Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Anchors Aweigh Family Sailing on 6-Month Sea Cruise - from Here

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Anchors Aweigh Family Sailing on 6-Month Sea Cruise - from Here

Article excerpt

To many parents, it doesn't sound like much of a vacation: four kids crammed aboard a 36-foot catamaran for a six-month cruise around the exotic eastern United States.

John and Cynthia Sandberg of St. Louis plan to try just that. The Sandbergs have pulled their four children, ages 5 to 16, out of school for what Cynthia Sandberg cautiously describes as "a challenge in togetherness."

The Jala - it's christened after the first letters of the children's names - sails Thursday from Alton's Harbor Point Yacht Club. The trip will include ports in 20 states, Canada and the Bahamas.

The entire family remembers the dinner, 1 1/2 years ago, when Dad announced his plan.

"I thought no way, it's not going to work," said Jenny, 16. "My friends, they were like, `How could you, for six months . . . you know, with your family.' "

Cynthia Sandberg also felt apprehensive. It is difficult enough keeping the peace among children ages 5, 10, 11 and 16 in the family's rambling home on Westmoreland Place, in the Central West End.

Living on the Jala, the Sandbergs will share three double cabins. Jenny, a sophomore at Crossroads School, will have her own to compensate for having the phone "surgically removed from her ear," Cynthia Sandberg said.

"My husband has been trying to talk me into this thing for 10 years," she said. "I wanted him to quit bugging me, so I said all right, we'll do it."

John Sandberg, a St. Louis lawyer, has sailed across the Atlantic and back twice. "Wanderlust is as good a reason as any," he says, for undertaking the so-called Circle Route, a 5,000-mile voyage on rivers, lakes, canals and the Atlantic.

He wants to expose his children to nature and the raw, real world rather than artificial tourist attractions.

He has never refrained from acting on his ideas whenever possible, said Kathy Pine, a partner in the law firm of Sandberg, Phoenix and Von Gontard. …

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