What to do with the kids — and kids at heart

Fun AfloatCool activities for families that boatBy Theresa Fort

Long days at sea in a confined space can try anyone's patience. For kids who live aboard, it can be downright boring without activities to pass the time. This new book recommends all sorts of play, as well as entertainment for its own sake and for education. (Even without kids, the book is a boon for anyone tired of staring sullenly at a shipmate as the miles pass slowly under the keel.)

Activities include basic navigational lessons, time-speed-distance problems, navigational tricks, basic piloting and knot making. There are also countless journal ideas, suggestions for art projects, and games for pairs and small groups. Some of the more interesting adventures involve science experiments and nature observation in the ocean environment, including a lesson on making a neuston/plankton net for towing at sea. You'll catch minute tar balls, the elusive ocean insect halobates, and all sorts of surface wrigglies. Another page describes how to dissect a fish.

The book is self-published, Fortworks, Titusville, Fla.; 321-264-7341; $19.95; 165 pages.

By Ocean Navigator