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Old 09-04-2014, 04:03   #31
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Re: Dreams, Time and a Son

perhaps i should be more clear in the explanation of how i feel,and the reasoning behind it.

i built a boat in a country in africa that we virually had to escape from as refugees,i was 24 at the time.

sailing for myself and my family was not a sabatical,holiday,or tempory thing,it was a way of life,self supporting,as we ran the boat as a sailing school,we were not gypsies,but seafarers,earning our living from the sea,and consequently spending many months every year on passage, this life style could have carried on indefinitly,were it not for the children.

our children by the ages of 10 years had NEVER had any real contact with other kids,apart from brief contacts with other "kid boats",our motivation for hitting the land was that we felt it unfair to rob the kids of their childhood,whilst inflicting our lifestyle on them.

doing a 3 year sabattical on a yacht with kids is a completly different animal,to an open ended way of life such as we chose to live,my daughter by the age of 10 has 60,000 miles under her belt!
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Old 09-04-2014, 04:54   #32
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Re: Dreams, Time and a Son

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perhaps i should be more clear in the explanation of how i feel,and the reasoning behind it.

i built a boat in a country in africa that we virually had to escape from as refugees,i was 24 at the time.

sailing for myself and my family was not a sabatical,holiday,or tempory thing,it was a way of life,self supporting,as we ran the boat as a sailing school,we were not gypsies,but seafarers,earning our living from the sea,and consequently spending many months every year on passage, this life style could have carried on indefinitly,were it not for the children.

our children by the ages of 10 years had NEVER had any real contact with other kids,apart from brief contacts with other "kid boats",our motivation for hitting the land was that we felt it unfair to rob the kids of their childhood,whilst inflicting our lifestyle on them.

doing a 3 year sabattical on a yacht with kids is a completly different animal,to an open ended way of life such as we chose to live,my daughter by the age of 10 has 60,000 miles under her belt!
further i should also mention that we still livaboard our 63 ft yacht in a very active sailing port,no dirt dwellers here.
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Old 09-04-2014, 05:14   #33
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Dreams, Time and a Son

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If I wanted to teach my children they should be trapped by society's norms I would get a 9-5 job, send my kids to a nice suburban school and take them to Red Lobster every Friday night.

But I want to raise smart, creative, curious, fit and healthy children so I put them on a boat and set off for foreign lands. I try to intoduce a little responsibility and hardship into their lives for good measure.

The 9-5 option is for the meeker, milder folk who can't "buck up" and be real men and women who live their dreams and lead by example.

Thank goodness the two countries spent most of my life in (Australia and the good ole USA) who were forged by men and women who were brave enough to pick up their families and go and look for better lives.

I see so landlubbers can't raise smart and curious kids. .... Really , what nonsense


The vast majority of American and Australian founders were economic migrants " forced " to pick up their families and find work and income far away. It was rarely done by choice.

Leave out the romanticising

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Old 09-04-2014, 06:49   #34
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Re: Dreams, Time and a Son

Cowboy, I felt you were using this thread to blow off steam about Rebel Heart and other cruising families. That is the right and sensitive thing to do of course. This thread is a much better place for that debate.

You ask about my own teenagers. They are not with me because their mother and I are divorced, of course. They will be with me in Columbia in a few months. The older one will be in Ecuador next school year, the younger one joining me later for a year in the Pacific.

I am sure they will be permanently damaged by these upcoming experiences. After all, the side-effects of extensive travel have already been 4.0 GPAs, happy, healthy and popular teenagers.

Dave, I suppose I felt offended by the suggestion people cruising with kids are irresponsible. I reserve the right to respond with romanticism when told to "buck up".

Of course it is possible raise smart and curious kids on land. But I think taking your kids cruising is a much easier way to do it.

Australia had a well deserved reputation as a very harsh place and before the second world war had to practically beg people to immigrate from Britain. My US history is not great, but I seem to remember most Europeans needed to be coaxed a little to make the move to the New World. The railway companies were masters of propoganda.

At the time I am sure there were many people like Cowboy telling parents they were irresponsible for taking along their children.
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Old 09-04-2014, 08:41   #35
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Re: Dreams, Time and a Son

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Originally Posted by svseachange View Post
Cowboy, I felt you were using this thread to blow off steam about Rebel Heart and other cruising families. That is the right and sensitive thing to do of course. This thread is a much better place for that debate.

You ask about my own teenagers. They are not with me because their mother and I are divorced, of course. They will be with me in Columbia in a few months. The older one will be in Ecuador next school year, the younger one joining me later for a year in the Pacific.

I am sure they will be permanently damaged by these upcoming experiences. After all, the side-effects of extensive travel have already been 4.0 GPAs, happy, healthy and popular teenagers.

Dave, I suppose I felt offended by the suggestion people cruising with kids are irresponsible. I reserve the right to respond with romanticism when told to "buck up".

Of course it is possible raise smart and curious kids on land. But I think taking your kids cruising is a much easier way to do it.

Australia had a well deserved reputation as a very harsh place and before the second world war had to practically beg people to immigrate from Britain. My US history is not great, but I seem to remember most Europeans needed to be coaxed a little to make the move to the New World. The railway companies were masters of propoganda.

At the time I am sure there were many people like Cowboy telling parents they were irresponsible for taking along their children.
My intent was not to blow off steam, as I have no steam to blow off. I am not an anti-child/boat fanatic either as you attempt to twist in your posts and garner fan support. I am in full agreement of kids going to sea. I was simply responding to the OP question and gave an answer using my own circumstances. Unlike you, who jumped up on your soap box, pounded your chest, and claimed to be somebody you are not. Your children eat at Red Lobster, go to college and live an existence in there teen years in the city. They’re not plying the oceans of the world; forging ahead as your forefathers did creating new lands.....LOL
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Old 09-04-2014, 09:14   #36
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Re: Dreams, Time and a Son

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The best age is when the kids are useful and can do watches. This is a win-win situation. The kid feels an incredible satisfaction from doing his/her part in taking a yacht across an ocean and the parents can share the workload better on the long passages.

If they are too young (<5?) they will barely remember much and they are so so much work. Once they are in their mid-teens, they have their peers and it becomes more difficult, but not impossible.

So I say pretty much the opposite of Atoll - take them when they are capable of standing a watch (about 8 or 10 depending on the kid) for as long as is reasonably possible (about 13 to 16).

I speak as a kid raised on 3 oceans and as a father who showed his son a couple of oceans. And as an older brother who spent years doing "baby watches" ie. caring for my toddler sister at sea between real watches.
i think we may be talking at cross purposes here
,are you saying you never went to school on land,and never had the chance to make long term childhood friends because your family cruised non- stop internationally from the day you were born,untill you left home 17-18 years later

are your children now not back in school on the land mixing with other kids now you are back in australia,having a relatively normal childhood,even if they live on a boat?

the point i am trying to make is that long term cruising with no formal school time,and no long term contact with other kids is detrimental to their development.

their is nothing wrong with taking them out of school for a RTW sabatical of 3 years or so and is generally very beneficial to their development as individuals,...IF they have allready been in school,or if after the cruise they return to school.,...but to keep kids isolated because of YOUR lifestyle,this s unfair,and detrimental to the child ......in my opnion.
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Old 09-04-2014, 09:18   #37
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Re: Dreams, Time and a Son

I did not begin sailing until my life got really crazy. It was my true grounding, excuse the expression. I thought I was doing the right thing moving my children to a small town in California. It didn't work out exactly how I planned. The peer pressure and social problems in high school no child should have to go through. I pulled my daughter from school, began home school and took her to work. She learned to work for a living since school was not teaching her any responsibility for her decisions. She was going down the wrong road. Not every parent can and will make it a priority. My husband was not a sailor and wanted nothing to do with it. I did take my daughter to other countries and teach her about differences. She has a good foundation. She is now a mother and can make her own choices. I wish I could take my Granddaughter out of school and go sailing. She is 13 and you do not want to know how things work today in public school.
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Old 09-04-2014, 09:22   #38
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Re: Dreams, Time and a Son

There are already tons of good posts here so I will be short..

I was struggling with the same (only 3 kids, aged 3, 5, 7). In the end I believe the benefits of living this kind of life were enormous. They far outweighed the hardships of leaving a "Normal Life".

Here is a post that is very interesting to read. A former "Cruising Kid" posting about his life and what he thinks about it now as an adult.. Very eye opening.
I grew up on sailboat on the Caribbean, AMA : IAmA
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Old 09-04-2014, 09:38   #39
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Re: Dreams, Time and a Son

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Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
There are already tons of good posts here so I will be short..

I was struggling with the same (only 3 kids, aged 3, 5, 7). In the end I believe the benefits of living this kind of life were enormous. They far outweighed the hardships of leaving a "Normal Life".

Here is a post that is very interesting to read. A former "Cruising Kid" posting about his life and what he thinks about it now as an adult.. Very eye opening.
I grew up on sailboat on the Caribbean, AMA : IAmA
this is exactly what i have been talking about,the child will allways in some respects be an aloof outsider looking in,and he only spent 4 years cruising,can you imagine a kid who has spent their whole life living in isolation on a boat trying to adjust.

(quote) from above link

You mentioned that you disliked the fleeting nature of your friendships... would you self identify as a Third Culture Kid ?

Thanks for the link, I'd never heard of that term before!

I think that is a very apt description of me when I first returned to the States. It was a total culture shock, trying to integrate with people who had grown up their entire lives on the same street, with the same friends, etc.
(Watch Mean Girls; I actually really identified with the first half-hour of that movie.)

When I lived on the boat, making friends was very easy - if it was someone under the age of 20, you played together. I had friends who were 5 and friends who were 16, friends who were American and friends who didn't speak a word of English, and in my mind they were all equal. To be shunned because I was "different" was a completely foreign concept, and somewhat traumatic.

Of course, once I adjusted, I found that it was something of an advantage. As a result of my childhood, I've found that I am very good at "compartmentalizing" my interests. I can very easily make friends by identifying what interests we share, and then presenting ONLY those aspects of myself in conversation.

Another thing that I've noticed is that I am more culturally and socially aware than most of my white, middle-class American peers. I can more easily identify with people outside of my current culture, and so am more empathetic.

I find that I am also much more comfortable around foreigners than many Americans (for example, I can actually have a conversation with my Chinese coworker, while others find her accent too thick and generally avoid her unless absolutely necessary).
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Old 09-04-2014, 09:59   #40
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Re: Dreams, Time and a Son

atoll - I didn't write that AMA, I only posted a link to it as it helped me make my decision to go with my 3 kids. I find it interesting how you interpreted it, or you didn't read all the responses he posted to the 426 questions.

I pretty sure he would not describe himself as "aloof outsider looking in". Pretty sure he was trying to say the exact opposite. Although he had a difficult time when he first came back, ultimately the cruising life style gave him the skills to make friends with anyone.

In any case.. Its good information and a good perspective for anyone thinking of taking their kids.

As to the "Fleeting Nature of Friendships" in regular life. I would say that is %100 true about modern life in a big city. Outside of my wife, I have 1 friendship that I don't consider fleeting.

P.S. You should edit your last post to show you are quoting snippets from the Reddit AMA. Its confusing and looks like you wrote that stuff yourself..
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Old 09-04-2014, 10:06   #41
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Re: Dreams, Time and a Son

Honestly, do it and don't look back.

Here's a question for you, what is it you think he is actually getting out of our social society here? Think long and hard and have a look around at the city you live in and the school he goes to. If it is anything like where I live you are surrounded by grumpy angry people who are living day to day and pay check to pay check always chasing some fictionalized dream that is imposed upon them by society. Every day this standard mold is pressed harder and harder into your child and any free thinking, free will is simply crushed.

It all starts in school where he is expected to "conform" to the lowest common denominator (read: child left behind act) where he will never be challenged, yet at the same time be expected to get an outstanding score on a crappy standardized test so that the school can continue to receive funding. Add on top of that the peer pressure and teacher pressure to do all of these rediculous extra activities, you need to dress up for crazy hair day, dress up for 100th day, bring cookies for xyz day, bring cans of food for the poor, collect pennies at home for the poor, then you need to participate in sports, and join the school band, and do a hundred other silly things. Then let's talk about what the school expects of parents, they expect you to show up to everything, they expect you to volunteer half your life to the school, then they come around and ask you to go to money. AND if you or your kid do not do any of this then you are, of course, looked down upon by the society in which you are so desperately trying to conform. And that's just Elementary school!!!

Then, let's say you make it and you survive to graduate high school and even college. Then you are expected to once again conform to society, work an 8-5 job 5 days a week where you bust your butt with little recognition and repeat the cycle all over again. Where you spend 40+ years of your life fighting with traffic, waiting in line for a damn starbucks coffee or a cheeseburger all to come home and have about fifteen minutes to actually spend with your kids before rushing them off to bed and starting the next day where you will be once again expected to somehow balance and 8 hour a day job, four hours a day volunteering at your kids school and running him around to misc. activities.

Where is society going? Where is this society taking you? What is the benefit you get out of it? I don't see any personally, you're just a cog stuck in a huge machine that doesn't really benefit anyone and when you wear out they simply throw you in the trash and replace you.

Dare you to compare that to a cruising life, where your kids learn as fast or as slow as they want to and can. Where there is no peer pressure, where YOU have 24 hours a day to spend with them, teach them, and interact with them. You really think your kid will miss school, society, his friends when he will have YOU 24 hours a day? Trust me, if you gave the kid a choice he would pick you over every single one of his friends and wouldn't even think twice. Oh sure, he might "miss" them but only so much as you might miss your co-workers at an old job.

If you have the means and method, get the heck out I say. Half the time it takes about everything I have to make it into work in the morning and not just pack up the family and toss the dock lines off the boat and see where the wind takes us.
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Old 09-04-2014, 10:13   #42
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Re: Dreams, time and a son

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My big point when I here these sorts of things is, and I am not implying the OP falls into this category, is the parent has had it with life, society, being normal and on and on and wants to escape and run to the sea. Usually young adults, because they have young kids, want to take what little money they have go live on a boat with next to no income, too lazy to earn a living, expect to have the easy life at sea.......and brings there child with them. Not fare to the child and not responsible, most of the time. Buck up, put your time in, provide for the family, do the best you can to raise them and give them a good start in life......then go play and conquer mountains and sail around the world. You will have more money for the boat and kitty and enjoy yourself so much more. Patience is key.
The peanut gallery can decide whether you are pro-cruising families or not.
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Old 09-04-2014, 10:18   #43
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Re: Dreams, Time and a Son

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atoll - I didn't write that AMA, I only posted a link to it as it helped me make my decision to go with my 3 kids. I find it interesting how you interpreted it, or you didn't read all the responses he posted to the 426 questions.

I pretty sure he would not describe himself as "aloof outsider looking in". Pretty sure he was trying to say the exact opposite. Although he had a difficult time when he first came back, ultimately the cruising life style gave him the skills to make friends with anyone.

In any case.. Its good information and a good perspective for anyone thinking of taking their kids.

As to the "Fleeting Nature of Friendships" in regular life. I would say that is %100 true about modern life in a big city. Outside of my wife, I have 1 friendship that I don't consider fleeting.

P.S. You should edit your last post to show you are quoting snippets from the Reddit AMA. Its confusing and looks like you wrote that stuff yourself..
cheers ,my bad not putting quote,done now

regarding the article you are correct i did not read all 426 questions,but it did serve to hightlight the potential risks to a childs mental health,or young adult returning to an environment,that they are badly equipped to cope with ,then struggling to find a job or fit in .

,i also see the parents got divorced after coming back from sailing,being unable to adjust to "real life together" on land,not the only casualties,i wonder if the kid blames himself for this as well.

i wish the family well but the warning is there about readjustment if you ever have to return to the "real world",and the consequences on a childs psyche.
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Old 09-04-2014, 10:58   #44
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Re: Dreams, Time and a Son

Thanx guys, i have still to read closelly each post, but now i just want to share a pic of my kid taken yesterday.......he loves to sit and look at the channel. (heart of Rio and connectet to the sea in 5 min sailing).

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Old 09-04-2014, 14:51   #45
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Re: Dreams, Time and a Son

Because of this post I started rereading the link I posted earlier... This one post in particular is what "Made Up My Mind". The OP and another Cruising Kid post their true feelings towards their experience and parents.. This is the closest you will get to seeing it from your sons eyes..

Unforsaken92 comments on I grew up on sailboat on the Caribbean, AMA
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