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Old 04-08-2010, 07:14   #1
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Suggestions for Our New 'Home Base'

Hello all,

First, thank you for all your contributions to this forum. As we contemplate our cruising journey, I'm finding this forum invaluable for both ideas and encouragement.

My husband, 2 kids (ages 4 and 6), and I plan to buy our boat in 2011 and would like to liveaboard for a year or so to get some experience with the many facets of cruising, from sailing the boat to fixing the inevitable pieces and parts.

We are located in NC but would like to relocate to a year-round sailing area that isn't too expensive. We're hoping to find a bit of a sailing community to so that we can learn from friends. We're considering FL but are also intrigued by Mexico and other locations. I currently teach online so I need to have reliable wi-fi access.

If you have any ideas for our new home base, please send them along!

Thanks,
Rebecca
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:07   #2
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I think you can find many places that might work but the specifics about you, your family, and budget start to set limits quickly. Good Internet service needs an urban area or a wired connection. It is perhaps the most limiting part of your requirements because it forces you to places with enough population to have those amenities. It also means as you say you want to start slow so you'll probably require a dock with utilities available. Home schooling younger children can work well if you align yourself with one of the home school organizations. It's not easy to just do this all on your own. Defining how much Internet access is actually required is a key issue.

That makes you part of nearly all the boats tied to a dock any place where the climate is desirable year round. I would say there are no clear choices. You are competing against housing costs locally any place you go. I hate to say it but it really is all about the money. The planning and preparation you make can help stretch the money farther but taking a car trip this fall would be a good chance to scout out places you can afford vs places you might actually like. That gap is something that is all about you. A trip to FL would do that well. Once you can get more experience, anchoring out for extended periods can save a lot of money, but you need to get that far first.

I would continue to poke around CF reading up on the many topics. It can help you think about the mass of details it requires to undertake what you want. The logistics of moving a whole family adds a great deal to the task list. In the balance of all that you can better decide which places might be the best for all of you. It really is less about what other people do/did than it is about how you think about your family and needs. The amount of preparation required to be successful is tremendous. Just wanting to do something is no assurance you can unless you prepare well. It also needs to be a total family process or expectations become disappointments. On a small boat there is not enough room for much disappointment. A one week run with a charter company could be an eye opening experience and help you make decisions.
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:42   #3
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G'day, Rebecca, add New Zealand to your research list. The cruisers put their kids in school down here all the time while they take a break from "boat schooling". Great place to base out of while you explore the Pacific. Cheers.
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:54   #4
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Well we're not year round sailing (unless you're not afriad of polar fleece and a nip in the air) but I will just go ahead and plug Annapolis b/c of the selfish motivation of wanting more boat families near by

We have reliable Wifi access (actually we are hooked to a dockside cable modem and then leave the connection open for others to use) and of course this is THE place for an active sailing and cruising community.

Come on... we're not that far away!
cheers
(Cindy, Schoonerdog's wife)
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Old 05-08-2010, 12:52   #5
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Hi Cindy,

I read a bit of your blog and I feel that we would have a lot in common! One option that we are considering is the Oriental, NC area, which isn't too terribly far from you guys. I'll keep you posted!
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Old 05-08-2010, 13:12   #6
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Originally Posted by schoonerdog View Post
Well we're not year round sailing (unless you're not afriad of polar fleece and a nip in the air) but I will just go ahead and plug Annapolis b/c of the selfish motivation of wanting more boat families near by

We have reliable Wifi access (actually we are hooked to a dockside cable modem and then leave the connection open for others to use) and of course this is THE place for an active sailing and cruising community.

Come on... we're not that far away!
cheers
(Cindy, Schoonerdog's wife)
Cindy, LOL! -- we are actually planning on settling in Annapolis AFTER the cruise.

Reba: Oriental NC is a wonderful cruising community! It's another of the places we considered settling in after this cruise :-) The boat we bought is in the FL panhandle, so that's where we will start, and the refit will take some time, so we will start the Calvert school courses this fall and I will continue with my online teaching while we are there. Quite a few marinas provide cable and wifi these days for not too much (I think it's included in the slip fees at the place where the boat currently resides), and there's always the Starbucks option -- if you don't have too many classes or if you can download material for grading and then connect just to enter grades and comments. I'm using D2L, Angel and have used WebCT for the online courses I teach (different institutions), and some make offline grading easier than others, for sure!
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Old 05-08-2010, 13:29   #7
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Aquaticat: where in the FL panhandle will you be?
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Old 05-08-2010, 14:47   #8
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I lived aboard in South Florida on the east side. Fort Lauderdale is fairly sailboat friendly and allows liveaboards at certain marinas and we had children aboard. I suggest something further south just solely to avoid the winters. Good luck in whatever you decide.
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Old 03-11-2010, 19:19   #9
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Would highly recommend looking in the Broward County area. There is still affordable dockage in the area. Having raised five on board I would suggest saving the cruising for the summers and allowing the kids to attend traditional school during their formative years, which provides a sound foundation for study habits, etc. Being in South Florida puts the Caribbean within reach during a two month summer break and allows you to hone your skills along with allowing the kids to adapt to life at sea.
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Old 09-11-2010, 20:44   #10
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Having raised five on board I would suggest saving the cruising for the summers and allowing the kids to attend traditional school during their formative years, which provides a sound foundation for study habits, etc. .
This is an interesting POV... I was actually thinking that Home School would really force/enable them to learn to manage work load against deliverables.... they would quickly learn that catching up is hard to do... no?

I do like south Florida... but might suggest you consider Port Of The Islands... there is cheap dockage available in that area and it is well protected... you have Naples a 30mi to the west and Miami 40mi to the East...

Cheers
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Old 31-10-2011, 20:01   #11
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Re: Suggestions for Our New 'Home Base'

I agree with Papa Joe about sending the kids to school if you can. I am homeschooling our 10 and 12 yo children while we are living aboard and traveling. When athey were young they went to public school and they learned many good habits and how to relate to many different children and teaching styles. When they are little they can only learn so much academically any way and socialization is VERY important. K through third or fourth grades are great public school years. Most kids are pretty innocent then. I started homeschooling at fourth and sixth grades. I was easily able to catch them up in areas where the public school was lacking like world history and science. Another aspect to sending them to public school when they are young is that you can get work done on your boat while they are gone. Homeschool is very attention demanding for both you and the kids. Conference calls with clients are hard to make with kids around and make it hard for the kids to concentrate.

If you haven't picked your location yet, take into account the reputation of the public schools.
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:09   #12
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Re: Suggestions for Our New 'Home Base'

Welcome to the forum Sailchick.
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:09   #13
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Re: Suggestions for Our New 'Home Base'

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Sailchick.

Thanks for the experienced advice.
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