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Voyaging With Kids - A Guide to Family Life Afloat Paperback – September 18, 2015
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The best thing parents can do for their children these days is to unplug them from society and give them a wider and deeper perspective of the world and more meaningful way to experience the life as they grow. The best way to remove them from the bad influence of todays tasteless movies, violent video games, and shallow peers is to take your kids cruising. As more parents are doing exactly that, a brand-new book on the subject tells how. Voyaging with Kids: A Guide to Family Life Afloat was written jointly by a trio of sailors who have made this choice. Their collaboration is being supported by Lin Pardey who is publishing the book and has watched many cruising kids grow into extraordinary people over the years since she and Larry first threw off the docklines.Authors Behan Gifford, Sara Dawn Johnson, and Michael Robertson each represent one half of a cruising couple that has been out there voyaging with their children for several years. They address the issues of breaking away from land-based commitments, dealing with the naysayers, and helping children make the transition. They talk about choosing a family cruising boat, safety afloat for kids of all ages, staying healthy, and provisioning for a family aboard. They specifically address issues surrounding cruising with infants and at the other end of the spectrum cruising with teenagers. They also discuss how families spend their days aboard (with chores, holidays, home schooling, and great playtime) as well as relationships aboard and those they develop with other cruisers and cruising families. Just as important as transitioning to life afloat, they also cover preparing for the end of a voyage and re-entry into the hyper-society they have left behind.My favorite part of this book is the essays by former cruising kids, those who spent several years afloat. We often wonder what has become of them. Did they get a proper education? Did they grow up properly socialized? Do they look back fondly on their cruising years? Yes. Yes. And yes. While some, once grown, have planted the anchor firmly inland, many have continued to sail or cruise as adults on their own boats. They are exceptional adults in every sense of the word and a tribute to the idea of family cruising.This is a gorgeous book with additional interviews with and input from many other cruising families. If you know of a sailing family with the dream of cruising, buy them the book and then watch their children blossom far from the maddening crowd into very capable, independent, and special people --Karen Larson, editor, Good Old Boat Magazine
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
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Top customer reviews
I have a zillion questions about blue water voyaging beyond our current cruising grounds in the Salish Sea. Kid issues are many of my questions. I want straight to the chapter about boat schooling because that topic is a great mystery and one of my concerns.
Chapter 1 Getting Ready
Chapter 2 Choosing a Boat
Chapter 3 Staying Safe
Chapter 4 Staying Healthy (includes section on insurance & getting help)
Chapter 5 Provisioning for a Family
Chapter 6 Everyday Life Afloat
Chapter 7 Learning Onboard (boat schooling)
Chapter 8 Relationships: Afloat and Ashore
Chapter 9 Passagemaking
Chapter 10 Babies Onboard
Chapter 11 Teens Onboard
Chapter 12 Ending the Voyage
Chapter 13 Former Cruising Kids (input from 12 people)
The book is very engaging. The information is presented in consulting-like manner: each of the chapter describes the key consideration point, and shows how the authors and other cruising families worked them out. As with any similar books you would need to consider different presented options, try them and apply what works for your family
If you are already in cruising (even in your thoughts) the book helps to build the path to make the dream to be real, and to plan and prepare your voyage adventure, whatever small or big it will be.
If you are not in in cruising the book is very educational as well, and demonstrates that voyaging with kids is not an act of irrationality, but, with correct project management approach, including planning and risk mitigation, is quite rational, enjoyable and a great world-schooling opportunity for your kids. It changed my perception and acceptance of voyaging with kids. I hope it will do the same for you, too.
This book is focused on kids-related sides of cruising, and is not intended to cover all general aspects of voyaging, and thus provides with a lot of references to other great resources to cover voyaging in general. Many side notes list others family blogs to explore for their experience.
I hope that you would enjoy reading this book and find it useful as much as I did!
Every cruising family (or potential cruising family) needs to read this book. It is full of both inspiration and practical advice. These parents have been cruising with their kids for years and they know what works and what doesn't.
If you want to take your kids cruising, you'll be surrounded by fearful friends and family who will make you doubt the idea. This book is the antidote (buy a copy for the grandparents, too, so they can see how wonderful and safe cruising with kids can be!).
I orignally bought the kindle edition, then I saw a copy of the paperback. It's so beautiful, I had to buy the paperback as well! I love this book.
Most recent customer reviews
We are preparing to circumnavigate and this is great for establishing timelines and what we need to do in what order e.g.Read more