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Sailing Families revisited

S/V Ceilydh Wood's 40' Meander catamaran - Canada

Families Revisited
12 Families

Diane Selkirk & Evan Gatehouse + Maia (14) - Now, at the 6 year point in cruising, Maia, now a teenager, plays an important part in the CEILYDH family's cruising plans.

2014 - Australia 2009 - Canada

Click on a question or scroll down this page

1. Are you still cruising?   3. Any new advice for families contemplating cruising?
2. When and why did you stop?   4. Anything else you would like to share?

See CEILYDH's answers to the original 12 families questions (2010)


1.Are you still cruising?

We are! In July we celebrated our 6th cruising anniversary. Our daughter Maia is almost 14 now, Charlie the cat is 7 (and Evan and I have aged commensurately).

We're currently crossing the Indian Ocean and still look forward to a number of adventures to come.


2. If you have stopped, when and why did you stop?

Heading up the dock in Brisbane

We did stop for two and a half years. We were running low on money and Maia really wanted a chance to be a regular kid.

So we tied up at the pile moorings in Brisbane, Australia. Evan donned a suit and tie and went back to a land-based job as a naval architect/ mechanical engineer. Maia donned a school uniform and went to school from year six to the middle of year eight.

She also got a chance to do some of the kid stuff she had been reading and dreaming about: sleep away camp, her first school dance and funny enough, writing exams.

The stop was helpful for replenishing our bank account but it also proved to be reassuring when it came to Maia. She slipped back into school life with her peers relatively easily and school was a success.

It also showed us that she can thrive in a variety of environments—which helped us decide how to shape our cruising years to come.

Because Maia loved being part of a circus troop and really enjoyed an academically rich and challenging school we know we want to get back to Canada by her mid-teens.

So while we were all keen to get back out cruising we knew that the time limit of when to stop needs to be her call.

3. Do you have any advice for families contemplating cruising that you did not cover when you first participated in the Cruising Families project?

Cruising in company with other teens is pretty essential.

Cruising with a teen is quite a bit different than cruising with a younger kid. Maia has always been sociable and loves cruising in company with other kids—but cruising in company with other teens is pretty essential.

We've had to be more flexible with our cruising plans and involve her in the decision making to a greater degree than what we expected.

School planning has been an area she's far more involved in as a teen--especially because she's university bound.

Until now we've been flexible with curriculum. Travel and a few miscellaneous math, English and science books took care of most of Maia's school needs, but for high school I've spent time trying to find a curriculum that would transfer to high school but not be so labour intensive or internet intensive that she never has time to leave the boat.

We did the search together and lucked into a Cambridge curriculum used by many international schools. It's comprehensive, has loads of subjects to choose between, the books are light enough weight for shipping and Maia enjoys it.

4. Anything else you would like to share with potential cruising families?

Maia having a sleepover with her friends from TOTEM, in Mexico (2010) and Malaysia (2014).
As a teen, long-term friends are a big priority.

I know the prevailing advice is to just to it and you'll love it, but I don't think that's always true. Not every kid is going to thrive while cruising, unless you really take their needs into account.

I'd say one of the big reasons we've been successful and happy is Maia has always been involved our planning.

When we were faced with the option of spending a year SE Asia (as planned) or crossing the Indian Ocean at the same time as several teen boats she really wanted to be with the kids. This outweighed our desire to spend more time in SE Asia.

It's not that she always gets her way, by any means—but we take her priorities into account in our planning, and right now, as a teen, longish-term friends are a big priority.

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Sailing Families Revisited

CEILYDH's answers to the original 12 families questions (2010)


12 questions to 12 sailing Families (2010)

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