OK; did I ever say that Smack's scenario could not happen; or that it was not plausible? I said that if you ever found yourself in the situation he described YOU MUST BE WITHOUT BRAINS. I'm sorry; but taking your family on ocean crossing voyages in a small craft (smaller than something like a cruise ship) is just foolish. You have kids only to put them in a situation where their life depends on what the weather patterns decide to throw at you? You see; most SANE people who have children choose to live their life for their child so their child will grow up to be an adult.
That being said; I'm sure that there are hundreds if not thousands of families floating around out there in the deep blue sea. Of them a handful of those families will experience tragedy; maybe never heard from again, maybe loss of life with a parent or both surviving, leaving them to suffer in grief for the rest of their days for the mistake they made of taking their children offshore.
All of these people who go cruising with their children will defend their choices to the end. Their child is getting such a rich and diverse upbringing; an alternative lifestyle, enrichment of culture, escape from the modern world, blah blah blah... But what they never mention is the rough times, the fear, and then they write books about their tragic loss after they have lost everything including their kids; AND NEVER ACCEPT THEIR OWN PART IN IT, that they never should have put the family in that situation in the first place.
More than once I have woken up sweaty thinking about that very thing. If, as a parent, it you have not been scared by the reality, then you have not been far offshore or you have some wires twisted. I think the life raft issue affected me as much as it did because of the kids.
I am not sure I would take my kids across the pond with me on a long run. I would really need to get my girl out in some more stroms offshore and see how she does. My issue is not just safety, but the kids being pinned up in a hole for a long time. Shorter runs of a few days, where the weather information can be deemed a little reliable and you can pick when to go... well, I am a little more comfortable with that.
But I respectfully dissagree with your assessment. And although I have nightmares about things happening, I also watch as my kids have consistently grown to love this life. More than once, they have said thank you to me and Kris about bringing them here, living on the boat, etc. I will not dissagree that in many cases, your presumptions may be correct. But I have also seen just the opposite. We met some great Candian friends just a month or two ago and we became fairly close and found that both our kids have very similar traits and both would not leave the boat for a home-side living. I am not talking about parents... I am talking about the kids.
But tehn again, I grew up deep woods backpacking. I am not talking about camping. Cmaping is fun - but I am talking about loading a pack and heading off for a week or two. There were no cell phones then (at least that we could afford). And though you might say that backpacking is a safer life, I will tell you that more than once we were put in some survival conditions. But I grew to have a love and appreciation for nature, the mountains, and became very independent. I think it made me the person I am today. Those experiences cannot be replaced by anything in the ordinary.
So basically I see your point KH. You make a good argument. But there is a line there that can be drawn and a balance. Where taht balance and line is? Well, that is up to th parents I guess. I certainly would not put it in anyone else hands.
Just my opinions.
PS I wonder if we should take this conversation to the childrens forum?