We recently sailed to New York Harbor from Miami on Fellowship. The ten day trip offshore was exciting and exhilarating, and gave us unexpected surprises and delights because we were able to share it with our kids. Watching sunsets & sunrises, hearing bunches of dolphins greet us from the water,
catching a nice fat bluefin tuna and seeing gazillions of stars are priceless memories for all of us. But, even more so, overcoming the challenges of sailing a boat and working together as a family brought us closer together as a unit.
We began writing articles about boating with children for different publications, and soon discovered that there are lots of boating parents & grandparents out there that need a little encouragement and practical knowledge about what to do with kids on boats. Maria Russell, founder of the Women Aboard group, published a few of our articles and encouraged us to develop the idea of a special flag for families to fly on their boats to show that there are kids on board. This is how the idea for KidsAboard.com was born.
When we launched KidsAboard.com we wanted to make it a place where kids can write stories about their experiences on the water & publish them on line. This way it serves a dual purpose – by giving kids their own place online to share their experiences and, at the same time, encourage other kids and their families to explore the lifestyle of boating & water sports.
Our mission with Kids Aboard and our other magazines, AtlanticCoastBoating.com. and SailMiami.com, is to "promote safe and intelligent boating and water sports as THE favorite family pastime." What it all boils down to is quality time spent with the ones you love, meeting new people, seeing new places and enjoying God’s creation. It’s a big blessing for us to be able to spend time on the water with our girls, and we really want to encourage other families to try it as well.
One of the ways that we promote this is with the Kids Aboard Flag. It was developed with safety in mind, and also serves the purpose of helping families find other families aboard. Today there are hundreds of flags flying around the world, keeping families safe by alerting other boaters that there are kids aboard, and helping everyone share in the true joy of boating, which lies in the people you meet on the water.
What better way to introduce boating to kids than by teaching them to build their own boat? The KidsAboard.com online magazine led to the development of our Academic Workshop, which began as a three day event at the Seven Seas Cruising Association Annual Party to teach & entertain the children of the members of the SSCA while their parents attended seminars & spent time with other cruisers. We later incorporated math, science, language arts, history, music and art, and the hands-on activity of building a boat into an academic workshop for schools & homeschool groups. We also do a condensed version at a few select boat shows because it’s a fun thing for kids to do while their parents visit the exhibits and talk to the vendors.
We invite you to share your experiences on the water with us and the community of families that share our common love of boating & water sports. We love getting emails from our readers and appreciate all constructive criticism. We look forward to hearing from you too!