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Old 20-10-2009, 19:23   #1
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Pacific Crossing Next Year with Toddlers on Board

Hi there, we are two novice Aussie sailors about to move onboard our first boat, a cat, in California and sail her down to Mexico with our two toddlers onboard. We'll leave Puerto Vallarta in March/April 2010 for the Pacific crossing, home to Australia. Is there anyone else out there doing the Pacific crossing next year with children onboard? Or just cruising California/Mexico with kids onboard? Aside from the obvious safety concerns related to cruising with kids, we are most worried about simply keeping them happy, entertained and well-socialised. Has anyone else done this with toddlers? Any words of wisdom? We are also interested to find out what sort of numbers do the crossing and to what degree they remain in contact? Scared, excited, nervous and happy are just the beginning of what we're feeling about doing this with such young children.

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Old 20-10-2009, 19:32   #2
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Not sure about toddlers,but young kids often have less fear than adults,because they have no basis to judge fear.

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Old 20-10-2009, 21:25   #3
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I don't think the toddlers will mind being at sea. They will be happy anywhere as long as there is food and a place that is comfortable for them to play.

I think the parents are the ones who will experience the real challenge and suffering, worrying about their well being, and making the boat safe for them. Don't tell anyone you are going to do it before you leave the USA or child welfare from the nanny state may pay you a visit .
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Old 20-10-2009, 23:04   #4
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I remember meeting a couple with toddlers in Singapore. They said that they could allways tell when the weather was going to turn worse because the little ones would just go below on their own.

In hindsight it was nothing supernatural, just that the small children were more sensitive to changes in the behavior of the boat on the water, so they felt the changes before the adults became aware of them.

The parents became very comfortable with having the kids on board because they were smart enough to get out of the way before the trouble started.

Of course I am sure that there was a period of stressing out over the tots before the parents trusted that the kids could handle things, but that too is natural.
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Old 21-10-2009, 09:00   #5
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Kids learn about safety very quickly. even toddlers. Back in England I remember being roundly told off by a four year old for not wearing a harness, and she was right.
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Old 21-10-2009, 09:09   #6
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check: Pacific Puddle Jump Official Web Site
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Old 21-10-2009, 17:36   #7
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Originally Posted by fishwife View Post
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Originally Posted by fishwife View Post
England I remember being roundly told off by a four year old for not wearing a harness, and she was right.

Did you dunk the 'lil b@#$%?

Most kids we meet suffer from lack of friends their own age. Most parents suffer from the suffering.

I'm not saying don't go or don't take them, what I am saying is you need to realise that yes there may be other kids out there, but they will be few. Perhaps understanding that will give you some better ideas than the floating caravans of kids boats people perceive. That just means your targets and goals are set around where the other boat load of kids wants to go.

It would be well worth the money to see a child psychologist and see what they think you could do to bring up a balanced but lonely child.

Michael Carr-Gregg in Melbourne is an eminent one. His website:
Notes on a Circumnavigation.

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Old 31-10-2009, 14:09   #8
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Elixer - your concerns are normal, but more likely it will take you longer to adjust to the cruising lifestyle then your kids.

We have 3 kids, ages 5, 7, and 10; and now in our second year of cruising. We are currently in Santa Rosalia, Mexico, busy making Halloween costumes so the kids can go trick-or-treating on the dock tonight. Several cruisers have stopped by to deliver bags of candy to the kids for fear that they would miss out. Cruising with kids is great.
We have met some teenage cruisers that start to twitch if there are no other kid boats around, but the notion that kid boats need to travel together to keep the kids happy is na´ve. When cruising in general, you’ll find some boats (with or without kids) that tend to “buddy boat”; and other boats that tend to do their own thing. It has far more to do with the personality of the people onboard than a requirement of being young. We mostly do our own thing and if there happens to be kids boats around then it changes the dynamics, but doesn’t make or break the fun factor. In fact, after being out awhile our kids are happy to talk to/play with whoever is around, but be it a peer or someone of the opposite sex and of a different age. Your kids will develop an attention span and be more open minded (shrink be damned!).
Safety – the most important thing onboard any boat. Do not compromise on safety – and this means far more than just writing checks for safety gear. Know your boat and know your limitations. Be open minded about learning and don’t rely on buddy boating as a safety net. Go slow and watch the weather forecasts (how many times have I heard, “I thought we would beat that gale, but…”). If you get scared don’t show it because young kids will pick up on it and then take your focus away from dealing with what is scary. Lastly, don’t let schedules dictate your decisions; cruising is about getting away from schedules.
For what it’s worth, check out our website to get a glimpse of one families approach to cruising with kids. We will be in the PV area sometime in December and puddle jump from there in April. There are other kids in a range of ages doing the jump; and many more cruising in Mexico. Also, send a private email if you have questions, we would be happy to help out any way that we can.
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Old 31-10-2009, 17:12   #9
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My friends done it. Prob noblem. They had a helper though.

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Old 05-11-2009, 05:30   #10
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Excellent weather information, and MUCH more, for cruising the South Pacific including a French to English Weather Term Translator, from the Hacking Family website.
South Pacific Weather

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"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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california, kids, toddlers, Mexico, Pacific Ocean

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