Last year, I was given a pre-release PDF of Voyaging with Kids as a review copy. I read it over two evenings and I was just blown away by the wealth of information that it contains. And not just for those who are planning to cruise with kids!
It’s written by three of my favorite bloggers — Behan Gifford, Sara Johnson and Michael Robertson — who have covered thousands of miles with their families. What’s more, they’ve enlisted many, many more cruising parents to contribute short sidebars detailing their experiences on just about every topic in the book. Again, a number of bloggers that I follow (and admire!) were part of the process.
Add in the fact that Lin Pardey is the publisher and Capt. Fatty Goodlander wrote the foreward, and you know it’s going to have solid information. Everyone involved in the project has put thousands of miles under their keel and knows what really happens “out there.”
I love that it’s a collaboration, as there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to most of the choices that have to be made in going cruising. They authors don’t always take the same approach. And they don’t try to sugarcoat the tough spots . . . but instead, give ideas of how to sucessfully deal with them.
Yes, the book is geared towards those who have kids (or are of an age that they may be having kids while cruising). But most of the points the authors make, or pros and cons of various paths, apply just as much to anyone who takes off cruising. Over and over again as I read the book I kept saying to myself “. . . and that’s true without kids too.” I encourage anyone who’s contemplating or actively planning/preparing to cruise to read the book, whether or not you have kids. You’re bound to pick up useful pointers!
- Getting Ready (including dealing with the naysayers, particularly those close to you)
- Choosing a Family Cruising Boat (type of boat, dinghy and associated gear)
- Staying Safe
- Staying Healthy
- Provisioning for a Family (this includes special diets and food allergies)
- Everyday Life Afloat (a question almosteveryone has pre-cruising!)
- Learning Onboard
- Relationships: Afloat and Ashore (includes keeping in touch with family and friends left behind, another big topic for almost everyone)
- Babies Onboard
- Teens Onboard
- Ending the Voyage (just as big a transition for adults as kids, let me tell you)
- Former Cruising Kids
As it focuses on cruising as a family, there really isn’t any other book like Voyaging with Kids. Reading blogs of families with kids gives some insight on some of these issues, but the book provides a more systematic and in-depth look at all of these topics.
As Dave and I have cruised, I’ve loved meeting the kids on boats nearby. And now, I’m loving getting to know even more through blogs. Talk about responsible, interesting and willing to try new things!
Most families thrive while cruising, but we’ve met a few who decided it just wasn’t for them or who just didn’t really think it through and prepare sufficiently for it. Reading — really reading and discussing with your partner and kids (if they’re old enough) — Voyaging with Kids will answer a lot of questions about “how do you actually do it?” and seriously up the chances of success.
If you have any questions as to how your kids will look back on cruising, the final chapter is for you. A dozen former cruising kids look back on their experiences and tell how they shaped their lives today.
For couples or single-handers, sure, there will be some chapters that just don’t apply. But so many do that I think it’s a useful accompaniment to other books you may be reading such as Voyager’s Handbook as it covers some different topics and provides another point of view.
To order Voyaging with Kids:
Want more info on the book and the authors? See the Voyaging with Kids page.
Full disclosure: Lin Pardey, the publisher, is a friend of mine and wrote a back-cover review for The Boat Galley Cookbook. I’ve followed Behan, Sara and Michael’s blogs for some time and have had a fair amount of email and Facebook “conversation” with Behan. And they even mention The Boat Galley Cookbook in their book. So I might be prejudiced . . . but I think it’s just that I happen to know some really talented people who have put together a fantastic resource!