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Old 23-10-2009, 15:18   #1
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Success or Failure Stories of Trying to Introduce Young Teens to Cruising

I, like I am sure many do, have a dream of packing up and cruising when I retire, at least for the summers. My oldest will be about 13 when I retire and it's a bit scary to think about packing into a 33ftish boat for 3 months with 2 or 3 kids. Just wondering if there are any success/failure stories out there? I have been reading a few cruising/living aboard books. Any advice to give other than involve the kids, give them responsibilities, ect?
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Old 23-10-2009, 15:39   #2
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Howdy, AKCoastie!
You probably gonna need a little bigger boat!

BTW, I finally pried the price on that Catalina 22 out of my Bro. PM me when you get a chance. (Shameless Plug!)
"Behind every great man there is a woman, rolling her eyes."
But not for long! Now she's gone!
and peace and tranquility reign forever!
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Old 23-10-2009, 16:45   #3
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Get the kids reading too!
But get them reading the right sort of books...

Ya know most of the 'true story' books out there are about disasters at sea. Does a 13 year old really need 46 books about surviving a hurricane, surviving 133 days in a liferaft etc etc etc?

They just scare people!

I sure don't read any anymore!

Maybe the best books to get a 13 up to the responsibilities of being a cruiser would be the high value pop culture books and movies. Master and Commander (The book!) was said by Sir Francis Chichester to be the most accurate portrayal of sailing a vessel of that type at that time. Also its a wonderful boys story and he will love the movie too.

Also the Hornblower series of books... start at the first one, don't skip. And then get him the TV series the BBC did... one of their finest.

If you can get him to emulate Russel Crowe and Ioan Gruffud laughing at a storm and stoically staying on watch thats all you could want!

Also tell him now that he will be getting his own watch in which he will be Master and Commander!

Scare the crap outta him?

Or empower him?
Notes on a Circumnavigation.

Somalia Pirates and our Convoy
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Old 23-10-2009, 18:30   #4
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Why give them a choice? As the parent my daughter goes where and when I want her to go. I try to see that she has fun along the way, but my house is not a democracy.
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Old 23-10-2009, 18:36   #5
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As a family you are by now stuck with who you all are or about to be. You build on the relationships you already have seems to be the only chance of it working out. People that don't take off can have family disasters too. It's less about where you live and more how you choose to do it. There are failures and success every place on the planet. The only thing to worry about is you really do want them to leave home at some point and prove you did enough right that they didn't come back.
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Old 23-10-2009, 20:18   #6
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When we started our circumnavigation, our kids were in their second and third years of highschool. Taking them offshore was great. No peer group pressure, no cell phones, no video games, and lots of responsibility. As far as I am concerned, every teenager would be better off if you took them offshore for a couple of years.

Here is what my son David learned during his circumnavigation. He wrote this after completing the trip around the world.

34 Things I’ve Learned in 33,000 Miles

1. Mom likes to say “the journey is the destination”. She’s right. Although we sailed from point to point on a map, locations were only a skeleton on which to build our adventure.

2. You find what you’re looking for. The cruises who talk about the dangers lurking in each location are invariably the ones who find trouble. Cruisers who make smart decisions and keep a positive attitude somehow manage to find good stuff in the same places and enjoy themselves much more.

3. Cruising is a great investment of time.

4. If I have children, I will take them cruising. They will thank me.

5. There is no shortage of adventure in the world but most of the real ones aren’t easy.

6. For every Paris or Rome there are a thousand hidden corners of the globe where people like you and me make a life. The corners are usually where my favorite memories originate.

7. Cruising let’s you share a back porch with a billionaire. In Turkey we anchored next to a diamond merchant’s 200 foot megayacht for two days. He spent 50 million dollars to visit the same destination as us. Some people buy floating condominiums and some people buy the sailing equivalent of a cargo crate, but we all meet at the same barbecue pit on the beach.

8. There is always something to do on a boat. You are never, ever bored.

9. The Caribbean is high quality cruising. The Bahamas are shockingly beautiful. Who knew there are such awesome destinations so close to the States?

10. Ocean crossing is mostly about persistence. Just point the boat in the right direction, don’t hit anything for a few days, and you’re good to go.

11. Reality TV is stupid.

12. One of my favorite things about cruising is how every day is different. You never know what wrinkles will be thrown into your schedule so you might as well take off your wristwatch.

13. Don’t use pens from the desk of an Immigration officer without asking for permission first.

14. Lost in an arid, desolate land? Shipwrecked on a deserted island? Trapped in a canyon by a pack of hyenas? Never fear. They'll build a new Starbucks at your location within the week.

15. When locals point to the next island as “dangerous”, there are usually people on that island pointing back at them and saying the same thing.

16. Other yachties refer to you by your boat name (for example, if our friends on Duetto were talking about us they might say “Exit Only are brilliant mariners”). Remember this when you get the urge to name your vessel La Cucaracha.

17. There is something wonderfully mysterious about harnessing the wind to travel.

18. Always learn a few phrases in the local language. People appreciate the effort and it’s a great way to make new friends. (NOTE: be sure to know the exact meaning of your newfound phrases before you shout them across crowded rooms at sword-toting strangers)

19. Never overestimate the common sense of charter boats when it comes to anchoring. I don’t want to sound negative but you would not believe some of the stuff we’ve seen in the Caribbean. Usually the accidents happen because they don’t observe the First Rule of Doing Anything on a Boat (see #20).

20. Slow is better than fast. Disasters usually happen because someone is trying to accomplish something too fast. It's similar to operating a chainsaw in this respect.

21. It is OK to say "no, thanks" when pressured to buy something. If the vendor still refuses to acknowledge your right not to part with your hard earned cash, shout newly learned local phrases (NOTE: unless the seller has a which case, buy something from them. Preferably a shield or a larger sword).

22. On the extremely rare occasions when we’ve been pressured for a bribe, a polite “no” has worked. This seems to be the consensus opinion of most cruisers and travelers I know.

23. You find good people wherever you go.

24. God loves every single person on this planet. I know it sounds glib but this thought keeps popping into the forefront of my mind as we travel. That Maldivian lady fishing on the end of the pier? God loves her. The rich Italian punk who ripped by in a speedboat and rocked us with a huge wake? God loves him. The guy in Grenada who snuck onto our boat at night and didn’t see anything worth taking, but left muddy footprints? God loves him. The lady who smiled and gave us extra bread at the market in Sudan? God loves her. The list goes on forever. It is such a mind-blowing idea and it makes me want to treat other people better because we when you get right down to it, we‘re all the same. By the way, God loves you too.

25. Cruising isn‘t always fun. Long night watches, rough passages, boat maintenance, getting trapped on board for days of non-stop rain, living in close proximity with three other adults (two of whom are your parents), lightning storms, relatives who don’t understand, living at the mercy of the weather, frequent discomfort, traveling at speeds which make a snail on a unicycle look fast, and intermittent contact with shore-based friends are all part of the deal. But it’s worth it.

26. All ocean passages include a few hours when ice cream is the sole topic of conversation.

27. It would have been nice to have a freezer on board.

28. A good hat is worth it’s weight in ice cream. I lucked out and found an Australian cowboy hat with enough stiffness and brim width to serve as my personal umbrella.

29. Never trust a strange camel.

30. Every Diet Coke manufacturer uses a slightly different recipe. The flavors range from "Throat-chokingly Harsh" to "Heavenly Nectar". Always check which it is before you buy 12 cases.

31. You know how all the pictures from the 1800s and 1900s show people with serious faces? I guess photographs were too rare to waste on tomfoolery and goofy smiles. Interestingly, many eastern cultures are modern day proponents of “straight faced” photography. People are affable and smiling in conversation until I ask if I can take a photo, whereupon they straighten up and get serious.

It makes me wonder about my natural inclination to act like a goofball whenever anyone points a camera at me. At the very least I usually smile. Why? Am I trying to inject happiness into a memory which might otherwise appear bland? How many times have you seen an arguing couple on vacation stop and smile while a stranger takes their picture, then go right back to arguing? What will they remember of their trip when they look back at their photos?

32. Daily radio nets are a great way to keep morale up on the open ocean. Especially if you are the one with the best fishing story.

33. Humanity has a startling history of warfare. Sometimes I felt like we were touring the world from fortress to fortress. Leading me to my next reflection…..

34. This might not be a popular point of view but I think it is worth considering: How arrogant is it that Europeans (and I include my own ancestry in this category) had the gall to land on islands populated by natives and claim them in the name of their homeland? In school I was taught that European colonial expansion was motivated by “God, gold, and glory”. They achieved these goals thanks to superior military technology (they had the guns).

Imagine if aliens from the nearby Chewbaccan galaxy landed a spaceship on South Beach (in Miami) and claimed Florida as part of the Chewbaccan Republic…never mind the high rise buildings full of Canadians….or the sun-drenched beach revelers angry about the spaceship blocking their sun…or the fact that no one wants to subjugate themselves to a Republic named after a sidekick (“We bow to no one but Han Solo!”). The aliens aren’t concerned because they have energy cannons, sonic blasters, and shields which make them impervious to anything Will Smith or Tom Cruise can do. If the Chewbaccans want Florida, we are helpless to stop them.

If you would like to read my son's blogs for the last half of the circumnavigation, you can go to:
Dave -Sailing Vessel Exit Only
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Old 23-10-2009, 23:06   #7
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I could try having them born onboard. Though they would grow up 10 times healthier and 100 times more intelligent than their parents.

Perfection too, is dangerous.
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Old 25-10-2009, 13:33   #8
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Leave a copy of Arthur Ransome's "We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea" lying around the house. . . .
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Old 25-10-2009, 14:52   #9
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David sounds like he is going to turn out just fine.If the Chewbaccans want Miami, can we get them to take Washington DC as a package deal?
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