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Old 28-05-2006, 14:36   #1
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What is your one piece of advice?

If you were to give one piece of advice to us on the subject of cruising in the Caribbean for a season with 3 children (ages 7, 2 and 1), what would it be?
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Old 28-05-2006, 19:40   #2
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Daymo:

I can't speak with authority to cruising a whole season but I have just come back from a one week charter with an 8 and 9 year old. One important idea that I was given by Kai is to assign the children tasks. In this generation we have taken away tasks that kids used to do : chaopping firewood, hauling water, tending the fire. Give each child a task that they are in charge of -- I had my son in charge of turning on the engine. That involved checking for lines overboard, making sure that water was coming out the back, and then turning on the engine. As he got better I think I would have made him check the oil as well. He is 8. My daughter was in charge of safety gear: make sure that lifelines were clipped, dinghy was secured properly, kids had life jackets on before we moved, taking pictures aft as we left port so that we could see what an anchorage loked like if we had to come back.. As I think of it I would have expanded the jobs and items that they were in charge of to keep them interested and to decrease the work load on the parents.
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Old 29-05-2006, 00:20   #3
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Hi Charlie,

Thats a great point thanks, was there anything that you took that you were certain that you would needm and didn't use at all, and vice versa anything that you felt that you needed but didn't take (with the children in mind)?

Warmest Regards
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Old 29-05-2006, 04:14   #4
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yeah.. I remember that response from Kia nui. It was brilliant. I wonder if it is the archives somewhere as I think it was worth hanging onto though you seem to have the jist of it Charlie. My experience observing boat kids is that the format is great. A better environment than school or the avenue. The americam mag "Good old Boat" had a very good article recently on kids that grew up on boats that was very worth while.. Gord May can fill in on that.

Cheers

Bob
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Old 29-05-2006, 08:31   #5
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Hi Daymo:

At first I couldn't think of anything than I realized we had lugged the laptop around to watch movies. The whole week we watched one full movie and part of another. I thought the kids (and us) would be using it more. After a day of swimming and beach combing etc. the kids just wanted their story read and then it was off to sleep. (Ihave extremely hyper kids too)

We gave the kids there own discretionary money to spend. They could buy whatever souviniers they wanted. What did they buy. Playmobil toys. Knights, Pirates, Horses, castles, boats, horse trailers. They spent hours during the short passages inventing scenarios "Pretend like this knight was friends with Manatees and could talk to them." "Yeah and this horse was a dolphin trainer." or "These pirates collected shells"

I suggest that you provide them with a large box of dress up items(enough to share with other kids), legos (the old kind. not the new ones that can only be assembled one way), art supplies (water color pencils work well and don't make as much mess), and anything that they can use to process all the wonder that they are exposed to every day. (excuse the phsycobabble.)

There are a couple of good sites that talk about kids and sailing :Sailing Zora,(it has been abandoned for a few months). Project Marquesas about a Holland 43 sailing from Mexico to the Marquesas.
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Fair Winds,

Charlie

Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 29-05-2006, 18:04   #6
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The one piece of advice I would give is GO. Go now. Do not wait, do not reconsider, do not over plan. GO!
I would second Charlie's suggestion about art supplies. Colored pecils are the best. Crayons second. Buy each child a journal. That should be their crew's log. Even if writing is not that child's forte, the chance to write down the experience in his or her own words, specifically for his or her own use will inspire the imagination. You will often see clear definition of the individual child's personality by how they use the journal. Some will use it to simply document facts. Others, will write stories about their experiences. Drawings should be encouraged to relate the story. This is an excellent way for them to bring a piece of this experience with them after the cruise.
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Old 29-05-2006, 19:00   #7
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Go before they're teenagers

Daymo,

Don't worry about the kids, they will probably adapt to the new life style better than their parents. Without exception, all the "boat kids" I've met have been very well adjusted, able to amuse themselves. Boats with kids hang together so they'll have friends.
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Old 29-05-2006, 19:44   #8
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Daymo:

Talked to Beth. She said that her advice would be books on tape.
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Charlie

Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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