cruising with toddlers

This was the third time I’d sailed up the Inside Passage in a boat. The third time I’d watched surf explode from the rocky headlands of northern Vancouver Island, the swell rhythmically shifting my view of the horizon. The umpteenth time I’d listened to the weather forecast on the VHF radio while gulls catapulted past me in the wind. But it was the first time I’d done a trip like this with young children on board.

Last June, in the lengthening days of summer, my husband, Pat, and I launched north from Bellingham, Wash., on a 32-foot sailboat with our sons for crew. In 15 years together, we’d learned that we were happiest when we were outdoors; now, we were applying these same lessons as a family. We set out, like we had so many times before, in search of wilderness, adventure, and the thrill that comes when we push beyond our comfort zones. Under the tutelage of a barely-4-year-old and a not-quite-2-year-old, in a floating home the size of a child’s bedroom, we soon discovered that the best rewards were those we’d never imagined.

Read on, courtesy of the NY Times.