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Manhattan dad pens book about trip through Northwest passage with kids

Sprague Theobald, dad and sailor.

Sprague Theobald, dad and sailor. Credit: Sophia Lazare

Parents try all kinds of things to reconnect with their children after a divorce. Most parents do not, however, gather their estranged children and take them on an 8,500-mile boat journey through the Northwest Passage.

That’s what Manhattan resident Sprague Theobald did, 12 years after his divorce left him apart from his son, Sefton, 25, and two stepchildren, Dominique, 32, and Chauncey, 34. He recounts the 2009 journey in his new book, "The Other Side of The Ice" (Skyhorse Publishing; $24.95)

Theobald’s book details his journey through the Northwest Passage, which is a sea route through the Arctic Ocean that connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. He touches on how the journey improved his relationship with his children -- as well as how it didn’t. His children also have their own short sections. The trip “forever changed my life in ways I least expected,” he writes.

I recently spoke with Theobald about the trip, his divorce and reconnecting with his children. He said it was actually his children’s idea to join him on the trip through the passage. The boat was his 57-foot trawler, docked in Newport, R.I., where Chauncey lives.

Sprague described his divorce as amicable, but a rift between himself and his children soon set in afterwards.

“It wasn’t a difficult divorce, but in any divorce there are two different sets of realities,” he said. “I did not want to split the family up.”

The book is part travel narrative, part memoir and part parenting advice guide. It's available now on


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