Cruising with Kids, Press Releases

Sailing Families – Women and Cruising’s newest project!

Family-New-Life We are so excited!  A project in the making for almost a year is finally coming together!

We call it 12 Questions to 12 Sailing Families, and the first contribution – the story of sv New Life and the Echenard Family of three  from Switzerland — is already in place.

Rich with detailed information about why and how this family chose to go cruising and the rewards their choice has brought them, the story is studded with terrific photographs that will melt your heart!

Each of the 12 families answer 12 questions about the challenges of choosing this life, what they like best and least, how they handle family back home, schooling, safety, laundry, etc. Plus, they offer advice for other families pondering this life.

Family-New-Life-3 This was a tremendous amount of work for the participating families, canvassing opinions from each family member, collecting or taking illustrative photographs, and then arranging to email all this material to us, which as we cruisers know is not always an easy feat from out-of-the-way destinations.

The result, however, is hugely inspiring and honest and a great read for families who are considering going sailing as a family.

Unlike our previous big projects –  What I like most about cruising and the Galley articles — for which we held back and mounted all the contributions as one huge piece, we have decided for the Families project, because each story is so special, to put up one family’s story at a time and let the project build.

Each week, we will be publishing another family until we have all 12 online.

Next in line is sv Totem – an American family of  five, that we will publish July 24. We anticipate publishing family number 3, a week later on July 31.

The message these families offer is exciting. As Gwen Hamlin says:

“That the cruising dream can encompass families leaves landlubbers shaking their heads in wonder and late-in-life cruisers saying, ‘If only I’d known it could be done!’  The reality is that families from all over the world and from all economic levels choose the cruising life as a special gift to their children not just for the experience but for the quality time it gives parents and children together.’”

An early reviewer of the project, Sally Erdle of the Caribbean Compass, says that these stories are inspiring even  for cruisers without kids:

“I think ‘child-free’ people will be intrigued for sure… You can’t help but think,  if they can do it with kids, we can surely do it without them!”

The work flow on this project is sometimes mind-boggling:

In addition to the families’ efforts (and remember, for several of them, English is not their first language!), there is a tremendous amount of design, editing, coordination of photos, proofing, coding, etc.

For example, one day last week Sylvie Branton, our web designer in Grenada, posted her first draft of a French-speaking family’s material online in our “work area”. I, in a Texas  recording studio to produce a Spanish for Cruisers audio, would call Gwen (in Florida) on Skype every time we took a break in the studio. Together, we would proof and edit  the family’s page, four eyes always being better than two.

We were under some pressure because we knew the family was planning to leave Tahiti that night for Tonga and would be on passage and out of email range for several weeks. So as soon as we finished, we sent our draft back to Sylvie in Grenada, who made a few more changes and forwarded it that evening to Tahiti, (we had a little help with the time zone changes) where the family reviewed the draft, and emailed us with their feedback. Then they set sail for Tonga!

Meanwhile, since we include about 30 photos for each family’s page, Sylvie is hard at work back in Grenada laying out photos and captions and communicating via a flurry of emails between her Blackberry and our computers.

Links to the Sailing Families project
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1 comment to Sailing Families – Women and Cruising’s newest project!

  • Absolutely LOVING these family stories!! The status quo doesn’t have a clue what they’re missing…these kids grow up to do great things and see the world in a unique way! All my encouragement and enthusiasm goes to these parents out there “really” sharing the LIVING!!

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