Frequently Asked Questions

There are a number of questions that we are asked about our two-year Mediterranean cruise. The following are answers to the common ones.

  1. Why cruise for a year?
  2. Why cruise the Mediterranean?
  3. What do the children think about going away?
  4. How will you school the children during your time away?
  5. What is happening with your old boat?
  6. What will happen to your new boat?
  7. What are you doing with your house?

Why cruise for a year?

When we first decided to take a year off, we sat down and determined what our goals were. We determined that we wanted to enjoy a year with our three children introducing them to a wide variety of different cultures.

We considered three options for a year away. One was to do a house exchange or a series of house exchanges. We chose not to do this because we thought that it might be difficult to arrange and would not allow us to introduce as many different cultures, areas, and people to our children as we wanted to. Another idea was to lease or purchase a canal boat and cruise the canals of Holland, Belgium, and France. But we know little about canal boats and we were uncertain what a year on one would be like.

Our third choice was to do an extended sailing trip. We have spent twenty years sailing the West Coast of Canada. All of our children have been sailing since they were a few days old. A sailboat provides a large space that you can call home, while giving you the facility to travel long distances, albeit slowly. An additional reason for choosing the sailboat is that in David's twenty-year professional career, the sailboat is the only place where he has been successful in slowing down.

Why cruise the Mediterranean?

Karalee has no desire to cross oceans and David tends to get sea sick so blue water cruising was not an option. Cruising guides recommend that for extended coastal cruising, sailors try either the Caribbean or Mediterranean. We felt that the wide variety of culture, people, food, and places in the Mediterranean would provide us with the greatest interest, challenges, and pleasure during our year away.

What do the children think about going away?

Jocelyn, our eldest child, had one question when we told her we were going away -- "Can I have my own e-mail address?" We told her yes and she said fine. Jocelyn has been really enthusiastic and has done numerous things to help us get organized to get away.

Kevin, our oldest boy, is excited. But he is busy at school, finishing assignments and getting ready for final exams, so he hasn't talked too much about the trip yet.

Allen, our youngest, has been the biggest surprise. He is complaining about missing all of his friends at school. We know that he will make lots of new friends during our year away, but right now the change looks big and scary from his point of view.

How will you school the children during your time away?

We are home schooling our children. We are doing this through the Greater Vancouver Distance Education School. Because schooling is such an integral part of our year away, we have a separate portion of the cruising Web site dedicated to it.

What is happening with your old boat?

We have owned several boats over the years, but since May 1990 we have owned White Dragon, a Catalina 34. We have wonderful memories of summers on White Dragon.

We spent three to four weeks every summer traveling the West Coast often traveling three to four hundred nautical miles during our vacation. But we don't want to own two boats -- so White Dragon is being sold. We will miss her, but we look forward to great adventures on our new Jeaneau 43DS Dragonsinger.

What will happen to your new boat?

After cruising the Mediterranean for a year, we plan to bring Dragonsinger to Vancouver. We do not know how it will be brought from Europe. The most likely choice would be to remove the mast and have the boat shipped home on a commercial freighter. Another possibility would be to sail Dragonsinger across the Atlantic Ocean to the East Coast of the US. From there it would be trucked across the US and Canada to Vancouver.

What are you doing with your house?

We have listed our house with a property manager in Vancouver. We are renting the house furnished, but we still have to put away all of our personal possessions (it's almost like moving). We expect that the house will be rented the entire time that we are away.

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