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Upcoming sailing trip with kids #126811
04/09/2017 09:23 AM
04/09/2017 09:23 AM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 68
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BoatDrinks2 Offline OP
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We are headed out late May on a sailing trip with the kids..this will be their first time.
Would like to hear advice, comments, experiences, recommendations?? Thanks!

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Re: Upcoming sailing trip with kids [Re: BoatDrinks2] #126812
04/09/2017 09:37 AM
04/09/2017 09:37 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 5,255
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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Re: Upcoming sailing trip with kids [Re: BoatDrinks2] #126813
04/09/2017 09:41 AM
04/09/2017 09:41 AM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,764
Med/ Caribbean
sailbynight Offline
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Lots of activities on shore, and if they don't already sail, a list of things to learn ahead of time will pay off. Keeping their attention while sailing, docking or mooring can make or break their day instead of you just driving them around in a floating mini van

Best plan is a rough outline, without too many details. I see some people really enjoy planning every moment, but if the kids love a spot, what's the hurry to get out, just to keep a schedule? Most kids really appreciate a chance to be involved in their planning of a day.

Re: Upcoming sailing trip with kids [Re: GeorgeC1] #126814
04/09/2017 09:53 AM
04/09/2017 09:53 AM
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BoatDrinks2 Offline OP
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8, 10, 11, 13

Re: Upcoming sailing trip with kids [Re: BoatDrinks2] #126815
04/09/2017 12:06 PM
04/09/2017 12:06 PM
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Crank Offline
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Last trip down was with 9, 10 & 11... all boys.

The Baths. Lots of snorkeling, Early dinner at Willie T.

Re: Upcoming sailing trip with kids [Re: Crank] #126816
04/09/2017 01:38 PM
04/09/2017 01:38 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 84
Roseville, Minnesota
Swifty Offline
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We were down a couple of years ago with four kids, aged 3, 5, 7 and 9. They were a little younger than your crew but they loved the Baths and Savannah beach (rented an open air truck from Leverick). Other highlights were the Bubbly Pool, the Caves on Norman (we took them in on a kayak), tarpon feeding at Saba Rock and Happy Arrgh at Leverick.

Enjoy - it's so fun to see it through their eyes!

Amy

Re: Upcoming sailing trip with kids [Re: Swifty] #126817
04/09/2017 04:49 PM
04/09/2017 04:49 PM
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StormJib Offline
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Every group and family is going to be different. With younger children we tend to focus on larger later lunches ashore with most dinners early and lighter aboard the boat.

Encourage the kids to steer early and often.


When the kids can demonstrate the responsibility delegate one or more the duty as "dinghy captain". That starts with manning the painter anytime the boat is in close quarters, drying the and cleaning the dinghy anytime Mom will be boarding, then actually driving the beast.

A late lunch with the pool at the Top of the Baths is always a favorite. The pool at Scrub Island is always a hit with the kids.

Sometimes dragging kids to real dinners ashore can be a bit much for some to enjoy. No matter what the group configuration in the BVI or the tropics in general. Less is more! Most try to chase too much and miss the best parts the BVI waters offer.

Make sure you understand each day how many minutes or hours your kids are in the sun. Just one child of any age with a severe sun burn will disrupt life for everyone else.

Re: Upcoming sailing trip with kids [Re: StormJib] #126818
04/09/2017 10:02 PM
04/09/2017 10:02 PM
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dkenny Offline
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We did our first trip with kids last year (8 & 10). Great time and going back next week.

Sleep aboard the night before. Let's everyone get settled somewhat and chance to teach/explain the boat without any pressure of also trying to do provisioning, boat check-out and get off the dock right away.

Short trip first day. We went to Cooper Island. . .only an hour away so everyone got used to being on the boat and easily snorkeling (it was very calm).

Conservative first snorkeling. Started okay but after a few minutes my son's mask became an issue. Straps needed to be adjusted. . .he was still close to the boat so after a little salt water in the eyes all was okay. Ten minutes later my daughter was having issues with her snorkel. We were further from the boat, but it was very calm so I was able to fix pretty easily. If we had gone off the dinghy or in rougher conditions, I think it would have been a bad first experience. By the second day they had everything figured out and were constantly in the water.

Flexible - both with the itinerary and daily schedule.

Dinners - Agree 100% with StormJib. All day in the sun makes for tired kids by dinner time. Except for the Leverick BBQ (recommended), we never had a set schedule for dinner. It usually ended up being some combination of a snack after anchoring, appetizers at happy hour and a little snack when back on the boat. . .depended on how everyone was feeling.

Night at the dock. We loved Leverick (others suggest Scrub). Nice to be able to get on/off the boat without the dinghy, do some provisioning, top off water, take a real shower, etc. We also rented a car and spent a day exploring Virgin Gorda (and the baths) which we really enjoyed. We found a little ice cream shop in Spanish Town (Yum Yums) which really hit the spot.

First Aid - Certain items are hard to find once away from Road Town. . .we wish we had children's advil and pepto, aloe, and itch cream last trip.

Down Time - Don't schedule too much every day. We discovered my 8 year old son was using some of the down time to sit at the salon table write several pages in a journal every day. What a great keepsake to have.

Re: Upcoming sailing trip with kids [Re: BoatDrinks2] #126819
04/10/2017 10:28 AM
04/10/2017 10:28 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 51
New York, NY, USA
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pk5352 Offline
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We've just returned from our 4th charter with kids in last 5 years. 2 families, with 3 kids. Kids are now 11/12/13. They were 6/7/8 when we first took them. Each trip has been better than the last. Highlights for kids:

Snorkeling- Eastern shore of anchorage at Norman. Cistern Point at Cooper is great- smaller ones can hang nearer the dinghy line while older/stronger swimmers can venture towards end of point where current can get a bit stronger.

Willy T for early (!) lunch before the party begins, and a few jumps off the top deck has always been a hit.

Spending a night Dockside at Scrub was a big hit this year (though not cheap). Leverick is always fun too, and a much better deal. Both have pools.

We love hanging by Saba Rock in North Sound. Saba rock itself is great, but also have option to go to shoreside stuff at Bitter End (dinghy fleet, pool, beaches), or dinghy over to Prickly Pear for some beach time.

They have also really enjoyed hanging at Cow Wreck on Anegada.

Bubbly Pool on JVD, though after 3 years my kids were kind of over it.

This year we made a stop at Sandy Spit instead. Snorkeled in, circumnavigated the island and hung out for a bit, which was great fun for all.

Last year we all finished our PADI certifications so the kids are now all divers which has added a great dimension to the whole thing, though they need to be 10 to do that.

Our routine is to get going early, keep our sails relatively short, and be where we are going by lunch so we have afternoons to explore, or chill.

Its a great trip for kids. Have fun!

Re: Upcoming sailing trip with kids [Re: pk5352] #126820
04/10/2017 10:50 AM
04/10/2017 10:50 AM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 397
Colorado
stormster Offline
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I wrote up some of our thoughts about sailing with kids:
http://bvibound.com/sailing-with-kids/

I echo what others have said about them getting really hungry and tired. Pack lots of snacks!

And don't forget time to just hang at the beaches. And be sure to hit Saba rock at happy hour and feed the tarpons!

Re: Upcoming sailing trip with kids [Re: stormster] #126821
04/10/2017 06:29 PM
04/10/2017 06:29 PM
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Posts: 66
Massachusetts
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Rhumbline Offline
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We've been down with our kids of similar age. When mooring, we always look to be near a spot the kids can have fun snorkeling near the boat - often we'd take the mooring ball closest to shore, reef, etc.

Also, our kids really liked the SUPs - heavily used. Kayaks not so much. They liked to paddle in and order 'virgin mudslides' (a.k.a. milkshake ).

Great suggestion on educating them on the use of dingy. Our kids enjoyed being the dingy captain and shuttling to/from boat.

Also, fishing off the boat at night is always a big hit with kids - you'll never know what you will catch. Suggest going with barbless hooks to make release easier.

Enjoy.

Re: Upcoming sailing trip with kids [Re: stormster] #126822
04/10/2017 06:34 PM
04/10/2017 06:34 PM
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StormJib Offline
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We also do out best to have no young children or anyone not directly involved with the check out aboard during that time. The first day we will usually send those disinterested off to lunch, a pool, or something that looks for for that group with guidance to return between 2 and 2:30 with a plan to leave by three. We have learned to never be in a hurry. We learned that the hard way many times. With kids dinner on the boat is the way to go for the first night.


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