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Old 28-03-2015, 12:52   #31
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Re: Cruising with the family

In my 10 years of living on the go, I never met a family whose home-schooled kid(s) did not shoot to the head of the class when they went back to regular schooling. Of course, parents have to be diligent about supplying relevant courses in tune with what might be taught, year by year, in their home school district.

Originally Posted by capnmatt View Post
I am exploring options for a family sailing sabbatical of at least 1 to 1.5 years, possibly more. We are annual charterers with about twelve trips under our belt and also own a small boat locally. So, while we aren't as experienced as many on this forum, we do have experience at least from a charterer and small boat owner perspective and aren't completely green.

Anyway, my wife is half on-board with the idea and likes the overall concept of cruising as a family, but is seeking more information. Of course being a mom she has many questions about the impact it might have on the family and our kids that we need to work through before we could consider putting our plans in motion. And being at least semi-intelligent, I want to ensure she is comfortable with our plans before we move forward. I am hoping to get some help with the following:

First, my wife is looking for a book or blog to read that offers a woman's/mom's perspective on cruising with the family. It's easy to find books and blogs from a man's perspective, but not so much from a mom who is only semi-experienced in cruising. I think one of her biggest concerns is how kids deal with returning to real life after sailing. Was it easy for them to return to school and how did it impact their future education? Also, just the routine of sailing with the family. How much time is spent doing homework? Working on the boat? Exploring a port city? Socializing with other kids and families? Under sail? All these and many more questions. In any case, she is hoping we can find something from a mom's perspective to start with so she can get an idea of what we'd be taking on.

Second, one of the reasons I want to do this is to offer my kids a different perspective than the manufactured life we live here at home. I'm worried they are going to grow up and be a product of the small environment that we surround ourselves with and closed-minded to different cultures and lifestyles. I just want them to see that there are other ways to do things. With that in mind, I am wondering about the feasibility of purchasing a boat in Europe and sailing the Med for the summer before making the journey to the Caribbean (and eventually onward to the S. Pacific with any luck). My wife and I want to visit Europe and sailing the coast of France, Italy and Spain would offer us a chance to visit some of the great coastal towns as well as provide my kids the opportunity to experience some of the history and culture of Europe. I am wondering about the logistics of the crowds/mooring availability during the summer in the Med, as well as the weather and sailing conditions we'd experience during the summer there. I understand that sailing the Med has it's challenges, but is the tradeoff of experiencing coastal Europe worth it? Considering the crowds, I am wondering if starting a little later in the summer (August) might offer some respite from the worst of it? I've heard it slows down quite a bit in September, but the weather is good into the Fall - and we wouldn't want to make the Atlantic passage until at least November anyway.

I could go on and on, but this seems like a good starting point and then I will dig deeper depending on the responses I get here. Right now we are just considering our options and what makes the most sense. In the end and because I value my marriage more than sailing, it probably comes down to my wife and how she feels about everything. Hence my first question as well as my questions about how much of a pain it would be to sail the Med for the summer.

Thanks for any insight.


Janet Groene
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Old 02-04-2015, 18:15   #32
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Re: Cruising with the family

I like all the book and blog suggestions. For me someone that is trying to get on the water with kids. My life seems to be getting busier (part if the reasoning for doing this), i have found two Podcasts that are awesome. I listen to them all the time.
First i found was Sail Loot podcast which is more about the financial but just awesome interviews and the othe r is Family Adventure podcast this is all about doing some epic adventure with kids. Many of which include sailing.

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Old 04-04-2015, 11:52   #33
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Re: Cruising with the family

We have a 9 and 11 year old, both girls on board. While there isn't a "perfect age" as everyone has different ideas of this...I felt that our girls were the perfect ages.

They're old enough to contribute and remember the trip but not too old that we were fighting against boyfriends, etc.

We've only been sailing for 2.5 months and what you worry about before leaving are not the same worries as once you've cut the dock lines. Kids are resilient and can make adjustments easier than some adults. A word of advice would be to charter boats first to get a handle on if it's anything you want to do. After buying the boat, live on the boat. We lived on our boat for 7 months to get accustomed to the 4 of us living in only 45 feet of space. Be realistic and give the first 3/4 months time for adjustment. We're still adjusting. Doesn't mean we're not having a blast...just lots of adjustment.

I'd be more than happy to answer any specific questions

Check out our blog. I've gone into a lot of detail about sailing with kids that are a little older but not teens. My girls have also started their own blog to share their experiences.

Terrapin Crew

Family of four from California. Currently in Fiji
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