5 Month Interview

As part of homeschooling today, I decided to interview the kids and get their feedback on living on a boat for the last 5 months.  Additionally, Jen and I answered the questions.  Below is a  picture of their handwritten responses to work on their handwriting, and then I typed them into this blog.  Camden is taking after his grandpa (Papa) and myself when it comes to messy handwriting.  We are working on that.DSC_0492Please note I typed the kids’ responses just as they wrote them, misspellings and all.

1-How are the hermit crabs doing?

Joellen – They are still alive.  Pinchy has changed shells.  I give them water about every two days.  I take them out of their tank and let them on my bed.

Cam – They are god and they are canging shels evreday.  I like to take them out.  I give lem water every day in the spung.

Marc – I was wrong when I thought they were a bad idea.  They have turned out to be the perfect pets.  The kids have shown a lot of responsibility in how well they are being cared for as well as a genuine interest in them.  Jen and I really thought the hermit crabs would die after two weeks.

Jen – I am SHOCKED (shocked I tell ya, shocked!) they are still alive. And I think it is really neat that Joellen and Camden each added two new ones to their tanks from the beach at Elliot Key, Florida.DSC_0505

2-What are the three best memories of your trip so far?

Joellen –  1) Finding sea biscuits  2) Seeing sea turtles  3) Exploring new islandsDSC_0488Cam –  1) Cathing Mahi Mahi 2 ) Finding star fish  3) Finding new frindsDSC_0407


Cruising friends Mara and Dylan

Marc – 1) Seeing Cam’s face as we brought in the Mahi Mahi  2) Family time around the table eating meals and sharing stories  3) Being at the helm sailing the boat  4) Watching the world unfold for the kids and seeing how much they have matured, become more creative, and how well they have learned to interact with adults.DSC_0168DSC_1493


Jen – 1) Maria’s birthday in The Exumas on the beach with Chip, Elizabeth and new friends 2) Meeting the locals in Hope Town, Abacos 3) Being “stuck” in Bimini with wonderful cruisers


Lots of new friends we met in Bimini


 3-What three things do you miss most from living on land?

Joellen – 1) Honey the cat 2) Nothing 3) NothingDSC_0002

Cam – 1) My famley  2) Nothing  3) Nothing

Marc – 1) Alone time  2) “Down time” or “not being on”…Jen and I are always “on” and can’t be “off” from thinking about things like safety, the weather, do we have enough food, anchor checks throughout the night, will the engine work, do we have enough water, what will break next and how do we fix it  3) Time in Eucharistic Adoration (Spending time with Jesus in the Church)

Jen – 1) My parents 2) Eating fresh produce 3) TargetDSC_1398


4-What three things have you learned?

Joellen – 1) How to make bracelets  2) How to snorkel  3) How to find cats on other boatsDSC_0455


Joellen loves to give her bracelets away


Cam – 1) Fishing  2) I learned how to hold my pensil.  3) Snorcol.


Studying his deep sea fishing book


Marc – 1) How to fix things  2) Salt water fishing  3) How to live as a family of 5 in 350 square feet on the open ocean

Jen – 1) That I am happier living more simply  2) That I am a decent teacher  3) How to take a two minute shower


Teaching our favorite subject, geography


5-What two things have scared you?

Joellen – 1) Nothing  2) Nothing

Cam – 1) Nothing  2) Nothing

Marc – 1) The day the engine and water maker were not working.  Luckily, fellow cruisers were able to help me get both up and going the same day.  2) Nothing

Jen – 1) Docking the boat in very high wind and strong current in Miami, FL  2) Nothing


6-Tell me things that have surprised you about our trip?

Joellen – How the beaches and the towns look very similar.

Cam – How much I really like fishing.

Camden learning tricks of the trade in Marsh Harbour, Abacos


Marc – 1) The amazing people that we have met.  Truly, some of the most “real” people I have ever met in my life.  2) How much the family has taken to this adventure and in particular Jen.  Initially, I felt this was more my dream than the family’s and after 5 months, I think it’s our dream.  3) What we are spending on a monthly basis.  Going into it, we budgeted that we would spend about half as much on a monthly basis as we did on land but the reality is that we are spending about a quarter of what we spent on land.

Jen – 1) How much I love the trip.  I thought that there would be many things I would not like about living on a boat.  But it turns out that I love it more than I ever thought I would.  2) How quickly you become friends with other cruisers and locals (and sometimes even land tourists) and that you will have them as friends for life.  3) How I wear the same two outfits day after day 4) How I am somewhat scared to go back to life in the US.


Landlubbers Kay, Fraser, Beth, and Betsy from South Carolina that we became great friends with in Hope Town

We love our friend Stephanie and her husband Bob from September Song



 7-My favorite anchorage is?  Why?

Joellen – I like Hopetown (Abacos) because of the big pool and Snow the cat.

Cam – Bimine (aka – Bimini) because it had a lot of fishing.

Marc – Hope Town, Abacos because of the people we have met, the beauty and quaintness of the anchorage, the variety of things to do (beach, golf cart, pool, lighthouse, surf, eat out, kayak) and availability of resources (people, food, restaurant, shops, internet, gas, diesel).  Also, it reminds me of Camden, Maine (my favorite all time harbor).


Hope Town, Abacos (Can you find s/v adagio – hint the green kayak is tied up behind the boat)


Jen – Cambridge Cay, Exumas because it was so remote but full of nature.  It had the best snorkeling, best exploring, and we got to spy on Johnny Depp’s private island near there.

8-How would you describe living on a boat?

Joellen – I think living on a boat is fun.  I also like my boat because I get my own room and we get to spend a lot of time together as a family.

Cam – I thik it is fun.  I love living on a boat.  A lot of fishing.

Marc – A great adventure for the family that has brought us closer together while at the same time challenging us greatly.  It has created life long memories with the daily living, consisting of the highs being higher and the lows being lower.

Jen – It’s a lot of freedom despite living in close quarters.  But there’s also a lot of frustration living in close quarters.  It is meeting new people every day that will impact us forever.  It is waking up in the morning not knowing what the day will consist of and going to bed reflecting on all the new experiences that happened that day.  It is not having a set schedule.  It is living with less but feeling more fulfilled.

Bonus Question – What has Dad jumped in the water for to retrieve? 

Answer: an anchor, a hair bow, a fork, a coffee cup, a plate, a plastic bag, a snorkel, hats, the dinghy, portable VHF (it did not survive), a Bahamian $5 bill (it sunk), and clothes that were drying.DSC_0966

We plan to continue to interview the kids every few months.  If you think of any questions we should ask next time, let us know.

19 thoughts on “5 Month Interview

  1. Love the honesty of this post. Great questions and responses. Jen, I only wish I could send you a giant bin of fresh produce from co-op! Living without things you are used to will only make you appreciate them so much more. 🙂 Thinking of you guys always.

  2. Where do you think you’ll dock in Florida ? Back to Biscayne Bay ? Looks like you guys are having the time of your lives… YEE HAWWwwww……..

  3. Wow.,,, I really enjoy reading your posts. That is an amazing experience for the kids and for you as a family. Jen, My wife is in Target i think everyday. It is scary that they all know her by name….

  4. Thanks for another great read…..I also mention your adventures often to friends and students…As Jen noted “waking up to a new adventure everyday and time to reflect every night” ..priceless

  5. Wow! Now that’s education in the real world…. And so meaningful! Loved reading what the kids wrote, different perspective. I’m all for Home Schooling, I mean Boat Schooling! Yes, I am a teacher and wish more kids could experience the real world and learn by this amazing adventure!

  6. Great post! I enjoy following your adventures. It’s a nice break from the daily grind of leads and starts (Marc will know what i’m talking about 😉 Safe travels!

  7. Loved the questions, answers & photos to go along with them ! Jen, you are a fantastic photographer ( & teacher – Marc too ! ). Pure joy in every face. One future question might be … in 20 years, what do you think you will you remember most about this adventure ?? Glad the hermit crabs are doing well( told ya it was a good idea!). Miss you all, but the super blogs keep us close. Sail on,Adagio !Have fun & Godspeed…. Love, Nana & Papa xoxo : )

    • Mel, great question. We will use it in the next interview. And I am so glad that you and I peer pressured Marc into letting the kids get the hermit crabs! That was a fun day, wasn’t it?

  8. I loved this post!!!! I have to agree that the best pic so far is Cam with his fish! Pure joy and excitement!

    It is fun to see the answers from the kids point of view in their own writing! Was Maria’s answer to everything, ” yeah boat?”

    I will hit Target for you Jen!
    Big hugs from Fishers, Indiana!

    • Thanks for hitting Target for me. When we get back to Florida in a month, I’m off the Target to buy more flowery headbands for the girls. Many have gone overboard. It’s time to stock up again.

  9. What a wonderful exercise for the whole family. Did everyone make goals for themselves at the beginning of the trip? If so, how are they coming on their goals? (that’s the teacher in me coming out:)

  10. I really loved this post and how you formatted it by question and answers. It was easy to read but revealed a lot! Thanks for sharing all the experiences and hope you continue to enjoy your adventure!

  11. I just told my 14 year old daughter what recommendations I gave and she gave my advice the thumbs up. She highly recommended Story of the World! 🙂

  12. Jen, you are more than a decent teacher! You have been teaching your children since the day they were born. Your role is simply evolving. I love following your story!

    • Julie, I talk about you to everyone I meet when they ask me about homeschooling. The kids LOVE Story of the World. I’m going to do a post soon on our homeschool curriculum.

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