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  Topic Review (Newest First)
04-15-2009 02:07 AM
capntortuga CD,

This is fantastic idea. I think there are many families like ours that would love to go cruising but have concerns about home schooling, college acceptance and having friends to hang out with. For our family it would be a much easier decision to go cruising if we had 2 or more children. Our daughter is our only child and she can't imagine being without her friends in the neighborhood and at school. I'm trying to research experiences of other cruisers to see if anyone with 1 child has found ways to address these same issues and concerns.

12-02-2008 11:25 AM
Cruisingdad Magnus and Michelle,

A very nice story. No doubt when people read this (especially those that are your age or about to take kids), your thoughts will comfort them. It is a big step for parents and one not taken lightly. It sounds like your family did it for the right reasons and made it successful.

Please hang around and share as much as you like. PM me with any questions or thoughts if necessary.

Take care,

12-02-2008 09:25 AM
lbdavis Wow, Michelle. You are a very lucky young lady. It is wonderful that you have had such an exciting and eye opening experience.

I'm sure those experiences and your new appreciation for life's real priorities will help guide you through a very satisfying life.

Thanks for sharing and helping motivate all us to take our families on a similar adventure!!
12-02-2008 09:03 AM
JohnRPollard Michelle,

Nicely done! I plan to share this with our kids -- I know they will be thrilled to hear your story.

Thanks so much for taking the time to write!
12-02-2008 05:15 AM
chall03 Thanks Michele and Murphy family for giving us your point of view. Very well written and articulated I thought, hope you get a chance to get back out there cruising when the time is right.
12-01-2008 11:33 PM
One teenager's view of the cruising life

Hi everyone my name is Michele Murphy and I am 15 years old. My family took 7 months off to sail the Caribbean. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.

At first I was like every other teenager saying things like, “ Why would you do this to me”, “ You're ruining my life”, “ What about my friends”. I felt like my parents were just doing this to make my life miserable. Turns out that's not what they wanted to do at all.

A normal day at home consists of: get up early for school, go to school for 7 and a half hours, come home, maybe do some sports, finish homework, go to bed. BORING.
A normal day on the boat for me was: wake up when you feel like, do school work for 3 hours, have lunch, swim, tan, have a shower, and watch a movie before bed. AWESOME.

Doing school work on a boat is not as hard as one would think. Even with only 3 hours a day I managed to finish my years work on time, without being overly stressed about it. I took notes and wrote important facts in my notebook for each subject. My teachers had also sent me quizzes to do. I used a pen scanner to send back the quizzes for marking. I would email teachers if I needed help with certain concepts and I would always receive a reply. I was never behind in work, learning the same material as my classmates. The only difference for me was that I did not have to write the PSAT's when I returned. Now being back in school I have no difficulties with the work. I remember the concepts I learned while on the boat. I am in no way behind, I am coping well with the amount of work I get now. Currently I am taking 4 AP courses and having no real difficulties.

This trip made me look at the world differently and think to myself, “Why are people always buying things they don't need?” The places we saw showed us how lucky we are compared to some of the people living on these islands. It makes you appreciate life. The sail trip also opened my eyes to things that really matter in life.

Life on a boat is very different than life in a house. You have to fight for time in the bathroom, you can't spend hours applying makeup, and you get absolutely no privacy what so ever. But on a boat, none of this matters. No one cares if your wearing mascara or not, it's pointless. People only care about your personality.

At school you get to see your friends every day and ya, you get to hang out at the mall, go shopping, hang out with your boyfriend, but when does that matter when you can live on a boat with the family you love, living a new adventure everyday?

As I am writing this it has started snowing, only reminding me about how much I want to sail off into the sunset and never return.

The people you meet on a trip like this are incredible. Personally I have found the people we have met on the trip way more interesting than my friends. We hear stories of how their boat broke down, or how they had to sail through a storm while barfing off the side of the boat. No offense to my friends but these are stories I can relate to. Trying to tell stories like that, just isn't interesting to people who have not experienced it. It is pointless to try and explain it. They just don't get it.

The experiences you gain from a trip like this are incredible. The different places you see, the people you meet, the stories you hear. I loved not worrying about little things like what to wear on my next date, or when to have my next sleepover. The little things like that don't matter on a boat.

Now whenever I'm at school whether it's learning about how to write thesis statements, hearing my teacher keep saying “ So what?” over and over again, or if it's learning how to factor trinomials, I always think to myself, “What would I be doing now if I was on the boat?”, or “Damn I just want to go back to the boat and not have to worry about this.” Now I am living in Calgary again, hardly ever seeing my family other than dinner time and on weekends, and I can't help but wish I was back on the boat. I want the wind to blow through my hair, I want the spray of the sea in my face, I want to jump into the ocean whenever I feel like it, I want to hear the sound of the waves lapping against the hull, or rolling up on the beach.
11-28-2008 06:10 AM
chall03 I have just finished re-reading for about the 5th time the two Liza Copeland's books "Just Cruising" "Still Cruising", about her circumnavigation with her husband and three sons.

Obviously the Copelands are only one family, and may or may not be indicative of the majority of cruising families, yet their experience seemed to be an immensely enriching one for their children. Rather than being 'trapped' on a boat with their parents, 'Unsocialized' from the regular world, Liza tells of how the children were part of an close knit community of world cruisers, they were forever out and about with other boat kids and/or playing the the local children. She speaks of the challenges as well, but by and large they made it work for them in a way that enriched their children's upbringing (through to teens) more than shorebased life may of.

Im sure however that for families who venture into the blue yonder with a selfish attitude, not putting in the extra effort required to make the dream work for the children, it could be a horrible expereince. Sitting in the saloon for days on end killing each other through boredom is not fun for anyone, but is really no different to having kids coped up with just an Xbox inside a house in the suburbs..... The solution to both is I guess good parenting.
11-27-2008 11:16 PM
I'm thinking of asking my daughters to write their own experiences here, in their teenage voices - if that will be of interest.
Please do try, as I'm having major sailing issues with my 15 year old daughter and it would be great for me to be able to show it to her.

Not that we're planning on taking off before she's out of high school, as she's looking at majoring in theater and music, and I'm not capable of dealing with that drama on a a boat
11-27-2008 05:00 PM
Two teenage girls onboard

We completed a seven month trip at the end of June starting in Florida (after sailing from RI during the summer to Norfolk and then having the boat delivered to Florida). We did the "thorny path" down to Grenada, where our boat is awaiting our (short-term) return in December. Our two teenage daughters were 15 and almost 13 when our trip ended. Although a modest trip compared to many, it was a life changing event for our entire family.

During our trip, our daughters completed their respective school grades almost independently, using resources given to us from their usual school, supplemented by things we saw along the way. We had some email contact with the teachers for when we couldn't help (quite often in fact with our 15 year old's math ;-( ).

Prior to our trip our daughters were very sceptical, for reasons already discussed here, especially by Cam. I remember our youngest saying "you're ruining my life!"

It is interesting how their opinions changed as the cruise progressed. Currently, they ask us at least once a week if we couldn't sell our house, quit our jobs and go cruising full-time, with them homeschooling on the boat. They seem to be completely serious. When asked about friends/boyfriends, they answer "they can come visit" and anyway, there's facebook, MSN, etc.

This trip was the BEST thing we've ever done as a family. The time we spent together was the most wonderful one can ever imagine and my relationship with my daughters has grown into something that would have been completely impossible if we'd continued our usual busy "land-lives".

It's interesting how difficult we all find it to re-integrate into our regular routine, even now almost six months after we returned. The conspicuous consumer lifestyles most people live have no more appeal to us and the usual things that seemed so important in the past, now are shrugged off, while we struggle to still spend time with each other.

I'm thinking of asking my daughters to write their own experiences here, in their teenage voices - if that will be of interest.

Yours sincerely

Magnus Murphy
11-26-2008 09:14 AM
sailingdog GUU-

A turd would look better and not have the goofy smile on its face...
Originally Posted by Giulietta View Post

Good Lord, CD....your son, has a turd in between his legs, sticking out in that photo..

Oh..wait a's you....sorry...hard to see the difference...
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