Fancy a full-comfort cruise, including kids? Do like the “liveaboard” Giulia Azzalli!


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The story of “Tettamanti’s Family” set off to sail around the world on a trimaran Neel 51 Kamana we told you HERE and it has been closely followed. Then Enrico Tettamanti, who is on his third circumnavigation of the globe and has grinded out hundreds of miles, at any latitude, from the Equator to the polar ice, gave us his valuable advice for those who are planning a long, safe and quiet “off-shore” cruise.

Giulia Azzalli in the kitchen of Neel 51

Now it’s Enrico’s partner Giulia Azzalli‘s turn, revealing all her tricks for a comfortable cruise with children.


Water on board. For drinking water we generally estimate the maximum duration the crossing could have if everything goes wrong (no wind or technical problems with the boat). And then we calculate the amount of water needed per day for each crew member. Desalinated water can be good for personal hygiene and household activities. But drinking this mineral-depleted water for long periods does not bring complete hydration to the body. So it is important not to be in a shortage of bottled water.

If on land we have become accustomed to turning on the tap and having plenty of fresh water, even on a boat, with a few precautions and a tiny bit of habit, there will be no shortage of fresh water. And there will be no need to turn on the desalinator every day. For example, and this can also be done at home, cooking water from pasta and vegetables can be retained inside the sink to soak dishes and pots and pans in, which will clean more easily.

Pasta can be boiled using 30% water taken from the sea, thus saving water and salt! Never throw away the rice cooking water. It has beneficial properties for the skin and mixing it with seawater (or tap water, at home) allows us to prepare baby baths at the ideal temperature!

For showering, weather permitting, we collect a bucket of water from the sea, soap up, rinse off, and give ourselves just the last wipe with fresh water to remove the salt. Crop on the way? Buckets ready under awnings and mainsail to collect rainwater that we will use to clean the deck!

Galley. As for the galley, again we try to make rough calculations on the quantities to buy, preferring simple but varied dishes. Usually a first course at lunch and a second course with a light side dish at dinner. We try to fish as much as possible. And if we are lucky enough to catch large fish, we provide for their preservation, either in oil or by making “sausages.”

One thing we try to prepare daily on board is bread. So we always calculate copious amounts of flour to ensure fresh bread or buns every day. We usually knead in the evening with very little yeast and put to rise in the refrigerator until the morning of the next day. Fruits and vegetables should always be bought wisely, trying to consume those that perish faster first. Then those that last longer such as carrots, cabbage, potatoes, apples, pineapple, and finally dried legumes. We prefer lentil recipes that do not require long cooking, such as coconut milk lentil curry with rice or pasta and beans, cooked in a pressure cooker, with strictly handmade egg maltagliati!

Seasickness. On this issue I can now say that I have an honorary degree!

I have tried many remedies, natural and otherwise, but on me they have all proven to be nearly ineffective or simply soporific. Better to let one’s body adjust, little by little, and react on its own. Over time, however, I have come up with some tricks so that at the end of long sailings, I do not arrive at the end of the long sailings in short supply.

You should try to hydrate as much as possible when you feel well, forcing yourself to drink large amounts of water, and take only dry, light foods in times of discomfort. At such times, a half glass of coke with lemon is better: the caffeine takes away that sense of numbness due to seasickness and gives a tiny bit of energy. It is also true that seasickness has a large psychological component, so I find that lying in the air indulging in the movement of the waves and trying to focus on something else is a great help. I also noticed how the adrenaline completely annihilates seasickness: in the most difficult situations we experienced, where I won’t hide that I felt some fear, I no longer had any discomfort.

Children on board. The boat should never be short of books, colored pencils and notebooks, board games for all ages, and dvd cartoons. Browsing through a book, drawing, and watching a cartoon are activities that the child can do on his or her own but may be fine if you have a couple of hours to browse.

In my case, we are talking about much longer sailings, even 15 to 20 days, so you have to organize and think in advance about many activities to do together to pass the time while entertaining each other. In the ocean crossing for us, two plastic basins filled with seawater were very useful, I would say vital. The children spent hours there, in and out constantly, once turning them into two pirate ships, once into spaceships to go to the moon, once sinking their Lego constructions in them, creating underwater cities. Like all children in the world, they don’t need much to come up with a beautiful game, they just need to give room for their imagination.

Kneading together and making sandwiches of many different shapes, baking cookies, fishing, steering and adjusting sails with dad, finding the strangest shaped cloud in the sky, building everything with cardboard cereal boxes, copying mom doing yoga in the waves, or at least trying to, filling up with cuddles… These are some of the activities that, mile after mile, accompanied us all the way to the Bahamas.



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