Back at home in Puget Sound, buddy boating with another “kid boat” always made things more fun for everyone. A twist on this dynamic is common among the happier cruising kid boats we’ve met. They tend to be flexible with their schedule, adapting it when they meet other boats with children- giving the respective kids a chance for some group fun.
It’s not a perfect rule, because sometimes we all just have to get somewhere by sometime. But it’s a gift when the synchronicity works, and we always try to make it happen. A big part of what made our experience crossing the Pacific in 2010 so amazing was coordinating routing with friends and other kid boats.
That’s exactly what happened when we got to Tioman Island. We didn’t need to stay that long; we’d been expecting to hop around a few islands to the south. Anchored nearby, the family on a Utopia had been planning to head north the day after we arrived. But after meeting each other, realizing that our combined seven kids (not to mention the parents) really enjoyed each other’s company, all plans were off- we each decided to just stay put. Instead, we lingered for two weeks at an island where we might have only spent a few days, and had a great time.
The kids met up on the beach almost every afternoon. They made shelters, practiced fencing with sticks, played capture the flag, and swam over the reef. They developed their own simulated community complete with a bank, businesses, services, and currency. Together went on hikes, waterfall swimming, visited the turtle project, had a sunset dinner on the beach, and shared many evenings of sundowners. It was a blast for everyone.
Utopia has since headed north, but we’re looking forward to seeing them again during the NE monsoon in Thailand. Paths converging, parting, and converging again in a rhythm that makes up a big part of the cruising life. We’re in Port Dickson, now, and hey! There’s another kid boat down the dock! I’m pretty sure we’ll end up staying here longer than we originally planned.