Toddlers can be a handful,  it must be so hard sailing on a boat with young children?

You would think so, but we find it is not necessarily any worse than handling young children anywhere.

I am not saying sailing and especially extended cruising with young children is always sandcastles, ice cream and dolphins. It’s not. There are challenges for sure,  we have certainly had our days, but that is no different to life on land.

Things do take longer cruising on a boat but having two parents available working together as a team most of the time for us made it easier than our busy shore lives which had involved juggling work, life commitments and parenting.

The way we cruise is also pretty relaxed.  We don’t set unrealistic goals, our plans are always fluid and both weather and baby dependent.

That boat looks so small, how do you all fit on that?

Living in close quarters took some adjusting, but less than we thought.

We were a bit worried whether 35ft was big enough ourselves before we left but we have found that the layout of our Martzcraft 35 with it’s centre cockpit and aft cabin works really well for family cruising.  It has storage tucked just about everywhere and so far it has worked well.

What do you do with Sophie on passage?

Sophie loves passages and being at sea. As a baby the motion of the boat seemed to calm and relax and  would sleep, sleep and sleep! Now we plan snacks, activities like drawing and DVD’s, look for Dolphins and then cuddle up somewhere and sleep for long stints.

Offshore she has a baby harness/tether that she always wore in the cockpit and out.

Does Sophie get bored?

We find on the boat that she is really settled and content( umm… most of the time)  She is pretty happy to watch the sun set, she is happy to play with the same couple of toys for hours.  We do have a TV/DVD player onboard but it gets use generally only on passage and rainy days.

Did you hear about Rebel Heart?

Yes we did.

We were absolutely heartbroken by a how they were treated in the mainstream media, on social media and by some other sailors at the time.

“We are not put on this earth to see through one another. We are put on this earth to see one another through.”

How do you afford extended cruising at this stage of life?

We were very middle income, middle class, middle everything.

We made a decision to do this and then worked steadily towards it. We had to be happy to do it in a modest boat and on a modest budget. We had to learn to save (which for us was hard at the time). We have had to learn( and continue to learn) to be handy and mechanical.

We also didn’t aim for the sky, we started off with a ‘sabbatical’ cruise up the coast and this continues to be our strategy (work for a bit then cruise for a bit).

We are working towards being able to go cruising for longer and for further but that is going to take a bit more to achieve.

We haven’t done any detailed financial posts here yet, but there are several other blogs that do this topic a lot of justice complete with accompanying facts and figures.

What are your future plans?

umm, they change a lot!

We are going to start by cruising Australian East Coast and the Great Barrier Reef again in 2015.

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