Passion, resilience, perseverance, humility are just some of the words you can learn when at school. Or you can give your child (and yourselves!) the most amazing education this planet can provide. Taking a child long-distance sailing requires another useful word: planning; 'Voyaging with kids' delivers with this comprehensive guide. Take the plunge and we will see you out there. --Phillip Ross, Editor, Cruising Helmsman (Australia)
Voyaging with Kids is a beautifully designed and very comprehensive reference on cruising with kids. It covers everything from picking your boat to what to bring along, how to stay safe and healthy, provisioning in far away places, and activities to pass the time or expose the kids to new experiences. There is a full chapter on boat schooling which has some very interesting suggestions, like attending local schools while voyaging and dealing with rules and regulations of the home country. Most important are the fantastic insights from other contributors in side bars throughout. Because of this, you get the benefit of many experienced parents and kids from varied first-hand perspectives that provide a truly balanced view of the experience. A lot of work went into this book and I applaud the authors and editors who pulled it all together so expertly.The book also covers the transiting nature of voyaging by boat and how it influences relationships both aboard and on shore. It provides detailed advice on passagemaking. It even covers how to deal with the challenges unique to babies and teenagers aboard. Finally, it deals with the challenges faced when ending the voyage and transitioning back to a life ashore and all the things that will stay with them forever and keep them grounded on the land. Voyaging with Kids ends with interviews with and letters from former cruising kids. They talk about their life aboard and ashore, what they learned from both, and how they dealt with the transitions. It s really inspiring to read about the great takeaways these former kids remember and how those learnings shaped their future lives. Bottom line, you get the sense that they became better human beings for the experience.
The book is rich with photographs of kids doing interesting things in exotic places. It also focuses attention on the ability of children aboard to take responsibility and contribute to the tasks at hand. They learn independence and self-reliance from an early age, very valuable traits in this passive world. They also learn what s important in life in general and what s important to them specifically, not like the kids in routine lives ashore who just follow along with what everyone else is doing.The Index is very handy for looking up specific topics. There are six pages of contributors listed, three pages of bibliography, and thirteen pages of additional resources and references used in researching material.Voyaging with Kids is a really important addition to the cruising armamentarium for anyone contemplating life afloat. What these authors have done is extraordinarily valuable. They've done enormous research to provide access to the kind of information every parent needs before taking off, and they share real life assessment of how everything actually translates into practice. This is destined to be a bestseller in the sailing books category...the parenting bible for the cruising family. I believe it s the first book of its kind, and that is an accomplishment in itself. --Daria Blackwell, CoastalBoating.com
About the Author
Behan Gifford has sailed more than 35,000 miles with her husband, Jamie, and their three children. When they set off from the Pacific Northwest in 2008 aboard their 47-foot sailboat, Totem, Niall was 9, Mairen was 6, and Sioban was 4. Since then, they’ve visited 18 countries, from Mexico to Australia to Sri Lanka. Before cruising, the Giffords lived in Bainbridge Island, Washington, where Behan built a career in management consulting, software marketing, and digital advertising. Having specialized in Chinese and Asian studies, she holds a master’s degrees in international studies and business administration. Behan maintains a blog for Sail.com and chronicles her families adventures on her website sailingtotem.com
Sara Dawn Johnson has lived aboard boats for 12 of the 16 years she’s been together with her husband Michael. When their two girls were young enough to be strapped in car seats secured in the cockpit, they set off from their Pacific Northwest home waters and went on to explore the length and breadth of the Pacific. They’re now back on land, with their sights set on more Pacific Northwest cruising. Michael was himself a cruising kid. When he was 13, his parents set off aboard their 37-foot steel cutter to explore Mexico, Central America, Panama and the Caribbean. Sara’s articles appear in several magazines in both the United States and Canada. Her blog, svwondertime.com actively encourages other parents who are considering setting sail with young children.
Michael and Windy Robertson began voyaging with kids in 2011, when their daughters Eleanor and Frances were 7 and 5. Since then the Robertsons have cruised their Fuji 40 Del Viento between Mexico and Alaska. As this book goes to press, they’re headed across the Pacific. Long before they had kids, Michael lived aboard a Newport 27 in Southern California. He met Windy through a Latitude 38 crew list, and the two spent seven months cruising Mexico, the Panama Canal, and the Caribbean basin. Articles by Michael have appeared in magazines in the United States, Canada and the UK. You can follow this family adventure at cruisingworld.com