A few weeks ago we got another sweet nomination for the Liebster Award by our fellow travelors, sailors, and bloggers the Homeschool Ahoy family. They have two beautiful blond little girls and a handsome lagoon 40, as well as the most awesome blog where you can read about their adventures on the seas.
We are deeply touched and grateful for this nomination. It means a lot to us, a gesture of appreciation for our way of life and efforts to share our journey through images and words. Thank you, guys, it is a great honor.
The Liebster Award
Someone had the genius idea to start this Liebster Award-thing which is nothing else but a way to discover, connect, and promote bloggers and blogs. We love it! This is the second time we have been nominated and I think soon we are about to win the prize!
1. Answer 10 questions
2. Nominate 5-10 blogs
3. Ask them 10 questions
1. Introduce us to your live aboard family, how many in your crew and how old are they?
Hello everyone! We are another one of those crazy families living aboard a boat instead in a house, constantly traveling.
Evo, born in 1976 in Varna Bulgaria is the dad, skipper, fishing expert, and boat-fixer.
Mira, born same year same place, is the mom, cook, “teacher”, photographer, and blogger.
Viktor, born in 1997 in Varna, Bulgaria is the Big Brother, dish-washer, computer geek, and boat-keeper.
Maya, born in 2003 in Montreal, Canada, is the Little Sister, snorkeling and diving expert.
2 .What sort of boat do you have and would you recommend it for other families hoping to live aboard?
Fata Morgana is a 38-foot catamaran Robertson & Caine Leopard built 12 years ago in South Africa, made heavy and sturdy, able to take some heavy weather and she did. She has enough space for the four of us and is very comfortable boat. I think a catamaran is a perfect choice for a family with kids and would strongly recommend it. Fata is our first boat ever and we feel lucky to have chosen her. (If you are curious about the name read more here). We bought the boat in Florida about one year ago and fixed and up-dated a bunch of things transforming her into our unique off-grid vessel. On the hardtop we built we installed 5 humongous solar panels producing 1,500 watts pure solar energy. It is enough to have our fridge, the biggest electricity consumer, turned on 24/7, and to produce as much freshwater as we need with our watermaker. Thus we don’t have to turn on the engines to make electricity (and we don’t have a generator), and we never have to buy freashwater. We are also strictly sailing, even when we enter and exit anchorages and drop and lift anchor, so we rarely fuel, about once or twice a year. Thus, we are completely off-grid and independent and we hardly spend any many.
3. How did you come to the decision to live aboard?
We had a friend whose dream was to live on a boat and sail around the world, he „infected“ us. But we have been nomads even before the boat. We used to work as long distance truck drivers, both Evo and me in a team, driving all over Canada and USA for about 7 years, with the kids in the bunk. Back then we were paid to travel and saved up enough to buy a boat and not work for a while. To live aboard a boat and sail around the world is the best decision we ever made.
4. Where are you now and what are your sailing plans, if you have any, for the future?
Right now we are in St Kitts&Nevis (a small independent Caribbean island-country) after we covered over 3,700 nautical miles in our first year of sailing visiting Cuba, Mexico, Guatemala, The Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, The Virgin islands, and, so far, half of the Caribbean islands. We will keep sailing south visiting the rest of the Windward Islands to Tobago. Then we are planning to stop in Columbia for a few months and travel inland there. From Columbia we will sail to Panama, the San Blas islands, and maybe visit Costa Rica and some other Central American countries by land. Next year, if all is well, we will be crossing the Pacific heading to French Polynesia and then Australia. But our plans are not too fixed and may change depending on circumstances.
5. What’s the best learning experience your kids have had since living aboard that you could pass on to other sailing families for them and their children?
The kids learned to appreciate the little we have and spend less. Less water, less electricity, less everything. They have become conscious about conserving the available resources (because they had no other choice). Now watching a film where someone is slowly washing dishes under running water sends them screaming Turn off the water!
6. What style of education do you prefer for your littlest crew members, are you homeschooling/world schooling/unschooling… or eclectic like me? Have they ever been or will they ever go to a traditional school?
Viktor is now almost 17. He has been in a public school in Canada up to his second year of high school. In the beginning of this trip we got all the books for his third high school year and he tried reading and studying alone and with my help. But it didn’t work; he is neither disciplined nor ambitious enough to do this, even though I tried pushing him a lot. Maybe I shouldn’t have. Anyway, he decided he will go back to Canada and complete his high school education within the school system there as soon as he turns 18, and maybe go to college after that.
Maya, almost 11 now, completed second grade in a primary school in Canada and since we have been traveling she has been studying and learning math, science, language, arts using a software for i-pad, as well as a children’s encyclopedia and other books. For example, in science she learned about Ecosystems, Food Chains, Habitats, Weather and Weather Prediction, Gravity and Motion, Light Energy etc. using the i-pad app. Every day she decides what she wants to study and how much and it is all fun for her. I don’t have to push her, just help her from time to time. She also had the great opportunity to study for a few months in a local school with local kids while visiting Guatemala last year and learned a bit of Spanish.
But I believe both Viktor and Maya have learned and will learn a lot just by traveling and visiting so many new places and cultures, acquiring knowledge and experience kids in conventional schools will never have.
7. What’s your best memory from the last year?
Let me ask the crew.
Maya’s best memories are from Guatemala, because she had a best friend the entire time there, Noial.Viktor and Evo both loved the most climbing Pico Duarte in the Dominican Republic, a two-day very challenging journey with a guide and mules to the top of the highest Caribbean mountain and back. Mine was hiking to a hidden cave full with human skulls in Sierra de las Minas in Guatemala guided by four local Queqchi Indians.
8. Name the most challenging experience you have had whilst living aboard and what did you do to overcome it?
We all had our personal challenges and we still have to overcome a lot of them. As a family, we need to respect and trust each other more and admit that we are different individuals with different needs and preferences. We need to learn to give each other more space and freedom at the same time working as a team. This is a challenge we still need to face and work on.
If I have to name one experience that was extremely challenging and life-changing, I will go with the storm in the Yucatán Chanel. To overcome it we had to accept the situation, face it, and ride the storm until the end, no other choice.
9. Will you always live aboard or is this just one of the many adventures you hope to share with your family?
We don’t know how long this living-aboard adventure will go on. We will keep going wherever the wind blows us for as long as we can or as long as we want to, whichever comes first. But it is not just 1-2 sabbatical years
kind of think. It is our new way of life and we hope we can keep going like this for many years.
10. What motivates you to blog and what tips can you offer fellow yachty bloggers?
Our blog is like a photo album and an adventure journal where I post pictures and stories chronologically as we go. It helps us remember. I love doing it even though it is very hard to update as we don’t have internet on the boat. Sometimes I have to sit on a bench in front of a bar with free Wi-Fi to do it. What motivates me? I need this blog; right now it is my only outlet where I can share my creativity. I don’t have blogging tips for fellow bloggers, just do what makes you happy and be yourself.
Our 10 Nominees
I have chosen 8 blogs based on the following criteria: They are all sailing families (like us) with kids at a school age.
The 10 Questions
I really loved Homeschool Ahoy’s questions, so, with permission, I will just copy-paste most of them and add a few.
Introduce us to your liveaboard family, how many in your crew and how old are they?
What sort of boat do you have and would you recommend it for other families hoping to live aboard?
Where are you now and what are your sailing plans, if you have any, for the future?
How do you support yourself and your family while sailing and cruising? How do you pay for the whole thing?
What’s the best learning experience your kids have had since living aboard that you could pass on to other sailing families for them and their children?
What style of education do you prefer for your littlest crew members, are you homeschooling/world schooling/unschooling…? Have they ever been or will they ever go to a traditional school?
Is living aboard and sailing an alternative way of life for you and your family, an escape form the system, or is it just a temporary adventure?
Name the most challenging experience you have had whilst living aboard and what did you do to overcome it?
Any big mistakes you have learned from that others may learn from too?
What motivates you to blog and what tips can you offer fellow yachty bloggers?