Floating Family

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A Moorings Crewed Charter in the BVI, by Jason Y. Wood (continued)

Floating Family

The saloon on the Moorings 514PC

Bringing your children on a boat may be the best way to spend time with them you’ll ever have. Here are three things to think about as you get underway:

1. SEASICKNESS MAY BE GENETIC. Sure enough our Zuzu got a little queasy on (very few) parts of our trip (it’s a testament to the stability of our catamaran given how little that happened). We knew she was prone to motion sickness going in and honestly Erica and I were both concerned it would be much worse than it turned out. As much as I wished she’d inherited Erica’s sealegs, she’s stuck with the Wood family trait for mal de mer. But there are a few ways to combat it. First, if a child wants to eat his or her way through it I say, Why not? After all, it has worked for me in the past, mostly with chocolate chip cookies: Chips Ahoy! Second, the distraction is the thing, not the food, so if you can engage kids in thoughtful ways and take their minds off how miserable they are, all the better. Many kids have a fertile imagination and… Wait! Is that a pirate ship coming towards us?

2. ENGAGE. With a crew handy to do all the boat stuff and food prep, the family will have plenty of time to spend together. Don’t shrink from it and look for your mobile phone or plug the kids into their screens (though our charter had free Wi-Fi)—there’s an opportunity here. Take advantage of the change of scenery and get to know them. And couples should make sure to take some time for themselves too.

3. OBSERVE AND REMEMBER. Take pictures and videos and look at them often when you get back home. Our daughter took to drawing pictures of things she saw (we try to always bring along a sketchpad and crayons on all of our excursions). Of course I think the pictures are great but, admittedly I’m her father, for God’s sake. But also, I was there and know what she was thinking and drawing. Plus, once home,  she brought her artwork to show her art teacher at school. That’s when I realized she knew we all had a special time in the BVI. And she made a point of telling us how much about a week after we got back. We sat down to dinner and she took a look at her plate and said, “I miss Deb.” At that stage, after a full week back home at work and school, I think we all did.

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