolerable, but to do it for 4-6 weeks straight will be misery for the family and kids. Watch National Lampoon's vacation, take out the stretch and sightseeing breaks, and that may be it.
Trust me, I am adventurous, and love sailing, but as a teen, after 2-3 weeks of cruising with my sister and 2 parents, with a far less ambitious schedule, lots more time stopped, and kids met at every stop, we all got somewhat stir crazy. And we mostly sailed. Add in the noise of a motor....
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Old 14-09-2012, 13:11   #29
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Re: Cruising With Kids ICW First Time

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Some of these comments are getting ridiculous.

The guy is has a solid 37 ft boat with A/C and sounds like he will fit appropriate bug netting.

Did I say the boat was inadequate? Is he going to put bug netting completely around the cockpit? In a single day I killed 1000 biting flies and gave another 800 a concussion with a flyswatter despite wearing gobs of high % DEET. I grew up with five kids in the family. I had four boys I raised on day trips in boats. If you get underway each day by 8am, a pretty standard time to leave, for a 40 mile day you will be at your destination by 2-3PM. If you are the marina type, or if it IS indeeed scorching hot, plug in the A/C and hop in the pool or explore town. Find an ice cream shop. Go paddling or biking. Or relax. If you are at anchor and if your family is like mine you will be jumping off the boat within 20 minutes of dropping the hook. Instant heat relief. Hell, for that matter I can run one of my A/C's off of a Honda EU2000i if it gets unbearable, but my 4 and 6 year olds would rather jump off the back of the boat (or the bow!). They also did this when they were 3 and somehow didn't die a horrible death...

Regarding life preservers, they are required topside but certainly not down below. In fact, you'd pretty much be a moron to make your kids wear a life preserver 24/7 on the boat.

If you are a close-knit family and have fun ashore you will have the same experience but amplified on the boat. Just don't do the trip to fix any family issues... Hundreds of families enjoy what you are doing every year. Maybe for not as long, but after a week it is all the same.

All that said I would personally head to Maine, but that is more due to my personal goal to get up there and explore that beautiful coastline!

Frank
I guess hyperbole is wasted on you Frank. The OP didn't even acknowledge lighter handed comments. Three year olds drown in family pools with great regularity, even when their parents lock the house doors so the child will have to be watched constantly, and are you sure they will float face up when they go over the side with a preserver on when nobody notices as a barge goes by and rocks the boat? Their parents always say something like "Gee I never thought that could happen."

In a business meeting once, the CEO came in after a trip and started telling a story about how he had to beat his three year old because they were crying in the car. He was trying to make a point (the story was false) about people speaking up when something is just WRONG, yet only one of the underlings raised their hand to stop him and asked if he really was beating the child.

This is like two 17 year olds getting married because they are "in love forever." If sensible people can't talk them out of it they will have to face the consequences.

How is he going to put bug netting around the entire cockpit enclosure? How is he going to block the sun in the early and late part of the day when it angles in from the side after reflected light from the water has already cooked you despite sunscreen the days before?

Being in a marina, doing day trips or at anchor is not what we are talking about here. During my recent trip, six days, leaving before 8 am, I never managed to knock down 40 miles by 3 pm until the final day which had no bridges, snags, fuel stops or other impediments and was under ideal conditions. Maybe the Partridge family under discussion is tougher and more efficient than I am. Three times squalls came through and totally drenched me to the skin for most of the day despite a full bimini, at a time of year when the weather will be similar to a June trip. I did 300 miles of the exact trip being discussed and love to be on a boat, yet it was one of the most boring and tiring experiences I have ever had and I had absolutely no time or energy to do anything at the end of the day except cook and take a shower, and I have not met a teenager that can keep up with me doing boating activities yet. Oh, one night I had to rewire a bilge pump and float switch, that was fun. My comments are not directed at the OP entirely, in fact I think he is hopelessly convinced of the intelligence of his plan or hoping to get his wife on board by soliciting people likely to be cheerleaders for such an ill conceived stunt, but at others that don't realize how uncomfortable a 3 year old child can become on a boat in a single day under ideal conditions- like taking them over to the Outer Banks to see the ponies and swim in the shallow water. You can hear many of them screaming at the docks as the flotilla returns immobilized in their straight jackets, oops Freudian slip. Just like they do when you constrain them in a fancy restaurant or similar venues. Sure, I know people that were raised on sailboats, even circumnavigated as children, even that is not like the drudgery of running the ditch in the summer.
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Old 14-09-2012, 13:26   #30
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Re: Cruising With Kids ICW First Time

The ICW has many historic and beautiful ports especially in the south. Summer is very hot though. There are also areas of shallow watter and tons of bridges with opening restrictions. Check out Claiborne Young's website Cruiser's Net. He is an expert on the ICW from Virginia through Florida.
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