“Raising a kid aboard a boat isn’t about minimizing the few disadvantages but rather maximizing the many advantages.”
-Voyaging with Kids
Becoming liveaboards evokes fear among our families and those close to us. While many have commended us on our bravery to give up the so-called “normal” life, others have voiced concern and fear. I am not minimizing their concerns or fears, as I had some of the same concerns and fears before we really began researching the liveaboard lifestyle and connecting with those who already are liveaboards with young children (and pets). How do we keep Vivienne safe? Will she adjust to life aboard? What about the dogs? Where will they pee!? (yes, that was a very real question of mine.) What about toys, books, and other things Vivienne enjoys? The list of concerns seemed endless and one by one TJ and I tackled them through research and networking.
Prior to visiting St. Croix I would tell people Vivienne would certainly have a place to play on land once we arrived. I assured people the island had green space to run (along with gorgeous beaches) and I would be able to give the dogs the same opportunity. I said all this without any real knowledge about what was actually in St. Croix. My reasoning for this little white lie was to avoid further questioning that made us seem like irresponsible parents. I could only pray what I said would be true once we laid eyes upon the place we plan to call home. Thankfully what I said was true, and more! The marina we have chosen for our liveaboard life is exquisite and comes with many amenities. Vivienne won’t be lacking in green space, as the marina offers a HUGE grassy hill for running and a private beach for playing. Not to mention gated security and a swimming pool. Several people in the marina are liveaboards, including the head of security, and there appeared to be children in the area too. I was thrilled! The marina was more than I hoped for and I knew it would be the place for us (once I got past the sticker shock of island dock pricing).
No, Vivienne won’t have an 1,800 square foot house with two acres and a small (pretty much unusable) pond anymore, but I think she will adjust. We will still have a place to “race” and run, she will have her own room on the catamaran, and she will be able to bring several toys and books. Oh, and of course her princess dress up clothes for when she wants to be a princess. Instead of an 1,800 sq. ft. house on solid ground she will have somewhere near 1,200 sq. ft. of space on our floating house; not to mention a trampoline (or two on the bow of the catamaran), deck space galore, a salon between hulls, and using the boom for a swing. Our little monkey will have plenty of space to monkey around once aboard…and a whole ocean below! For our friends and family (and other people out there) reading this who can’t picture the layout of a liveaboard catamaran below is an example. This is one of the two types of catamarans we are seriously considering for our liveaboard home: a Lagoon 380. There are different layouts inside such as, three cabins or four and the option for additional sleep space in the v-births.
A close look at the inside of one style:
A slightly different layout with additional information:
Hopefully that helps you get a better idea of what we are looking at and what we mean when we talk about becoming liveaboards.
Par la Foi,
~~~All things are possible for those who believe. Mark 9:23~~~