A float in the Med with 3 kids

Trip Start Dec 29, 2010
Trip End Dec 05, 2011

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Flag of Turkey  , Muğla,
Sunday, September 4, 2011

4 days aboard a boat off the coast with a 6 year old, a five year old and most obviously an arm band totting 18 month old. Were we mad or would this work well? Having seen a nutty couple attempt a year on a small boat with a 2 year old and a 4 year old as part of the "My Family's crazy gap year"  series, we thought we were being suitably cautious. We would be having a crew and Gaga along and only on the boat for 4 days. But its worth pointing out that the year on the boat looked like a total disaster - at least it did on TV anyway. One of our first travel books we read on this trip was also entitled  "For Better, For Worse,"  about a family with 2 very small kids who boated the waterways of France and that seemed a little better, although plenty fraught enough to write an entertaining book. Anyway - it was booked and paid for so off we went to Turkey.

I think I emitted an audible sigh of relief when we arrived late on the 1st of September and saw the boat - Trippin. It had high, very kid friendly sides, that was enough to make Katherine and I happy.  Its also had an interior space that was both comfortable and with just one exit you could have kept a small group of toddlers at bay - not just our wayward 18 month old. It was also beautiful with the classic lines favoured by most of the Turkish gulets and with plenty of space fore and aft from which to enjoy the spectacular and largely untouched Bodrum Peninsula and the coast to the South and East.

Our days were spent sailing the channels in the Turkish winds which are very good and steady at about force 4 and exploring very quiet bays where the kids and I enjoyed nothing more than jumping off the boat. We went a shore a couple of times using the tender which the kids loved as the motor was powerful enough to send us across the calms bays a quiet a speed.

The largely Turkish based food wasn't always the biggest of hits with the kids except for the traditional lamb which they wolfed down and Ben continues to be a pickle when it comes to sleeping. He had picked up a small bought of conjunctivitis int he last days in the UK which disturbed his sleep and ensured that he spent most of the 1am to 4 am slot awake.

After the kids were settled for the night we ate some wonderful meals on the back of the boat, although it does take some courage a confidence in your skills to barbecue food on an open charcoal flame on  a boat made entirely of wood. 

The kids loved the boat, especially Jamie and Zach who saw the whole thing as a real adventure and are such adept swimmers that at times the boat was nothing more than a really large diving board. They read very happily when we were sailing and even got stuck into some school work with relative enthusiasm.

Having hauled my brand new kite surfing gear to Turkey and paid Monarch a handsome fee to do so, I was definitely going to get out and on the board. Rigging 30 meters of lines and a kite on board a sailing boat proved somewhat tricky but after an hour the kite was inflated and the lines had no tangles in them but there was also no wind, having died completely in the late afternoon while I was messing around. Next day proved a bit better with strong but very gusty winds in an off shore direction. They say you should never kite in an off shore wind as the wind direction takes a kiter - especially a beginner like me - straight out to see.  But we had a tender to come along with me and pull me out of the water - at least I thought so. By the time I had done a few runs and the gusts were really beating me I was a good 2 miles from my rescue boat and approaching the main sailing channels. I had to perform some rather vigorous waving of arms before they got the message to haul my bedraggled and exhausted back side back to the boat.

All in all it worked out very well and I think we will be back on a boat for a longer period when Ben has dumped the arms bands.

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laterallife on

Gorgeous Boat Brad and Katherine. Your kite surfing story sounds well alarming!! cheers Nick

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