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
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.