Originally Posted by hersch
We did exactly what you are proposing to do. When our son was 11, we bought a boat and cruised for almost 6 years. Cruising as a family is beyond compare.
If nothing else, it gives us comfort to know that others have been so successful at fulfilling plans like we're considering. I have heard very good things about kids who have cruised, but have been warned by others that the achievement isn't going to be a bowl of cherries. From a parenting perspective, there's a lot to be earned.
One thing I might do before the start is to earn a Wilderness First Responder certificate. I had a friend do this a few months ago, and he recommended it as well. The course sounds scary-- a week-long introduction to emergency first aid in remote locations. In one scenario, my friend was actually out at 1 a.m. bushwacking in the rain to help find, diagnosis and treat a simulated victom. In fact, the instructor who was playing the victom actually became hypothermic in the process...
Anyway, spending years in a boat with a family may lead to some medical situations in remote locations, and the more prepared we are for this the better. Simply having the knowledge will be a stress reducer.
As for the Channel Islands, we'll keep your contact information. We've already discussed chartering there after we've done Puget Sound for a couple of years. We could drive down, and then spend a week visiting the islands for some Pacific experience.
Thanks for the repsonse!