I am Brian Mathews, and my wife is Jennifer. We are the parents of three amazing little kids: Sierra (7), Wyatt (5), and Taylor (1). In many ways we are your typical all-American family, but our desires to travel and see the world have caused us to sell our house, buy a boat and begin saving money for an eventual departure from normal life. Our hope is that we will be able to give our kids the opportunity of traveling to many foreign countries and to bring learning to a level unmatched by what the current public schools can offer.
Jen and I believe in maintaining a strong family nucleus by both of us being very active in our children’s lives. The trouble with working long hours week-after-week which is periodically broken up a few times a year by a short, but usually very expensive vacation, is the family isn’t together really all that much during a given week, month or year. Then shove into the mix iPads, school work and sports and there is little time for anything else. We found ourselves falling to that way of life and wanted to do something about it before too much time passes us by.
In 2013, Jen and I wanted to learn a new sport so we tried sailing. At the time, we couldn’t have told you the difference between a sheet or a halyard, but every year since then, we have increased our training. We began by taking classes at OCSC (Olympic Circle Sailing Club) located in Berkeley, California near the Berkeley Marina. This is a top-notch club that emphasis the skills that every prudent sailor possesses. They emphasis safety, proper technique and their staff is there every step of the way to help you if you need it. The school’s staff are remarkable people who are friendly and very knowledgeable. This made learning easy and we found ourselves wanting to go further and learn more. We took basic keelboat, basic cruising, bareboat cruising, coastal passage making and coastal navigation classes. The learning didn’t stop there. We bought our own sail boat, a 40’ Catalina 400 MkII which we sailed nearly every weekend in and around the Bay. We chartered sailboats and sailed in unfamiliar waters and crewed on friend’s boats just to get more experience.
At the time, Sierra and Wyatt joined us on our weekend excursions. They were not just passengers, but crew. We taught them knots, a basic understanding of how the sails work with the wind and boat safety. Last year, Sierra attended a sailing camp in the summer on Treasure Island and really developed a basic understanding of the sport.
We have found that sailing offers the perfect degree of challenge, fun, adventure, learning and freedom that keeps us interested and wanting to go further with it. We have realized the benefits of living simply and needing less material things to make us happy. In fact, we are trying to make the saying “less is more”our mantra. We are at an age where people, especially kids, are losing the ability to communicate with other people in face-to-face conversations and replacing that lost art with social media, a text or whatever the newest fad is at the moment. There is certainly a place for technology in our lives, but we feel that it’s going too far…especially with kids these days.
We believe a child that can easily converse with an adult, use a sextant by the time they are a teenager, correctly identify any country you point to on a globe, posses a passport that’s full of stamps or when you ask them about something they love it has to do with a culture, a place, a language or a food they have visited or experienced is pretty darn cool. We believe those to be the marks of success that we want for our kids and any sailor will tell you the skills that a make a sailor successful on the open water such as confidence, determination, preparedness and resourcefulness are the same ones found in nearly every successful person in today’s society.
When you look at these little faces below how could you not want to see them succeed and how could they not succeed at life with a youth that was filled with travel, learning, exploring and developing a deeper understanding of different cultures and people as well as developing tolerances for their differences.
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