Rick Sorenson, Jr., West Hartford, Ct. USA asks:
Thank you so much for the continual updates on your
VofE...very motivating. We are considering taking a year with 3 kids
aboard in a few years time. Our 2 girls would be 9 & 7 and our boy would be 5 years old.
Have you run into many families of this size cruising? Any feedback
on your interactions with cruising families and they're experience of
whether manageable, etc. would be very much appreciated. We are in
the process of considering a larger Nord for the trip. I assume you
would recommend if can, do it asap? Thanks again for inspiration and
GREAT reading. Best, Rick
Scott Flanders from Egret responds:
Rick, it is a very small world. Before answering your question I'll tell you a little story. Egret was anchored in Hogsty Reef in the southern Bahamas when your father pulled in with his Hatteras. They fished the pass the next morning and gave us some blackfin tuna fillets after fishing.
And now you want to buy a Nordhavn and have your own tales to tell. Great idea!! In the 8-04-08 VofE we told a few stories about families traveling with kids. Your children are roughly the same age as the sailing catamaran Grace. Here at Suworrow Atoll, N55 New Paige (Canadians) have their daughter Kimberly (10) traveling as well. Home schooling is very effective for these kids. Kimberly is WAY ahead of her friends back home according to her parents. Cruising World magazine did a comprehensive study on boat kids and home schooling. Academically they scored, on average, 20% higher than their land based peers. Most seem to use the Calvert system. New Paige is using a combination of a Canadian program coupled with an American math program.
Besides our recent experiences we are seeing more and more boat kids on the water from a number of countries. Even when we wintered in Ushuaia, Argentina there were about 5 boat kids. One thing we have seen with every nationality of kids is they are so giving to each other and don't fight. With their time at sea alone with their parents they are so happy to see others near their ages they don't want to spoil or waste their time by not getting along (as shore based kids do worldwide).
I don't think you could give your kids a better life experience than long distance travel aboard a boat. We find mostly, boat kids return to shore based school during their last three years of high school. This is not for academics but social education.
In my opinion it is best to order the boat and get it thru commissioning a year before heading out. This will give you a chance to break the kids into shorter trips and sort thru any early boat bugs. That year will buy you a lot of familiarization as well.
Let me close with a picture of a boat kid playing with Suworrow Atoll kids. Good luck to you and your family.