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Old 08-04-2013
cinesailor cinesailor is offline
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Re: Bareboat cruising BVI with 10 month old, help!

Sounds like your adventure is a bit more involved than ours but we took our 11 month old on a 10 day bareboat charter in the BVI (out of Tortola) a few years back. We had 8 adults plus my young son on a 43' sail cat. A few notes from our trip:

- he was always in a life jacket in the boat except when in a closed door stateroom or in his carseat - at 11 months, he was already highly mobile.
- while on deck he was always in someone's arms . We had a direct handoff procedure so one person was always solely focused on him (no other sailing/ship duties)
- lots of shade in the cockpit. We rigged some extra to help keep him cool.
- (this is the debatable one) while underway, for naps we strapped his carseat in the cockpit. The line was quickly releasable and he still had a designated minder. Keep in mind also this was the world's safest sailing: day only, no schedule to keep, very calm seas, consistent winds. This allowed him to sleep comfortably close by.
-at night we built a padded stopper for the forward V birth in our stateroom to keep him in and safe but close by. Others have suggested mini mattress on the floor or mini hammock but this worked great.
- lots of hydration. It was April in the BVI and we had some warm days. He was a little sweat monster but we kept him happy.
- no stroller. Went with a backpack for all land ventures. The roads and walkways are always suspect down there. Backpack was easier for the ferry and on the docks. I am always freaked out about strollers around water. If it went in by accident, could you jump in and keep it above water easily?

All in all, he loved it. Very little fussing or issues. Don't know if we could have done it without at least two extra sets of hands and still relaxed. Great memories. Hope this helps!
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