Family Boating: Memories and Advice

August 1, 2012

Surviving the Three Hour Tour

Kids Aboard Winnie EstelleDid you ever vacation with family on a boat?  How many generations were aboard?  Are your memories happy ones?  What advice would you give today?

Tomorrow, my wife Mary, my son Beau, aged 3, and I journey from Montclair, New Jersey to Chestertown, Maryland.  After spending the night there, we will rise in the dark and board the Winnie Estelle, my brother Michael’s hundred-year-old Chesapeake bay oyster buy boat.  With any luck, fourteen or so hours after casting off, we will arrive in Crisfield, Maryland for a full day’s participation in a confab of the Chesapeake Bay Buyboat Association.  Many buyboats.  Many families, too, I’m betting.  Sunday, we power back up the Chesapeake to Chestertown again.  Brer Michael, his bride Patricia, and stalwart mariner Jim Johnson make up the formal crew.

Joining the ship’s company will be my beloved mother-in-law, Joyce, and her squeeze, Hobbs.  Hobbs is a from-here with a boating problem, and he speaks Chesapeake, but Joyce is new to the watery scene.  What are our prospects?  How do you think we’ll do?

We have already received advice to jackline our son, Beau to the boat avoid misadventure.  But this buyboat is just under 65 feet long, and beamy like the Queen Mary.  Will Beau chafe at this restriction?

I need you to write me back, and let me know how you have addressed questions of multiple generations aboard a boat in close quarters for long periods.  Are we going to survive with filial love intact?  WHAT SHOULD WE DO?