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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising and Sailing with Children
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Cruising and Sailing with Children All things sailing and kids related, from safety to life aboard.


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  #1  
Old 09-16-2013
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Sharing Cruising Plans With Family and Friends

For those of you who have taken the leap into full time/live aboard cruising with kids, how did you tell family and friends of your plans? Were the responses generally positive or negative? How did you respond or handle the negative responses?

We have not yet told any family or friends of our cruising plans, as we are in the very early stages. However, Iím anxious of the responses we will encounter when we do decide to tell them and just curious as to responses you received.
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Old 09-16-2013
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Re: Sharing Cruising Plans With Family and Friends

We are just barely ahead of you in the process and we are beginning to tell family. Seems the reactions are either LOVE IT, or HATE IT. The love its, tend to be very much in favor and really see the connection between what we are doing and giving our children a different experience than the typical.

On the other hand, the HATE ITs, seem to be speaking more to themselves than to us. They cannot understand the concept of getting out of line and living life by their own rules and they take it out on those that do. I am not trying to be mean here, instead just recognizing that sometimes when people argue against a course of action, they are actually arguing with themselves about their own choices and you are just a sounding board. They are not questioning your choices as much as their own.

For example, they will make the argument that it is unsafe to go sailing with children, but they don't see it as unsafe to put them into a car at rush hour traffic twice a day. Safe choices are not really about the stats, instead they are about sticking with the crowd as no one will fault you for being one of the millions.

You see this everyday on sailnet (and all other forums) when threads have more to do with defending ones own choice of a boat (for example), vs the question actually asked. We are all guilty of this from time to time. Good luck!
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Old 09-18-2013
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Re: Sharing Cruising Plans With Family and Friends

I have been sailing with my kids since they were 5 days old and on our own before that. Yet, some of my family really did have a knee jerk.

One of them was my sister, the other was a "father in law". My sister is simply scared of boats and water. SO the idea of being on something that could sink is beyond her psyche. But she and I have a good relationship and she came to deal with it. My father in law (I use that term loosely... not my wife's father, long story), came unglued about it. What he said was really irrelevant, but we just ignored it. Glad we did.

However, my parents were supportive. In fact, they came to spend a summer with us many years ago, anchored off a great island, margaritas, sunsets, dolphins (and the head tank leaking... impeccable timing!), and you know what they did? THey sold their house and they now own a boat and live on it in the Puget sound and are cruising even as I speak. My wife's father stays with us every time he can.

You will get a lot of people who understand, and many that don't. If you love them, get them out on the boat with you and anchor somewhere beautiful. Make it a nice vacation. They might end up doing what my parents did. If you don't like them, loosen the cap on the holding tank when they come. SHort visit and all that.

Do be aware that you will have to educate your family and friends when you leave. One Christmas, my sister bought them remote control cars and a race car track!??? THey have no concept that these things do not work on a boat. SO explain to them on Christmas and birthdays that if it is not a boat approved gift, it goes back or donated. I have been having those conversations for years, and every once in a while my sister still send a boat-unfriendly gift... though I suspect there is a bit of hidden agenda there!!!

Brian
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Old 09-19-2013
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Re: Sharing Cruising Plans With Family and Friends

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Originally Posted by awaywego View Post
We have not yet told any family or friends of our cruising plans... Iím anxious of the responses we will encounter...
Packing up and sailing away is not an easy thing. The life is not all idyllic anchorages, golden sunsets, and rum punches. It takes a certain amount of determination, patience, fortitude, an ability to see the big picture, the attitude that you are not going to let little things overwhelm you, and at times just downright courage to keep on going when life is throwing you curves.

I mean this in the most constructive way possible, but frankly, if you can't buck up the courage to tell your family and friends of your plans, I have to doubt whether or not you are dedicated enough to those plans to see them through. Perhaps as you get closer to "the time," and more invested in the idea of the cruising lifestyle, you will realize how silly you were to worry about what your family and friends might say.

You're going to run into negative attitudes from a lot of people along the way. You might even fall into feeling some negative attitudes yourself--a lot of cruisers seem to at some point along the way. You need to have the courage of your convictions, and the firm belief in your dreams, to be able to ignore those negative attitudes and forge ahead.

Good luck to you.
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Old 09-21-2013
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Re: Sharing Cruising Plans With Family and Friends

Have a conference call and explain it to them when you reach Fiji.
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Old 03-31-2014
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Re: Sharing Cruising Plans With Family and Friends

We told family memebers at different times depending on how we gauged their reactions. Those we expected to be supportive we told earlier and swore to silence. Those we expected to not get it and give us grief got less time to adjust and less time to harangue us.

Earlier is better IF family can shut up, harder to deal with are work people and friends. Telling some too early can cost money if were to say, lose your job or a promotion.
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Old 03-31-2014
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Re: Sharing Cruising Plans With Family and Friends

We lied to everyone until 2 weeks before flying overseas to buy a boat.

As other posts said, many people give you grief. I knew they would and didnt want to listen to the crap so we didnt tell anyone till we were set to go

I couldnt have dealt with negativity for a full year before we left...
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Re: Sharing Cruising Plans With Family and Friends

A tempting approach Mark, but we were making off with grandchildren and that didn't feel fair...
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Old 03-31-2014
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Re: Sharing Cruising Plans With Family and Friends

I don't think that it is so much as a love/hate thing although there is a dichotomy of reactions. Some people are envious and others just don't get why you would want to do it.

Met a Welsh couple who had an interesting tale. They started out with the intention of going for a week long cruise to France. The weather there was crappy (it was October) so they decided to go on to Portugal for some sun. No luck there so they carried on to the Canaries where it was warm and sunny. The called their adult kids to tell them where they were and had them fly down for a visit. The marinas in the Canaries were too expensive so they thought they would go to the Caribbean - and as I said, we met them in South Africa so there 'long term planning approach' to cruising seemed to work well.
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Old 05-05-2014
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Re: Sharing Cruising Plans With Family and Friends

awaywego,

we're in the same boat as you, This will be our second attempt at this. Once about 12 years ago we had the boat and were almost ready to go when we decided to scrap the plan and become "normal people" have kids, etc.! That worked for 12 years and now I've hit the 40+ mark and feeling the need (badly). This time around I'm getting less support from the same family members that were supportive the first time! but I (wife and I ) have decided that life's to short to worry about what everyone else thinks. They all think I'm throwing my career away and that if we sell the house, we'll never be able to afford one again when we get back! Little do they knbow that we plan to sell the house, split proceeds into a coming back fund and use the rest to cruise on for a year or two. The cost for the boat is coming out of current savings! so we should be OK for a while!

The bigger challenge for us is getting the boat and getting the kids on it! one of the 2 has some sailing but the other was born after we sold our last boat!
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