Couple's Plan to Sail Around World With 3-Year-Old Sparks Controversy

Where would you feel safe raising your toddler? Odds are your answer would involve raising said child on land. But Simon and Kim Brown are looking to spend several formative years of their daughter Sienna's life in a far more watery way. The family sold their home, quit their jobs, bought a 56ft yacht and will be sailing around the world with their 3-year-old toddler.



Here's the thing, toddlers are just learning all those important things from learning to walk confidently, to socializing with other kids, to the routine of everyday life. There won't be much routine about Sienna's life. The world will be home with the family visiting oodles of different ports. She won't have the social structure of playgroups and preschool, rather she will be home schooled (or boat schooled in this case) by her parents. And while she may not get much practice walking on land, she will certainly have her sea legs. But the thing that pops into my head, which takes this concept from cool to crazy, is the safety of this journey.

The family has a blog about their adventure called Sailing Britican where they will chronicle their travels. After word of their family trip hit the news, strangers began to question the wisdom of taking a child that small on a journey that big. Ms. Brown wrote of the concern people have had:

What about pirates, being so close to water all the time, storms, tidal waves, human sized squid, killer sharks, back flipping boat smashing wales, the Bermuda Triangle, capsizing possibilities, foreign bacteria, health issues, blood sucking leaches, jelly fish stings or collisions?  Hmmmmm, yes those are risks but let’s compare them to "normal" day to day living.  I bet that doing the daily school run is a higher risk than all the risks associated to sailing. Or, in other words, I bet that there are more fatalities caused by car crashes than all the fatalities caused by living on a boat.

But I have to say, not as many people are living on boats and sailing the world, so it's not the same scenario. I just think of that little girl, walking around the edge of the ship and the thought of that totally scares me. But the parents have said they've prepared as much as they can with first aid, medical and sailing courses. 

Yes, it will be cool to see the world in such a unique way, but it seems that Sienna is just too young to enjoy it, remember it and is far too young to do such a hardcore adventure.

Would you bring your toddler on a sailing trip around the world?

Image via Deborah/Flickr

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