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Old 04-01-2011, 01:44   #31
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OP asked if anyone knew of blended families cruising, and their experiences, or something like that.

Yes. While we are still an unblended, original family out cruising, we have met other non-traditional families out cruising. The first was a couple cruising in the NW caribbean 5 years ago, mom had left kids with dad while cruising with new husband but kids came as often as they could for as long as they could. They must have been down on an extended spring break when we met them. Another family we met in the Bahamas the last couple of seasons is a dad who cruises with his two sons during the winter, and the boys stay with their mom (who homeschools them during the summer) back on the east coast when not cruising. This dad is also remarried, and sometimes his current wife and stepdaughters join him and his boys during the cruising season, but just during extended breaks from school. His is also a pretty nontraditional family with nontraditional arrangements (both with the ex and the current spouse). Also met another family - mom, kids, and stepdad - who were cruising in the bahamas - he took the boat down, wife and stepkids joined him for long breaks (christmas, spring break). Seems like there have been other nontraditional/blended families out cruising that we've met, but don't recall circumstances right off hand.

The folks who questioned the child's learning while cruising, or suggested that older is better than younger, just don't know anything about a cruising family. 11 is the perfect age to be out cruising. Many cruising families give it up when the oldest sibling reaches about age 13 or 14. Our boys were 5 and 8 for the first cruise, and 8-10 and 10-12 for the second. They're 11 and 14 now, and we're hoping to be back to sea in a month. they are looking forward to it, especially the 11 year old.

Boatschooling is a waaay better education than land based schooling, and any parent intelligent enough to go cruising is intelligent enough to teach the Calvert's course (the most common homeschooling course for K-8th grade for US cruising kids). After the teacher (the mom 99% of the time) plugs away at homeschooling for a few years, even high school is possible. My wife forgot advanced math 20 years ago, but has relearned it right along with our 10th grade/11th grade math 14 year old as he has progressed in school.

Not sure where you're based out of, but if you started out cruising between the US east coast and the bahamas, you'd find lots of families, and plenty of airports along the way where dad could fly in to visit or kids could fly back to see him. also plenty of other cruising kids in those cruising grounds.

boats are made to float, and sharks are rarely aggressive unless you have a bloody flopping fish on the end of your spear (or your kid hands over his spear with a really big hogfish on it after he's seen a shark in the vicinity!). My oldest boy is pretty proud of the time he got in the water with our underwater video camera and the two lemon sharks that frequented our anchorage for a week. He got some good footage before jumping into the dinghy!

One way to get your ex comfortable with the family cruising concept may be to point him in the direction of cruising blogs/websites of cruising families. Let him read about the experiences, the lifestyle, etc.

Good luck. Don't give up the dream, and don't give up on convincing your ex that it could be workable and beneficial for your son.

Dave
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Old 04-01-2011, 07:11   #32
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Originally Posted by SV Liberty View Post
OP asked if anyone knew of blended families cruising, and their experiences, or something like that.

Yes. While we are still an unblended, original family out cruising, we have met other non-traditional families out cruising. The first was a couple cruising in the NW caribbean 5 years ago, mom had left kids with dad while cruising with new husband but kids came as often as they could for as long as they could. They must have been down on an extended spring break when we met them. Another family we met in the Bahamas the last couple of seasons is a dad who cruises with his two sons during the winter, and the boys stay with their mom (who homeschools them during the summer) back on the east coast when not cruising. This dad is also remarried, and sometimes his current wife and stepdaughters join him and his boys during the cruising season, but just during extended breaks from school. His is also a pretty nontraditional family with nontraditional arrangements (both with the ex and the current spouse). Also met another family - mom, kids, and stepdad - who were cruising in the bahamas - he took the boat down, wife and stepkids joined him for long breaks (christmas, spring break). Seems like there have been other nontraditional/blended families out cruising that we've met, but don't recall circumstances right off hand.

The folks who questioned the child's learning while cruising, or suggested that older is better than younger, just don't know anything about a cruising family. 11 is the perfect age to be out cruising. Many cruising families give it up when the oldest sibling reaches about age 13 or 14. Our boys were 5 and 8 for the first cruise, and 8-10 and 10-12 for the second. They're 11 and 14 now, and we're hoping to be back to sea in a month. they are looking forward to it, especially the 11 year old.

Boatschooling is a waaay better education than land based schooling, and any parent intelligent enough to go cruising is intelligent enough to teach the Calvert's course (the most common homeschooling course for K-8th grade for US cruising kids). After the teacher (the mom 99% of the time) plugs away at homeschooling for a few years, even high school is possible. My wife forgot advanced math 20 years ago, but has relearned it right along with our 10th grade/11th grade math 14 year old as he has progressed in school.

Not sure where you're based out of, but if you started out cruising between the US east coast and the bahamas, you'd find lots of families, and plenty of airports along the way where dad could fly in to visit or kids could fly back to see him. also plenty of other cruising kids in those cruising grounds.

boats are made to float, and sharks are rarely aggressive unless you have a bloody flopping fish on the end of your spear (or your kid hands over his spear with a really big hogfish on it after he's seen a shark in the vicinity!). My oldest boy is pretty proud of the time he got in the water with our underwater video camera and the two lemon sharks that frequented our anchorage for a week. He got some good footage before jumping into the dinghy!

One way to get your ex comfortable with the family cruising concept may be to point him in the direction of cruising blogs/websites of cruising families. Let him read about the experiences, the lifestyle, etc.

Good luck. Don't give up the dream, and don't give up on convincing your ex that it could be workable and beneficial for your son.

Dave
Thank you Dave....you are the only person who actually answered my question. I wanted to know if other families have made it work. I believe in not giving up and that things can always work out somehow. I don't believe in forcing the issue, but just trying to think outside the box. If my son is home schooled that opens a whole new set of circumstances. We can cruise for a couple of weeks or even a month, then since we have businesses and family at home we can come home for a few weeks. While we are home he could spend that entire time with his father. We live in Oklahoma and it's only a 12-hour drive to places like Kemah. Keeping our boat there might be an option in between cruising times (just brainstorming).

One always has choices in life. The idea of custody, divorce and remarriage really stirs up a lot of deep opinions from people....lol....I expected that though. I'm not questioning my personal divorce and remarriage situation. That is the one thing I DO know was right!

Thanks again....
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Old 04-01-2011, 08:30   #33
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Screw what the courts says. They are bureaucrats without a real interest in your kid, using templates made by others (without particular knowledge of your case) to make decisions. The will not feel responsable of the final outcome of the life of your son. You will.

dpons, please send me a private message. Please temporarily unblock your so I can respond.
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:15   #34
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Well heck.... I'm the "evil" step dad (and husband of Rn) in this situation so I'm gonna open my mouth. (I'm sure I'll be in trouble fairly quickly.)

To the poster that said wait to go... Everyone we talk to or read about has some quite different advice. They say the biggest mistake they made was waiting to go. Their kids were incredibly blessed by the experience as were they.

My wonderful wife is way to nice towards the "ex". They divorced because he was abusive and still is in many ways. At one point (and here's another elephant in the corner.) I had to be out of town and our newly born daughter was running a 103 fever. The "ex", when informed that the baby was VERY sick and could die if she had to be put into a car seat for a 3 hour trip, said that wasn't his problem and he could care less... (which should tell you what a wonderful person he is). There is an incredibly long list of other things like telling his son that if he didn't keep secrets from his mom then the "dad" would never have any respect for him. and I could go on and on but you get the jist of it.
Then there's something else you should know about our family. The two oldest are my step-sons from a previous marriage. Their biological father never showed much interest in them. Their mom suffered a severe mental health issue and in the process left. When she did the two boys stayed with me. My wife and her family, who deserves many attaboy's, have taken to them just like they were their very own. The oldest will complete his second year of college and already has a job waiting on him when he finishes architect school. The other one will graduate high school this spring and wants to be a welder and marine diesel mechanic. (Yeah, he'll get to see the world by boat on his own terms! I'm actually a bit jealous.)
My wife's son, my step-son, loves the boating life. But at the same time the dad keeps filling his head full of baloney about how dangerous sailing is, he teaches the boy to jump 4-wheelers on home made tracks and makes fun of him if he won't preform the dangerous and stupid manuvers his dad does. (Some piece of work huh?)
Then at the bottom rung of the ladder we have a beautiful little girl. (almost named her "whoops" but that's another story. Suffice it to say I never thought I would be a dad again at 51 years old)
Is her life to be of a lesser quality than we could provide for her just because her older brother has a jerk of a dad? Is she to be deprived of all the wonderful and awesome life experiences that would come her way if we could move aboard and travel? She's already somewhat bi-lingual because of all the kids shows that teach spanish along with english so we know she's incredibly intelligent.
So in the end I'm left with many mixed feelings due to one final piece of the puzzle. At a much earlier time I had a daughter but because of the ignorance and low life scumbag actions of the courts and her mom I didn't get to spend much time with her as she was growing up. We were deprived of a father daughter relationship because I didn't have the funds to battle in court. I told the judge I couldn't afford to hire an attorney and ya know what? He didn't give a crap and told me as much. That was the day I learned it's all the justice you can afford to buy. Attorney's and judges are the bottom feeders of the planet, making their living sucking up crap. I don't want my wife's son to be subjected to the decisions of some moron in a robe anymore than I want my 3 year old daughter or my awesome wife to have their lives ruined by some jackass that takes an oath to something as foolish as "Above all else the law". Especially when they do that with total disregard for what is right and wrong. And let's all face facts here, that's exactly what happens in the majority of cases.
I love my family and I want the absolute best for ALL of them. My wife is one of the kindest, most gentle and awesome people you'll ever meet. I'm still amazed that someone so wonderful and beautiful would agree to marry me. The two oldest are well on their way to being very fine young men. Sailing has had a considerable influence on that. The third son, the one we're having problems with his dad, is suffering terribly because of the actions of his dad, my wife is just to nice to say so. But you know what? The courts would rather a child suffer than to do the right thing and force the dad to get the psychological help he really needs. This boy would benefit beyond words from being shown that there is a giant and wonderful world out there and he's not trapped into becoming the kind of person his dad is attempting to force him to become. He gets that gentle and kind soul from his mom and he deserves to have that nourished.
Sure, we could spend a fortune in court and we might actually win in the end, but the price would be that we would have to forfeit our dream to provide something wonderful for our kids. How's that for a great choice to have to make?
So, in the end we wait. I'm healthy now but by waiting we deprive all the members of our family of beneficial experiences that they will never get while stuck on land AND we gamble that we may never get to provide those things for our kids because we never know how our health will be in the future. By waiting we may go past the day when we're physically able to go.
I know there's no good solution for us. I know we are forced against our will to wait. I also know that we may be forced to wait beyond the point where we can actually go and will totally miss the opportunity of something wonderful for our family.
I also know that my mariage to the most wonderful woman in the world and the kids we have been blessed with is incredibly important. So is doing the absolute very best for each and every one of them. I happen to believe that as adults we have an incredible responsibility to all kids. One of the things my wife and I have discussed is how we can help the those that are less fortunate than us that we'll encounter once we do get to move aboard. My wife wants to use her medical knowledge to do basic health screenings and provide basic vaccines to kids. I know we can't save the world. Heck, from my perspective we may not even be able to save/protect a kid in our own home, but we can and will continue to make a difference in the lives of all that it is within our power to help. We believe that moving aboard and showing our kids what is out there is important beyond description. Not just to them but to us also. Our problem is figuring out how to balance that against the "rights" of a jerk that isn't even human enough to set aside his own feelings and care about a helpless child when they were sick......
God Bless each and everyone of you. May your lives be blessed and fulfilled......
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:25   #35
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Well heck.... I'm the "evil" step dad (and husband of Rn) in this situation so I'm gonna open my mouth. (I'm sure I'll be in trouble fairly quickly.)

To the poster that said wait to go... Everyone we talk to or read about has some quite different advice. They say the biggest mistake they made was waiting to go. Their kids were incredibly blessed by the experience as were they.

My wonderful wife is way to nice towards the "ex". They divorced because he was abusive and still is in many ways. At one point (and here's another elephant in the corner.) I had to be out of town and our newly born daughter was running a 103 fever. The "ex", when informed that the baby was VERY sick and could die if she had to be put into a car seat for a 3 hour trip, said that wasn't his problem and he could care less... (which should tell you what a wonderful person he is). There is an incredibly long list of other things like telling his son that if he didn't keep secrets from his mom then the "dad" would never have any respect for him. and I could go on and on but you get the jist of it.
Then there's something else you should know about our family. The two oldest are my step-sons from a previous marriage. Their biological father never showed much interest in them. Their mom suffered a severe mental health issue and in the process left. When she did the two boys stayed with me. My wife and her family, who deserves many attaboy's, have taken to them just like they were their very own. The oldest will complete his second year of college and already has a job waiting on him when he finishes architect school. The other one will graduate high school this spring and wants to be a welder and marine diesel mechanic. (Yeah, he'll get to see the world by boat on his own terms! I'm actually a bit jealous.)
My wife's son, my step-son, loves the boating life. But at the same time the dad keeps filling his head full of baloney about how dangerous sailing is, he teaches the boy to jump 4-wheelers on home made tracks and makes fun of him if he won't preform the dangerous and stupid manuvers his dad does. (Some piece of work huh?)
Then at the bottom rung of the ladder we have a beautiful little girl. (almost named her "whoops" but that's another story. Suffice it to say I never thought I would be a dad again at 51 years old)
Is her life to be of a lesser quality than we could provide for her just because her older brother has a jerk of a dad? Is she to be deprived of all the wonderful and awesome life experiences that would come her way if we could move aboard and travel? She's already somewhat bi-lingual because of all the kids shows that teach spanish along with english so we know she's incredibly intelligent.
So in the end I'm left with many mixed feelings due to one final piece of the puzzle. At a much earlier time I had a daughter but because of the ignorance and low life scumbag actions of the courts and her mom I didn't get to spend much time with her as she was growing up. We were deprived of a father daughter relationship because I didn't have the funds to battle in court. I told the judge I couldn't afford to hire an attorney and ya know what? He didn't give a crap and told me as much. That was the day I learned it's all the justice you can afford to buy. Attorney's and judges are the bottom feeders of the planet, making their living sucking up crap. I don't want my wife's son to be subjected to the decisions of some moron in a robe anymore than I want my 3 year old daughter or my awesome wife to have their lives ruined by some jackass that takes an oath to something as foolish as "Above all else the law". Especially when they do that with total disregard for what is right and wrong. And let's all face facts here, that's exactly what happens in the majority of cases.
I love my family and I want the absolute best for ALL of them. My wife is one of the kindest, most gentle and awesome people you'll ever meet. I'm still amazed that someone so wonderful and beautiful would agree to marry me. The two oldest are well on their way to being very fine young men. Sailing has had a considerable influence on that. The third son, the one we're having problems with his dad, is suffering terribly because of the actions of his dad, my wife is just to nice to say so. But you know what? The courts would rather a child suffer than to do the right thing and force the dad to get the psychological help he really needs. This boy would benefit beyond words from being shown that there is a giant and wonderful world out there and he's not trapped into becoming the kind of person his dad is attempting to force him to become. He gets that gentle and kind soul from his mom and he deserves to have that nourished.
Sure, we could spend a fortune in court and we might actually win in the end, but the price would be that we would have to forfeit our dream to provide something wonderful for our kids. How's that for a great choice to have to make?
So, in the end we wait. I'm healthy now but by waiting we deprive all the members of our family of beneficial experiences that they will never get while stuck on land AND we gamble that we may never get to provide those things for our kids because we never know how our health will be in the future. By waiting we may go past the day when we're physically able to go.
I know there's no good solution for us. I know we are forced against our will to wait. I also know that we may be forced to wait beyond the point where we can actually go and will totally miss the opportunity of something wonderful for our family.
I also know that my mariage to the most wonderful woman in the world and the kids we have been blessed with is incredibly important. So is doing the absolute very best for each and every one of them. I happen to believe that as adults we have an incredible responsibility to all kids. One of the things my wife and I have discussed is how we can help the those that are less fortunate than us that we'll encounter once we do get to move aboard. My wife wants to use her medical knowledge to do basic health screenings and provide basic vaccines to kids. I know we can't save the world. Heck, from my perspective we may not even be able to save/protect a kid in our own home, but we can and will continue to make a difference in the lives of all that it is within our power to help. We believe that moving aboard and showing our kids what is out there is important beyond description. Not just to them but to us also. Our problem is figuring out how to balance that against the "rights" of a jerk that isn't even human enough to set aside his own feelings and care about a helpless child when they were sick......
God Bless each and everyone of you. May your lives be blessed and fulfilled......
You are so much better with words than I am my love....
I also love that you have no fear and know exactly where you stand on what is right and the truth.
This is why I married you and I am the one who is blessed....
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:45   #36
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That's all very fine & dandy, but at the end of the day it's only about sitting on a boat

Sounds like you folks more than equipped to come up with alternatives to a simple Sail off into the Wide Blue Yonder that works for all concerned...........and no reason that these won't actually be better. After all, it's only sitting on a boat


Other people's lives - easy to sort out
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Old 04-01-2011, 11:52   #37
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"My wife forgot advanced math "
Do the schools still teach spherical trig any more? I know it was a total waste of time and I'd never need to know about it...but then it made such perfect sense for sextant navigation!
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Old 04-01-2011, 12:00   #38
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Originally Posted by SV Liberty View Post
OP asked if anyone knew of blended families cruising, and their experiences, or something like that.

Yes. While we are still an unblended, original family out cruising, we have met other non-traditional families out cruising. The first was a couple cruising in the NW caribbean 5 years ago, mom had left kids with dad while cruising with new husband but kids came as often as they could for as long as they could. They must have been down on an extended spring break when we met them. Another family we met in the Bahamas the last couple of seasons is a dad who cruises with his two sons during the winter, and the boys stay with their mom (who homeschools them during the summer) back on the east coast when not cruising. This dad is also remarried, and sometimes his current wife and stepdaughters join him and his boys during the cruising season, but just during extended breaks from school. His is also a pretty nontraditional family with nontraditional arrangements (both with the ex and the current spouse). Also met another family - mom, kids, and stepdad - who were cruising in the bahamas - he took the boat down, wife and stepkids joined him for long breaks (christmas, spring break). Seems like there have been other nontraditional/blended families out cruising that we've met, but don't recall circumstances right off hand.

The folks who questioned the child's learning while cruising, or suggested that older is better than younger, just don't know anything about a cruising family. 11 is the perfect age to be out cruising. Many cruising families give it up when the oldest sibling reaches about age 13 or 14. Our boys were 5 and 8 for the first cruise, and 8-10 and 10-12 for the second. They're 11 and 14 now, and we're hoping to be back to sea in a month. they are looking forward to it, especially the 11 year old.

Boatschooling is a waaay better education than land based schooling, and any parent intelligent enough to go cruising is intelligent enough to teach the Calvert's course (the most common homeschooling course for K-8th grade for US cruising kids). After the teacher (the mom 99% of the time) plugs away at homeschooling for a few years, even high school is possible. My wife forgot advanced math 20 years ago, but has relearned it right along with our 10th grade/11th grade math 14 year old as he has progressed in school.

Not sure where you're based out of, but if you started out cruising between the US east coast and the bahamas, you'd find lots of families, and plenty of airports along the way where dad could fly in to visit or kids could fly back to see him. also plenty of other cruising kids in those cruising grounds.

boats are made to float, and sharks are rarely aggressive unless you have a bloody flopping fish on the end of your spear (or your kid hands over his spear with a really big hogfish on it after he's seen a shark in the vicinity!). My oldest boy is pretty proud of the time he got in the water with our underwater video camera and the two lemon sharks that frequented our anchorage for a week. He got some good footage before jumping into the dinghy!

One way to get your ex comfortable with the family cruising concept may be to point him in the direction of cruising blogs/websites of cruising families. Let him read about the experiences, the lifestyle, etc.

Good luck. Don't give up the dream, and don't give up on convincing your ex that it could be workable and beneficial for your son.

Dave
I was gonna suggest that you just take the ex with you . . . guess not, eh?
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Old 04-01-2011, 12:48   #39
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Let's remember we are only hearing one side of the story, even though it's from two people. They pay judges to sort this s*%t out.
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Old 04-01-2011, 12:58   #40
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Well heck.... I'm the "evil" step dad (and husband of Rn) in this situation so I'm gonna open my mouth. (I'm sure I'll be in trouble fairly quickly.)
snip

God Bless each and everyone of you. May your lives be blessed and fulfilled......

You are one heck of a guy!! I know how hard it is to be "the better parent" when the other "real" Dad is a POS! I'm raising a blended family too and the "Ex-Dad" has complicated the passport issue for us. He forged signatures to get the kids passports for a cruise ship and now won't hand them over to us. Of course now we can't get new passports either as the form requires both parents signatures. I've been raising them for over 10 years now and I'm still a second class parent.
Oh well, we can still sail the keys during school breaks. We can also dream of the day all the back child support gets paid (now that's a laugh!)


For your current situation I would look over the paperwork as it stands right now and if there's nothing preventing you from going, go but quietly. Don't give him the opportunity to raise trouble by warning him too soon. Also, if the child support or any other obligation is behind that can work in your favor as he won't want to stand in front of a judge himself.

Good Luck!
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Old 04-01-2011, 13:02   #41
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Let's remember we are only hearing one side of the story, even though it's from two people. They pay judges to sort this s*%t out.
Judges are the same people that had me pay speeding tickets that were issued to me in the US while I was out of the country. He didn't care about facts or documentation or that the officer didn't appear.

Remember judges are just another rank of lawyers.
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Old 04-01-2011, 13:24   #42
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Well heck.... I'm the "evil" step dad (and husband of Rn)
At a much earlier time I had a daughter but because of the ignorance and low life scumbag actions of the courts and her mom I didn't get to spend much time with her as she was growing up. We were deprived of a father daughter relationship because I didn't have the funds to battle in court.
But, isn't this what you are doing to some guys child, and their relationship?
I would think abduction of a child and sailing away are pretty good and deserved grounds for loss of custody...
The accusations against the father, besides being mostly hearsay, are standard and pathetic and all divorced dads are subjected to them and much more...
The "lowlife scumbag actions of the courts" usually have some genesis in slander and selfishness, and ultimately great profit to all those professionals involved...
Luckily dads get slightly more consideration in court these days...
I say if you want to go sailing so much - then leave - but don't expect to abduct some other guys kid. He is not your child!!!
And I think it is you who are poisoning his fragile young mind and interfering in their relationship...
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Old 04-01-2011, 13:42   #43
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This might sound trite... but I am so glad I never had kids.


Nor married.
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Old 04-01-2011, 13:47   #44
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This might sound trite... but I am so glad I never had kids.


Nor married.
Yea - because you would have been the one leaving and she would have completed the circumnavigation on "her" boat.
Kids are terrific. It's always the "other" parent that is the problem...
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Old 04-01-2011, 13:59   #45
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This might sound trite... but I am so glad I never had kids.
I believe its a painful experience.... you were wise to play safe....
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