Today: 18.07.2018
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I sailed my family around the world to save my marriage.

Caspar Craven was on the deck of his sailboat when he heard the screams. Sprinting to the front cabin, he found his 3-year-old daughter, Willow, with blood gushing from her scalp. She’d hit her head on a cupboard, slicing it open, and desperately needed help. Craven tried to calm the baby, but he was scared:...
Time: 17:35     Date: 21.03.2018
US Living News: I sailed my family around the world to save my marriage. NY Post 24 - US News

“Allegro, this is Aretha,” he called over the radio to another boat. “I need some medical advice.” Luckily, a former emergency-room surgeon responded — albeit with an unexpected answer: Use Willow’s own hair to make stitches, tying it in knots over the wound.

The Cravens’ 53-foot sailboat, “Aretha.”Tim Wright

That’s just one of the unpredictable adventures Craven’s family of five experienced while living on the high seas for two years. He writes about the journey in his book, “Where the Magic Happens: How a Young Family Changed Their Lives and Sailed Around the World” (Adlard Coles), out on March 27. In it, he chronicles how a freedom from the pressures of modern life saved his marriage, and transformed his relationship with kids Bluebell, now 12, Columbus, 11, and Willow, 5 (who recovered from her injury just fine).

Before the Cravens took their oceanic leap, Caspar was your typical, middle-aged man with young children that he barely saw and a strained, on-the-rocks marriage.

“We were having a crummy time,” Caspar, 45, told The Post of his relationship with his wife, Nichola, 46. “The pressures of money, work and children were catching up with us.”

Then, the glimmer of a wild idea took hold: Should the family leave suburban London and join the ARC Flotilla — a fleet of 200 to 300 boats that make up the annual Atlantic Rally for Cruisers — on a trip across the ocean?

‘Many people assume you need to be wealthy before you can live your dream. We made the decision to put our dream first and then created the wealth to make it happen.’

In 2009, the couple committed to going for it.

Although they didn’t own a boat, the Cravens marked a departure date on their calendar: Aug. 1, 2014. Five years, they decided, was enough time to figure out how to save up the estimated $7.5 million they would need to cover the cost of a vessel, as well as food, maintenance, supplies and ARC fees.

“Many people assume you need to be wealthy before you can live your dream,” Craven writes in the book. “We made the decision to put our dream first and then created the wealth to make it happen.”

At the time, he co-owned a consultancy business, and Nichola, an attorney, worked part-time. The sailboat they wanted cost between $500,000 and $750,000. After fighting off health and safety concerns from friends and family, the Cravens purchased the “Aretha,” a 53-foot sailboat, by taking out a second mortgage on their home.

In August 2014, the family sat in their driveway with suitcases, watching the car they’d just sold drive off with its new owners. “Holy s - - t!” Caspar thought to himself. “This is really happening.”

Over the next two years, the Cravens sailed unfettered across the world, exploring islands in the South Pacific and visiting Australia, South Africa and Brazil.

The children were home-schooled, and learned by being part of the crew. Columbus discovered a passion for fishing, which enhanced the family’s stores of dry food. Bluebell developed a sense of responsibility, joining her father for night’s watch.

Still, for Caspar, an experienced sailor before the trip, the challenges were very real. Nichola suffered from seasickness, and there were scary moments, such as when Bluebell fought off a bout of Dengue fever, or when the ship experienced a power failure in the belly of the Pacific, 500 miles from land.

Caspar says the children — who now, after two years on the boat, are in school in London — are more curious, confident, and bonded to their parents.

“It’s probably the thing I’m most proud of,” he added of the experience. “By doing this, we truly changed our relationships.”Sailing around the world saved my marriage

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Living

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