One of the greatest parts about living on a boat is being able to travel to all sorts of different places, see cultures and live experiences that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. For example, in one town, Agua Verde, there were cats, dogs and almost every farm-animal you could think of just walking around the town. On another island called Isla Isabela there were thousand of birds with no natural predators, so they would fly right up to you. I would never be able to see things like these in Canada or any where else in the world.
Traveling, however, isn’t only going to beautiful islands. There is also the sailing there. In general I prefer the places that we get to over the sailing there, but sailing is still an amazing part of cruising. I find the fact that you are moving from wind alone to be amazing. One big part of sailing is night watches. We have a schedule for when we take watches at night so that we can spread out the amount of time on shift. I have 6-10 am and pm, my dad has 10-2 am and pm, and my mum has 2-6 am and pm. In general, I don’t mind night shifts. I don’t have to be constantly watching, so I can read my book or play a game while keeping an eye out for boats and the changing wind. The greatest part about the watch, however, is cuddling with Salty the Pug.
One of the main reasons I’ve heard for why people with kids don’t go cruising is because they are concerned about boatschooling. In my opinion, boatschooling is more fun and educational than public school. You don’t have to get up early to go to school, you can modify your curriculum to your level and you don’t have to wait for the rest of the class, or have to rush because of the rest of the class. There is also so much education around you. There is marine biology, Mexican culture, how an engine works, how a sail propels a boat with the ventrui effect and so much more. I personally find that snorkeling and fishing is a lot more fun than reading a textbook. That being said, I do also have textbooks for all my subjects. I also use online sources like Khan Academy and Big History Project, and since Covid has started, I have been able to join some online classes that would usually meet in person. When you don’t have internet, however, you need a backup textbook or other physical source for learning too.
When I first left on the trip, I was worried that I was gonna be doing too much school and not be able to go on a hike, or check out the town, or just explore in general. I have found that I’m not always able to go to shore whenever I want to because of school, but it hasn’t affected me much. The greatest part of boatschooling is that you can make your own schedule. If you’ll be on shore all day you can just do school in the morning before you go, or at night when you get back, or just do extra school the next day. We haven’t been able to go explore the towns much since Covid, which is too bad, but I have had time to catch up on extra school recently.
Socializing With Other Kids
One of the things I get asked the most is if there are any other kids to hang out with. I was very surprised, but there are actually tons of boats with kids aboard in Mexico, they are often called kid boats. There are some places that are very popular for kid boats like La Cruz which has a kids club just for kids on boats. I have had no problem with finding other kids to hang out with on other boats. The downside of making friends while cruising, however, is that in the end you usually go different ways. It is unlikely that both boats will be going the exact same way, but you will often run into each other at different anchorage or ports later while cruising. It’s always fun running into a friend again after sailing.
There are a lot of kid boats, however, most boats that you see will be only adults. I feel that this gives me an opportunity to spend more time with adults, and get more comfortable talking to adults. Many people think that being on a boat can make you interact worse socially, but I’ve found that it actually helps my social interactions.