Sailing the high seas with three kids under three – dream or reality check?

Picture this: sailing around the globe, living on a floating home, enjoying a simple sea life. Pretty awesome, right? Now throw three children under the age of three into the mix. Still interested? This adorable family is conquering the high seas with three little ladies in tow – and they’re loving (almost) every minute!

Brittany and Scott, from Chicago, decided a sailor’s life was for them back in 2010. They were childless, and ready to see the world. The plan was to sail the globe, basically forever. They explored the Bahamas, the Caribbean, and bunkered down for the hurricane season in Grenada. That’s when they became pregnant with first daughter Isla in 2012, and their idealistic sea-venture was about to take a twist.

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As their family grew, so too did their boat, and they hit the water again later that same year. Life then threw up another little curve ball to send them off course. Brittany and Scott were pregnant again – this time with twins! They continued their sea life throughout 2013, then headed inland to have their baby girls, Haven and Mira.

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After about a year as landlubbers, the new family of five once again took to the seas, to cruise the US and British Virgin Islands. Currently on a ‘hurricane hiatus’ in Chicago, the family has been taking time out to visit family and friends, while relaying just how tough it’s been with three children on board. If you think life is busy with small children in a house, here’s how Brittany explains being on the high seas with three under three:

“Cruising with three very small kids is incredibly hard work. I don’t know how I can adequately explain it to you if you haven’t done it, but – suffice it to say – this is not easy. Don’t get me wrong, we love it and we’ve found a great groove, but a little shore leave looks mighty good right now. We get zero breaks from 24/7 parenting and I’m tapping into energy reserves I didn’t know I had on most days. Scott and I have not had a single ‘date night’ in six months. I’ve not slept more than five hours in a row in nearly two years (still nursing) and simply having an adult conversation with my husband is something that is rare. This little land break – and the promise of baby sitters – will be nice to re-charge our batteries,” says Brittany.

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However, Brittany has realised that being on land with three little ones can be just as tough! She says, “I realise that this “epiphany” is largely due to the fact that our children are so young, and having three kids aged three and under is difficult in any scenario: land, sea or grocery store”.

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Brittany’s husband Scott has also lamented that being on land with the three girls is hard work.

“The simple fact of the matter is this: we have three little kids and even the menial things (like meals) are a lot of work. Schlepping those three toddlers from play dates to pools – between nap times and meal times no less – is, for lack of a better word, exhausting. It’s always a production to get from A to B – and we travel pretty light for a family of five,” Brittany explains.

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Brittany and Scott say they’re pretty laid back in their parenting style, which has helped them adapt to having children on their boat. However, if you’re thinking of embarking on this kind of adventure with your tribe, they warn it’s not for everyone.

“It is important to note, however, that not everyone finds having a baby on a boat as rewarding or easy as we did. It really depends on the situation and each family is unique.”

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Of course most people want to know how this family funds this incredible lifestyle, and the answer isn’t straightforward. Brittany says, “When people write us asking how we do it, I am inclined to write back: I’m so sorry, but I just. don’t. know. It worked for us for a while, but now that we have a family – and a substantial one at that – suddenly, everything is a lot more complicated.”

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If you’re keen to follow this intrepid family, you can keep abreast of their travels via Facebook or the Windtraveler blog. But a word of warning – browsing through the incredible photos of this family’s adventures is certain to give you a huge case of wanderlust.

 

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