We stumbled across this article (http://www.bowdidgemarinedesigns.com/Bowdidge_Marine_Designs_1/About_Us/life%20on%20the%20ocean%20wave.pdf) written by a young cruiser and their experience growing up on a boat which was published in Multihull World. She talks about growing up on the water, doing school by correspondence and having adventures that were unforgettable. Her family sailed up and down the Australian coast and overseas to SE Asia and she lived aboard from the age of 6. It got me thinking.
In the article she describes her memories of the family’s voyages around Indonesia; the sea full of dolphins, the morning find of flying fish on deck, the water spouts and rolling squalls. This reminded me almost exactly of our crossing from Indo to Thailand as it was one of the most surreal things I have ever experienced… the combination of thunderstorms and lightning, water spouts, flying fish and dolphins, while we seemed to be sailing in a protected cocoon right through the middle.
I find it interesting that experiences / adventures that you can have on the water cannot be easily transcribed into words. Your position on the charts, what happened and the details of what you saw can but how it made you feel often falls to silent reminiscing.
The young sailor talks about times when things were challenging and at times a little scary because the outcome was unknown, such as being caught in cyclones and near misses with sea debris. However; all of these experiences make you more aware, keep a sharper watch and overall make you a stronger more competent person from making it through the unknown to the other side, smooth waters.
Adults making a choice to go sailing is one thing; choosing to take their family is another, however; having children on board does not increase the likeliness of a storm coming or a tree floating in the ocean. Every experience you have on the water makes you more aware for the next time and you make as many preparation as possible for your passage to be safe and for your kids to be safe. You prepare yourself as best you can for when things change and get a little scary but you cannot predict the future; you may have amazing weather always, and you may not.
The way I see it, you can make decision about yours and your family’s life on the “what if’s” and you may never leave your lounge room; or, you can go on an adventure, be as prepared as you can and deal with life and what it throws at you along the way. From this article it seems that this young person has had experiences that most people her age will never have in their life time and she has had a wonderful, enriching childhood full of adventure and learning, which she wants to do all over again.
Just goes to show that the experience you have may not be easy to put into words, but it sure as shit will be worth it. So go! get outta here!
Damo, Bec & Cid xx
“Love, like everything else in life, should be a discovery, an adventure, and like most adventures, you don’t know you’re having one until you’re right in the middle of it.”
― E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly