The Boating Brilliance of Rich DeVos

Few things thrill me quite like sailing home into the sunset with a constant SE 18knot breeze on New Zealand's Hauraki Gulf, and one of my twin daughters telling me, "You're the 'bestest' daddy in the whole wide world"! ... "I love you daddy". My daughters are seven. Oh how I hope and 'pray' my girls feel similarly when they're seventeen, or even Eleven!

I have a plan of sorts, and currently my darling wife seems in on the 'idea'.  When my daughters are teenagers dancing around in their 'string' bikinis, my dream is that they are on a boat, loving life as only young girls can... And here's the thing, I know where they are, who they're with, and what they're doing! So far my girls love to be on Sirocco. Just love it. So, perhaps naively, I feel like my plan is working!

I thought this idea was to some extent original to me, until I remembered a quote about one Fabulous Father, Rich DeVos, by one of his sons; "To Dad, the boat is not a luxury. He uses the boat to build family relationships. The close quarters of a boat force a family to spend time together. On a boat, the teachable moments are more frequent and longer lasting."

A little while ago, Donnell and I were warmly welcomed aboard what was possibly the largest sailing yacht in Monaco, by dear friends. I have worked for the family and their delightful children on many boats, but never this one. Yet this was a totally family oriented 'super yacht'!. The couple and their children shared with us many exciting memories and stories of good times enjoyed as a family and as an extended family. Once aboard, immediately board games came out. The boat became an animated family play-ground!

Yes, there's time to play on a boat! Time to share! Time to listen! Time to love . . . even quiet time to read... on a boat!

When the sails are up, the lines are tight, the boats heeling over nicely into the wind and the engines cut... Suddenly there's quiet! There's peace and there's time to talk, to joke about, to love being together as a family.

And then of course our children can't wait to find remote places to go on 'adventures' and explore... unforgettable cherished memories to 'bottle' forever with a camera! Pictures that become 'buoy's' in our minds to tie our family memories to... few things give me such peace and joy and satisfaction as a Dad than taking my family sailing!

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