Blake Island State Marine Park is a tiny island in the middle of the busiest part of Puget Sound. Just an hour by sailboat from Seattle, and with Bremerton to the west, it feels both primitive and developed. Which makes sense, if you consider its history.Read more
It’s been six months since we moved out of our house in Portland and onto our boat.
I rarely miss living in a house. Not even when washing the dishes by hand, not even when lugging our laundry to a laundromat and not even when trying to cram my jacket in a hanging locker filled with spare line and two toolboxes.
Now is the time—the holidays—I miss living in a house. Christmas has always been a big deal in my family, and I carried on that tradition when I had kids. We always had cookies (so many), gifts (too much) and gobs of decor.
This is the first year we are spending Christmas on our sailboat. Living in such a small space that rocks and rolls with the waves means we need to forgo some of those longtime traditions and create some new ones.Read more
We’ve been sailing as a family for three years, but until this last year, my son showed very little interest in being anything more than a passenger.
During passages (in our case, a day or two of sailing in Puget Sound to get from one gunkhole to the next), we had to demand he leave the cabin and come topside. We gave him “jobs,” like searching the water for sea life, or rules, like any eating had to happen in the cockpit while we were underway. He complied, but usually would cry boredom at some point and beg to go back into the cabin with a book.Read more
Like many families in the U.S., our school year looks a lot different than it has in years past.
Gone are the days of getting up at 6:30 a.m. and rushing to eat, get dressed and in the car in time for school.
Instead, the kids get up when they get up. After breakfast, they usually head outside for some vitamin D and fresh air.
Once back inside, they don’t head to desks or any sort of designated learning space. Instead, we compare their schedules with my husband’s calls for work and figure out who needs to use the one table we have first. Some days, the kids don’t even crack the computer and we spend most of our time outside.Read more
I have to admit, we’ve had it better than most since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
While most people were cooped up in their houses under shelter-in-place orders, we were stuck on a sailboat. Which is a shelter that by design moves.
Our summer looked like this: Cruising to remote islands, hiking in beautiful state parks, snorkeling in chilly, but crystal clear waters, kayaking in protected coves, beachcombing for critters … you get the drift.Read more
Cruise the web for cruising families. You’ll see some differences: large families of four kids or more, sailing on a large catamaran; small families with a single kid, voyaging the world on a boat not much bigger than a daysailer.
They cruise in Fiji, Australia, Mexico, the Med, northern Europe and along both coasts of the United States.
In most cases, cruising families are made up of two married or committed parents and the children they have had together. And it makes sense. Balancing a weather-dependent cruising schedule with parenting plans, custody arrangements and divorce decrees requiring travel notifications is a formidable challenge indeed.
Our family has to manage all of those factors. My kids are from my first marriage. My husband is their step-father. Our boat is in Puget Sound and my kids’ dad, J, is in Portland. We have a 50-50 parenting plan.
And we are making it work so far. Here’s how:Read more