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Old 13-08-2007, 12:40   #1
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Crossing Atlantic with young Children?

Anyone care to share their experience crossing the Atlantic with children? How long it took? Route? How they kept the kids occupied?

We are contemplating Bermuda -> Azores -> Ireland.

Any Ideas?

Thanks,
Ed
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Old 13-08-2007, 15:30   #2
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This is a very interesting topic and I hope to read some interesting accounts.

I lived aboard for 4 yrs and met several families who had young children and one Norwegian family who has one of the daughters born during the course of their multi year cruise.

You might want to seek out Ocean Voyager. They did it with two kids... Saskia and their boy, whose name I can't recall. But there is a series of videos which they did to document their round the world journey. It is most inspiring.

Check in at the SSCA as they might have some help too.

The boat kids I met were absolutely super and I met lots of them as I had a couple of cats on board and they loved to come and play with them.

What an experience! I had to wait until mid life to discover the blue... Good on you two. Go for it!

jef
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Old 13-08-2007, 18:42   #3
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Old 13-08-2007, 20:51   #4
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Hello

Hi everyone. This is my first posting to this site. I have been actively sailing for a number of years. Most of my sailing has been on lakes and in the caribbean. I am planning on an atlantic crossing and would like to know if anyone has used a beneteau 42 footer. The route that I would be taking is Florida to the BVI, then on to the Azores and finally Portugal. I would most likely be starting the trip in April of 08.
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Old 17-08-2007, 09:24   #5
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And you'll see a family who recently did it. I am sure there are many more.
Also the books "Just Cruising" and "Still Cruising" by Liza Copeland they crossed oceans with 3 little ones.
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Old 17-08-2007, 13:19   #6
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I was 10 when my parents took my tow sisters and I across the Pacific. We did up to 24 days at sea on a passage from Long Beach to the Marquesas. It takes a few days to get used to being at sea when you are a kid. Make sure you have good seabunks set up that the kids can lounge on if its rough. We slept a lot, read lots of books, listened to music, and fought over the one gameboy onboard. I would fold paper plates into little boats and throw them off wondering where they would go. The youger the child the easier they assimilate in my opinion.
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Old 17-08-2007, 16:31   #7
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Texwards,
What a fantastic opportunity to bond with your children. This trip will be something for them to remember(do not constantly remimnd them of this fantastic adventure or they will rebell). Pick a time when the Atlantic is kind. Discuss with the children the space limitations on your boat and let them choose their favorite items to take. You are giving the children an opportunity to make a decision based on limitations and for the rest of their lives they will have to make choices with restraints, unless you are going to leave them a huge fortune.

John
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Old 06-10-2007, 01:18   #8
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sailing with kids

Sorry , I can't help you , but next year me , my wife and our two children are taking off from Palmetto , Florida on a life time adventure .First two months we would like to spend in the local marina and get to use to the boating life , and outfit the boat. I think before Atlantic crossing you should do a little bit of cruising before the passage , to introduce the kids to offshore sailing . I watched the documentary about "Ocean Wanderer " , the family who circumnavigate , and this is an excellent example of things one should not do. The guy was a mad men ,only focused on achieving his personal goal (circumnavigation) .Things what they did made my hair rising (towing kids behind the boat in the waters infested with sharks and jelly fish ) and more concerned about his boat then family .
I also read ("Regina's ) story.It was OK , but what's the point .These people sold their business , house and bought brand new Halberg R so they could go sailing for seven months . The preparations took them longer than the actual trip .
I can only have one advice for you ! follow you instincts .You know you kids best and what's good for them .
Have fun out there
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:21   #9
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Old 01-11-2008, 12:03   #10
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Atlantic Circuit with 6 Kids

Quote:
Originally Posted by texwards View Post
Anyone care to share their experience crossing the Atlantic with children? How long it took? Route? How they kept the kids occupied?

We are contemplating Bermuda -> Azores -> Ireland.

Any Ideas?

Thanks,
Ed
Hi Ed

We recently completed an Atlantic circuit sailing sabbatical with our six kids aged 6 to 12. We had a great time and the kids coped fine.

We started from the UK, headed down to the Canaries, crossed to Barbados during December, spent five months in the Caribbean before heading home.

The return trip from late May until early July (St Maarten, Bermuda, Azores, UK) was much harder than the outward trip because the weather was unkind to us (five force 8 gales and precious little sunshine). By the time we got home to Scotland we had all had enough. Perhaps it would have been wiser to skip Bermuda and motor/sail straight from St Maarten to the Azores and perhaps we should have headed for the Med, rather than the UK. If we had done this, we would have done a lot more motoring, but the warmer weather would have kept us all happy. We were very unlucky with the weather, but that is the problem with the East to West passage - the weather is so much less predictable and less balmy than the West to East passage.

Having six kids meant that to a certain extent they occupied each other, but they each had their own laptop and we had loads of books. The boys locked-in to their computer games to pass the times, whereas the girls got more involved in life aboard (they seem to enjoy the domesticity and socialising of life aboard).

Being on a big stable multi-hull with plenty of room, privacy and electrical power made the whole experience much more pleasant than it could have been.

Bermuda is lovely and we would have loved to spend longer there, but it meant spending an extra ten days at sea and catching the unpleasant weather. We also enjoyed Horta in the Azores, but only stayed five days, because of a pressing need to get home. We planned to make landfall at Kinsale in SW Ireland, but the prospect of a night approach on an unfamilar lee shore led to us pressing on.

Many people suggested that we should make the ocean passages without the kids, but on balance we are glad we ignored their advice. It was an epic family adventure, but not ones the kids are keen to repeat.

Check out our blog at www.sailingoctopus.blogspot.com

How many kids do you have and what sort of boat would you be sailing?


Chris and Beth
Octopus, Lagoon 420 Hybrid
Isle of Arran, Scotland
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Old 13-11-2008, 19:19   #11
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the weather was unkind to us (five force 8 gales and precious little sunshine).
Ahoy Chris & Beth,

Thanks for sharing your experience and Blog... Nice boat ! So your kids adopted pretty well, but after a year you all were ready for home again.. Given your experience do you think there is an age limit afterwhich it just doesn't work with Kids? I have been hearing by 13 it's too late to leave especially for girls.. your thoughts ?

Also, did you all experience much slamming on the Lagoon 42 ? I see you were in pretty heavy seas and have read some opinions that given the L-42's Bridgedeck clearance and weight, it experiences a good bit of slamming...

Thanks again..

Cheers
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Old 14-11-2008, 04:32   #12
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Anyone interested in this topic (ocean voyaging or cruising with children) should definitely read Dave and Jaja Martin's book "Into the Light: a family's epic journey," and check out their reports filed on the Dashew's SetSail.com site: Sail the World with the Martin Family, as well as the Martin's own website: IceBlink Sail - Homepage
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Old 15-11-2008, 01:52   #13
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No Slamming on a Lagoon 420

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Ahoy Chris & Beth,

Thanks for sharing your experience and Blog... Nice boat ! So your kids adopted pretty well, but after a year you all were ready for home again.. Given your experience do you think there is an age limit afterwhich it just doesn't work with Kids? I have been hearing by 13 it's too late to leave especially for girls.. your thoughts ?

Also, did you all experience much slamming on the Lagoon 42 ? I see you were in pretty heavy seas and have read some opinions that given the L-42's Bridgedeck clearance and weight, it experiences a good bit of slamming...

Thanks again..

Cheers
Hi Capcook

We experienced no slamming at all, or at least, not what I would call slamming. Sleeping in the forward berths could be noisy; with one's head right over the bridgedeck there was a loud slap in some seas. Most of the time it was fine. I don't know what the technical description of slamming is, but I suspect it is when the impact is such that it almost brings the boat to a halt - we had none of that. My brother experienced slamming in his Prout Snowgoose and said it felt like the boat was about to break up. Whereas we never felt anything like that. This is quite impressive, when you think that we were really heavily laden (over four tons/tonnes of supplies and equipment), with bridgedeck clearance at least six inches (15cm) lower than normal. The wide hulls means that the 420 can carry heavy loads with relative ease.

I don't think there is an upper age limit where cruising doesn't work for kids, but after thirteen it can become more difficult. It depends on the kids concerned. Life with adolescent kids can be difficult wherever you are, but in a confined space, with no opportunity to storm off, it can turn into a nightmare. On the other hand, where would you rather be during this difficult stage? At least on a boat there are fewer opportunities for this destructive energy to be channelled into bad practices, such as smoking, drinking, drugs and premature sex.

Some teenage kids aren't so affected by the moods swings and the need to rebel. I'm not sure that girls are more difficult than boys in this respect? However, with older girls, I would think carefully about my cruising ground and avoid long passages and remote areas. Make sure there are plenty of kid boats where you cruise and make an effort to contact them and travel with them. I think you have to visit towns and cities and let the teenagers sample the night life. All to often cruising families with older kids are to set on achieving the parent's sailing ambitions, rather than considering the needs of their kids. But what do I know, our kids are only just reaching this troublesome stage - pity us in six years timke when we have six teenagers in the house!

Chris
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Old 17-11-2008, 22:28   #14
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Originally Posted by RobertF View Post
Hi everyone. This is my first posting to this site. I have been actively sailing for a number of years. Most of my sailing has been on lakes and in the caribbean. I am planning on an atlantic crossing and would like to know if anyone has used a beneteau 42 footer. The route that I would be taking is Florida to the BVI, then on to the Azores and finally Portugal. I would most likely be starting the trip in April of 08.
I dont think your post has really been addressed so I'll chip in....I've done W to E transatlic q few times and last Feb/March in a 25 yr old Bene 40. Perfectly doable. Not certain why you want to drop down to BVI though - especially from Florida - you'll have to make so much Easting before you free off to drop down South that you might as well carry on to the Azores.
Last time I did Florida to Italy I went from Lauderdale to Bermuda, then a Northerly-ish great circle(again, "-ish") route to Azores. The Bene 40 in February I did straight across from BVI to the Azores. You can get unlucky and have a lot of calm, in the middle, so carry a lot of spare fuel. I actually only had a couple of days calm and about 8 days broken into 3 periods of Force 8, which she handled as well as could be expected.
Fair winds, Tony
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