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Old 04-16-2007
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extended cruise with one child

Hello all! I just found this great forum. Our family, (mom, dad, 8yr old grl, dog), are planning an extended (1 year or more) cruise within the next few years. I was wondering if anyone out there has cruised with an only child, and if so, how did it go? The three of us have been doing shorter cruises for years and everything is great. I'm wondering what happens after about a month, when the novelty wears off a bit. My main concerns are boredom and home schooling.

Incidentally, we are from Annapolis. I would love to find another small cruising family. My dream is to find another family with 1 girl the same age as ours.

I'm looking forward to any responses I might get -
Allison
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Old 04-16-2007
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LOL... I was just thinking, "Huh, I didn't write this thread." Welcome to sailnet.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 04-16-2007
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I first thought this thread may be a hoax . . . going to the dogs, so to speak, based upon some recent "want to cruise offshore with dogs" debacles .

Welcome Allison - you're sure to receive some helpful advice.
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Old 04-16-2007
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What do you mean by "extended". Bluewater cruising, or just coastal? That would help direct answers to your questions.

(Now people will have to pay attention to any of Dawg's posts )
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Old 04-16-2007
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A few questions for you, Allison.

1) Do you already have a boat?
2) Where were you expecting to cruise geographically?
3) What kind of dog do you have?

As for home schooling, there are several programs out there that you can choose from. One, IIRC, is based out of Maryland in fact.

I don't think that boredom will be all that big an issue. If you haven't read Changing Course, by Debra Kantrell, it might be worth a read. It may address some of the concerns you have, as well as bring up some you may not have thought about. However, its primary purpose is one that doesn't sound necessary for you...since it was written to help explain the benefits of a cruising lifestyle to semi-reluctant spouses..

While I do not have children, I'm sure that several of the ones that do will be piping up shortly.

PBz- I have an avatar..... She does not yet, but I might e-mail her mine so we can cause chaos and confusion.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 04-16-2007
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Hi Allison,

I'm Bob and I'm an only child, and I get along with myself just great, never bored!

Nice name. Named my daughter Allison 'cause Rolls Royce Merlin is too unwieldly. Wanted to call the son Hamilton Standard but the mate said nix. Sadly, they swore off boats for life. Where did I go wrong?

Welcome, ya never know 'til ya try ...
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Old 04-16-2007
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one kid krusin

Thanks for the warm welcome everyone. I'll try to answer some of the questions:

1: We do own a boat. I think it will be our last boat. It is an Apogee 50. Apogee was recently purchased by Morris, however, so it is now a Morris 51. How they gained a whole foot by just changing ownership I'll never know!

2: Our dog is a Lagotto Romagnolo and his name is Benni, short for Benito. He has been cruising with us for his whole life, 5 years. Yes, he relieves himself on the deck. The first time he did it, I was so happy celebrating my successful "training" that I didn't focus on the fact that I taught him to do his thing on the bow, instead of the stern. This wasn't a problem until I realized that I had to clean the whole darn boat every time he peed! If you would like to learn more about Lagottos, go here: Dog Breed Information Center®, DBI

3. "Extended Cruise" means that we don't really know. It depends on a number of things, my husbands job, for one. He is thinking he can take about a year leave of absence. We are also trying to determine what the best age is to take our daughter out of society - 6th grade, 7th? I would like her to experience some "real life" before she gets into all the teenage girl drama of which I am very familiar.

I think I got all the questions, let me know if there are others. If there is anyone out there who cruised as an only child themselves, I would love to hear from them as well.

Allison
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I forgot one question, where are we planning to go? We are thinking of starting with the Carribean 1500, beyond that, we aren't really sure yet. I know where I don't want to go though!

Allison
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Old 04-16-2007
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We are going to take our son out for a projected five-year cruise in 2009, when he turns eight. We have averaged out the various aspects of the wisdom of this, and we figure that eight-year-olds have just enough self-preservation instincts to not require constant care, while 13 is about as old as he will get before he a) starts going all hormonal and sulky, or b) starts showing enough maturity to earn a vote on whether or not he wants to continue living on a boat.

We expect by 10 he will be able to stand day watches. At four, he could handle light-air tillering on a 33 footer without rounding up, and I think he is beginning to intuit sail handling. We want to put him in "junior sail" courses as early as possible, which would be next year in Optimist prams. This year is swim lessons in Lake Ontario and COB exercises on the new, higher freeboard boat.

I would encourage you to give your daughter as much responsibility as she can handle in the running of the boat. This would include look-out, checking for water flow when motoring, log keeping, and identifying sail sets, weather formations, radio monitoring and stuff that may interest her, such as fishing, birding or working the windlass (gratifyingly loud and filthy work).

Certainly, if you make a point of living on and working from the boat in all weathers (and make for your daughter a private space of her own), then you will inculcate a sense in all of you that boat life is "normal" and in fact desirable.

Needless to say, taking a youngster is likely to be equal parts hard work, emotional management and organization discipline (they have to do two to three hours a day of concentrated lessons, after all). But the rewards, we feel, will be many, and we believe, perhaps with equal parts pessimism and realism, that the next ten years might be the last opportunity to cruise the world relatively freely, and to see certain places and natural wonders before they become off-limits, extinct or eroded to sand.

Anyway, start her young!

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Old 04-16-2007
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Valiente...absolutely right...they will be what you make out of them...

My son does pretty much everything, including "driving" for up to 6 hours..he knows how to set course, autopilot, lower main (not hoist yet), furl main, tack, etc. He even know how to tell me when I need to trim...

he's been sailing with us since he was born, and we have now a 1 year old, that will also start soon..

However, I do not request him to clean the head, and do painfull stuff.. he knows when to check bilges, etc.

When we cruise, he often brings one of his best friends for 2 weeks and they even cook breakfast for us...popcorn, cornflakes toast and chocolate...kids you know...

Valiennte. what's with all the round rope things??? too much time?? ehehehe
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