The world is full of interesting places, and we want to experience them. We had planned on traveling around the world after we retired, but it dawned on us that we could also do this while the kids are growing up. We could fill the children with amazing life experiences, create an environment for true family bonding, and at the same time feed our desire to see the entire world. Plus, living on your own boat is like living in your own country. It is all about your rules, your way. Influences on our children will solely be of our choosing. There won't be an issue of our kids hanging out late at a drugged out party because there simply won't be a drug party. There will be plenty of party times for the children after they've grown up. By living aboard the boat, and experiencing new people and cultures, the influences and values brainwashed into the masses will be significantly less upon our children. As noted already, living aboard the boat will also ensure lots of family time. There won't be as many distractions. The family will have to work and live together to survive, in a confined space. Another other aspect of the trip that falls within the 'why' question is about complexity. There is a lot of complexity that gets stacked on the modern life and we want to see it. The trip, the sailboat life, is about ultimate simplicity so the contrast with the modern life will be fairly stark allowing for easier complexity recognition. Of course, there are more reasons but these are key ones.
How much does it cost?
Probably not as much as you expect, unless you want to act like you're living on a giant ship enjoying every amenity. Once you own the boat, the money spend isn't much different than life on land. If you live expensively on land, then you will probably live expensively on the boat. There are many folks sailing around the world for around $500 a month, and there are some spending more than $2500. We are tracking our spend on the data page.
How long will the trip take?
1, 3, 5, 10, days, weeks, months, years ..... we really have no idea. We will be out and gone as long as it takes. If we are having fun, we will keep going. There is no time table on all this.
What about pirates?
Pirates are real and active around the world, and they are a legitimate concern. However, like bad parts of any large city, if you avoid the places bad elements frequent and/or go in groups into those places during the daytime, issues rarely occur. We're more worried about some parts of DC, Detroit, NY, or Atlanta than pirates at sea.
Will you have guns?
Reading the various blogs of people who sail around the world, of those who speak about this topic, most say they don't carry guns for fear of escalating a situation. I respect their right to their perspective. There is another angle that is very risky with guns, and it is also the reason I believe those that do carry them don't post about it: gun laws in many countries are strict and carry severe penalties for non compliance. In Mexico, for example, if there is a gun on your boat, you're going to jail. Period. There have been a number of small personal vessels whose captains have been put in Mexican jails for months while the Mexican authorities processed the law violation. Then there are those off the books incidents wherein local authorities simply take the guns for themselves. Given all this, I'm not going to share my answer .... those who know me know the answer to this FAQ.
What about schooling?
Boat Schooling! With all the folks home schooling, there is no reason why we can't do boat schooling. Imagine reading about a foreign place while visiting it. Imagine learning about the weather while experiencing it. Imagine studying astronomy while gazing up at a truly starry sky at night. Boat schooling. That is what we will be doing. We are also not to worried about college for our daughters. If they decide they want to go, I'm sure they will do just fine on entrance exams. With all things being equal between our daughters and another student, whom do you think the admissions officer would rather have? Suzie who was in drama, or a kid who has traveled around the world? The school that values the world exposure student over the standard fare is where we would want the girls to go anyway.
What size/kind of boat?
A Gemini 3200. It is a 32 foot catamaran with 14 foot beam and an 18 inch draft. Our catamaran has 3 sleeping quarters, 1 head, a kitchen, and a family common area.
Why the Gemini 3200?
This boat is of the exact right size for our needs. The trick for this type of exploring is to have a boat big enough for ocean swells, big enough for our family, but small enough to not draw too much attention, small enough that we can navigate inland water ways (rivers, etc.), small enough to be serviced in the boating facilities we are likely to find in remote 3rd world countries not frequented by tourists, and small enough that we can handle it by ourselves. Further, the cost of this boat doesn't break the bank. The catamaran choice was not too difficult either. We were more interested in the draft of the boat than the "feel" of the ocean. We also wanted to minimize healing as much as possible.
Where will you go?
Everywhere! Well, we would like to go everywhere and there are many places we want to visit with our boat. Here are a few: Easter Island, Fiji, Alaska, Africa, Australia, Florida Keys, Aruba, Thailand, Amazon River, Nile River, Hong Kong, New York, Bombay, Galapagos, St. Petersburg ... and the list just goes on. The winds, currents, political climates, and our interests will inevitably dictate the answer to this question.
How will you stay in contact?
We will be maintaining this site, plus when WiFi is freely available, we will have email access. We also have a Spot personal satellite tracking system that we will use to periodically update our location for those tracking us.
What about TV?
No TV in the conventional sense. We won't be getting any sort of satellite feeds. We will have a portable TV/DVD player for movies and shows we bring along.
Aren't you worried about your family?
Yes. And it is our concern for our family that is helping drive this decision. In the "normal" existence of our society, families are exposed to all sorts of negative influences. Drugs, violence, brainwashing by mass media, etc. Our life aboard the boat will create a nice little universe that will allow us to raise our daughters in an environment of our choosing, not one created by others.
What about safety at sea?
The sea is an awesome powerful entity that, when not respected, can take your life in a heart beat. We respect the ocean, and we have been privy to its awesomeness many many times. We feel we can be safe at sea as long as we don't take unnecessary risks, and remain humble and respectful towards it. We will only sail when the weather appears to be good for sailing, and when we do get caught in a storm we will ride it out like thousands before us. We are on no time table, and that alone puts us in a safe position. If it's bad out, we don't have to go anywhere we don't want to.
What about your job?
We will be leaving them. Other than gigs we want to pick up as we sail the world to expand our life experience, a conventional job isn't a part of the plan.
Won't you get bored?
Yes, there will be times of boredom. But when they occur, it will be because we are being lazy. The universe is such an interesting place that there really is no reason to be bored. On the boat there will always be at least four unique individuals, and any one of us should be able to stir up enough thoughts/conversations/interactions that we dont have to be bored. Not to mention any stimulation we receive from those things we meet along the way (people, animals, etc.), places we visit, and books we read.
What do you do all day?
Each day is a new day, but in general the days are spent taking care of the boat, cleaning, exercising, playing, reading, thinking, meeting people, schoolwork, talking, exploring, sleeping, as well as playing board and card games.
Are you crazy?!?!
:) Various friends have noted that if they didn't know us and saw this site, they would think we were crazy. Somehow knowing us makes us not crazy. That's crazy! No, we're not crazy. We are ordinary folks with a perspective on life that enables us to live it differently than most. We aren't the first to do this (pack the kids on a boat and sail the world), and we won't be the last. Crazy to me is toiling away at a job everyday and spending that hard earned money on stuff you only think you need because of some marketing scheme. I'd rather toil away at a job everyday knowing that all my money is going to fund a lifestyle change that will enable me to spend every day with my family seeing the world. To not do that would be crazy.