Posted by: Nicholas | October 2, 2011

The first trip – some hard lessons learned

  1. Plan your passage in advance: There is much less time for passage planning onboard when you have kids to entertain.
  2. Maximum sail time = age of youngest crew member in years: Youngsters get bored easily, and there is surprisingly little to distract them with at sea, even in the Solent. Keep it short.
  3. One adult for the boat, one each for the kids: We had two experience sailors, plus two inexperienced sailors who were both highly practical and great with the kids. This really helped.
  4. Seasickness sucks: Hearing Alasdair, aged 2 3/4 saying “My tummy feels funny” in a plaintive, but not complaining, voice, was horrible. Horrible because I know how rotten seasickness makes you feel, and because if he never gets past seasickness, this could be a very short experiment.
  5. Sticking stickers makes you seasick:  And so does drawing, reading, playing games on a phone… In short, all the tricks we’ve learned for keeping small children distracted on long terms cause real problems on a boat.

These are just my first thoughts. I hope to adapt them over time as I discover new and better ways to sail with children.