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Old 17-05-2008, 19:10   #1
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Any advice for a crusing with a pre-teen Girl?

Hi All,

The master plan is to take off for a 3 year crusing life in 3yrs when my daughter is hitting 6th grade, so we plan to home school 6th, 7th & 8th grades.. she will be 12 then... If I had my way, we wouldn't set foot on land again until she is 21 but guess that won't fly... She and her 2yr younger brother have been rasied without a TV in the house and we spend hours reading every day, so they are not tied to video games or TV shows... They are also well traveled having been in Europe half a dozen times and Asia 3 or 4 times... They are fluent in English and Japanese and we hope they can pick up either French or Spanish on the trip...

My concern will be that at age 12 she will find life at sea a total bore and miss the malls... has anyone taken this on and how did it turn out ?

Thanks for any advice... I am really much more worried about the terrible Thirteens than anything that Mother Nature will throw our way...

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Old 18-05-2008, 10:07   #2
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I met a family in San Diego that had 2 girls. They were probably 11 & 13. When I ran into them again 6 months later in Puerta Vallarta. The girls were having a good time. They were navigating, standing watch, and all around good crew.....BEST WISHES
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Old 18-05-2008, 11:29   #3
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Life is what you expose them to. No tv means no violence in Atlanta. Chidren have successfully been raised in a home school environment. You will be introducing them to different cultures. If your teach them well they should not be deficent in any area. This of course depends on your education. As a parent I did not have the patience To teach my children. There are a number of quality correspondence courses thart you can purchase. This is from an educator. Best Wishes,

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Old 18-05-2008, 11:53   #4
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My daughter will be 16 this week. since she was 11 yrs old I've told her the first time some boy knocks on the door that I don't like or if she starts hanging out with the wrong crowd. I will get a boat and home school her from 100 miles off coast. She knew I meant it, due to me searching yachtworld, calling about boats, and joining several of these cruising forums.

Now, her dreams has entered the picture. While my dream was to tour the Carib and S. America when she left for collage. Her dream is to tour Europe on the boat. Now, when she turns 18 we're going sailing.

With me being a single parent with sole custody my daughter does a lot of the cooking. (She's a better cook than most of the girls I've dated). She's very involved in searching yachtworld and picking out boats. The first thing she looks at is the gally. She says it's her gally and she's going to pick it out. God help me if I ever meet someone and get married.

She even got a job at 14 and started saving for the trip.

My point is get them involved in the dream. Children love to dream and plan. They adapt so easy and once it's their dream too they'll jump on board and love it too.
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Old 18-05-2008, 18:55   #5
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as long as she is part of the crew, in my experience it shouldn't be a problem. Depends very much on the people involved.
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Old 18-05-2008, 19:03   #6
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All good advice. Our two were 1 & 6 when we left and 10 and 15 when we returned. We did little or no formal schooling and they were both way ahead of their peer groups when they re entered the system.
They both still talk about that part of their lives constantly and we are all missing the cruising life. Just want to get out there again before the pollies and bureaucrats ruin it all.
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Old 19-05-2008, 05:42   #7
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A typical cruise, beginning on the US East Coast, might take you through the Bahamas and Caribbean, prior to any longer passages.
This “island Hopping” in paradise should get your (both girls & adults) toes wet, in preparation for the boredom & rigors of longer passages that may (or may not) follow.
All of the homeschooled kids We've met, who grew up on cruising boats, are the greatest example of what you could wish for your children.
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 19-05-2008, 06:22   #8
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Lots of duct tape, lots of sedatives for them and more for you...

But then again, what do we know? We never had 'em, so it's like a sportfish telling us how to sail...
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Old 19-05-2008, 06:59   #9
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What an awesome thing to expose a child to. Let her have an appropriate amount of a social life meeing other people that are cruising and in other countries, etc., and all will be fine.
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Old 19-05-2008, 07:10   #10
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Our plans are very similar. We plan to leave in 2 years when the kids are 7 and 11. We plan to do the eastern US and northern Caribbean for the first 18 months or so and then perhaps through the canal and to the South Pacific. We live just north of Atlanta in Cumming and we just recently bought our boat, a Stevens 47. I leave next Sunday for the USVI to begin sailing her back to Savannah.

PM me, we should get together!

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Old 19-05-2008, 07:47   #11
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One of my best friends is in the middle of the Pacific right now on passage to the South Pacific. They have two daughters aboard, 14 and 15 now I believe. At times the girls love it, and at times they don't. My friend and his wife are very consistent and diligent about the girls getting their schoolwork done.

They keep in contact with friends and family back home via email (winlink) and regular blog updates. While at anchor they spend a lot of time ashore doing tours, walking around town, taking hikes, etc. The girls are also an active part of watches. They brought a collection of movies and TV series on DVD and everyone gets a ration of daily electrical budget to watch.
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Old 21-05-2008, 14:02   #12
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Kudos to you for raising them TV-free in the first place. In fact I would love to chat with you offboard about that experience... our son is 4 and TV free as well.
Although our plans are the leave when our son is 6 and go from there -- we have some good friends who are mid-round-the-world at the moment with 3 teenagers on board! A 12 year old boy, 14 year old girl and 16 year old girl. They are ALL having a blast! Such a beautiful, tight knit family.
Enjoy your trip and keep us all posted!

(Schooner-dog's wife who pirates his account every now and again)
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Old 21-05-2008, 16:31   #13
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I think it's a great idea. In my cruising I've met many families with pre-teens both boys and girls. I've always found that the kids are much more in tune with the natural world than are those who live in houses and go to brick and mortar schools and soccer practices.

There were a couple of boats in the Rio Dulce with pre-teen girls when I was down there years ago. I remember hearing one of them calling each other on VHF. I especially enjoyed this little exchange:
Girl 1: You want to come over and play?
Girl 2: Can't now. Have to do school.
Girl 1: Okay, I'll do mine now, too, and maybe we can play this afternoon.
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Old 21-05-2008, 16:49   #14

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From what I hear (I'm also in the Holding Pattern "duct tape", childless group), it's good to plan on stopping at some spots that aren't just out of the way anchorages. Kids like to meet other kids. Think back to summer camp days.

Did you enjoy meeting the other kids? Exploring with them? Making new friends you'd remember the rest of your life?

This is the kind of stuff that should keep your daughter happy.

Also, if she meets and hangs out with other kids that she thinks are "cool", but that are also cruising kids that aren't interested in malls, she'll quickly forget about malls too.
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Old 23-05-2008, 11:37   #15
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To add to that. Parents could swap kids if they buddy boat together. Nice chance for some alone adult time......even if it is just conversation.....LOL
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