We have been nominated for the Liebster Blog Award by A Family Afloat http://wp.me/p4yiUK-4e The Leibster award is passed from blogger to blogger. Liebster is a German word for beloved, and this peer-to-peer recognition got started on the web in 2010. You are nominated by a blogger who enjoys reading your blog and they ask you a series of questions. It helps connect bloggers in a fun way!
These are the questions we were asked by A Family Afloat:
1. What inspired you to start your blog?
All the people we met along the way who where fascinated by our life style and adventures and asked if there was a way to follow us and read our stories, they inspired me to finally find the time to start a blog. We have been cruising and living aboard for years (4 myself and 9 my husband) and I finally started a blog only 3 months ago. I never could find the time to start one, just adjusting to the new life style afloat and traveling as much as we where the first few years I never could find the time. Finally when we did stop long enough in one place to do a refit on our boat I had time to start one.
2. Who is your target audience?
Families who live aboard and those who wish to live off the grid, be self sufficient and give their children experienced based learning. Un-schoolers, homeschoolers, hippies, tree-huggers, sailors, cruisers, sea lovers, adventure lovers, natural birth advocates, entrepreneurs, free-loving people, etc...
3. How or why did you end up with the boat you are currently sailing on?
Messenger had been abandoned at anchor up the Stuart river in Florida for 5 years when we rescued her. We were living in my home country of Costa Rica where we had my husband Jay's boat Carrizalilla, the one he had left San Francisco 5 years prior. We sold Carrizalilla and flew to Florida to get Messenger, who has a special history. She is an IOR one-toner custom built boat designed by German Frers in 1982. She raced all over the east coast for her first few years and later was sold from hand to hand until it was forgotten. In the 4 years we have had her we have been restoring her to her original beauty while living on her and sailing her some 8,500 nautical miles.
4. What has been the hardest part of boatschooling your kids?
We are considered un-schoolers where experiences and life itself have been the lessons, we follow no curriculum. And the hardest thing about it as a mother has been being confident that I am doing the right thing by my children.
5. What has been the most enjoyable/satisfying part of boatschooling?
Watching them develop their own interests, pursuing them and becoming quite good at them on their own. Watching them empowering themselves and teaching their younger sibling how to draw, color, the alphabet, and numbers. Watching them learn how to read, which they did in a shorter span of time than I can remember learning myself, regardless of the fact that they learned a bit later than schooled children.
6. Do you plan on traditional schooling at any point? If so, when?
They have already experienced schooling, it has been important for us as parents to give them those experiences as well so they know "how the other half lives", so to speak. They went to public French school in Martinique for 3 months where they learned enough French to play with the majority of the kids they have encountered cruising. They also went to public school in Rhode Island, USA for 6 months and now they are in public school in Iceland and will attend for 7 months. It will be their decision if they want to attend high school full time and if so we will stop traveling and settle in one place for them to do so but so far they say they won't want to, so we will see once those teenage years kick in and all they want is to be with their peers and no longer stuck in a sailboat with their parents.
7. What sea creature do you most identify with (what would you want to be?) and why? And how about the rest of the family?
Jay an albatross, "because they are as free as a bird". I argued it is not a sea creature so we looked it up and it is an oceanic bird so I guess it counts.
Sol a dolphin, "because they are so peaceful and smart".
Luna a dolphin, "because they have the most fun".
Caribe a dolphin as well, because she loves the water and swimming, she said in her own toddler words and probably just because she is always copying her older sisters.
Natasha (myself) an orca to rule the sea.
8. How do you divide your watch hours? Do any of the kids help if you have kids?
Jay, the Captain, is the sailor so he drives the boat, I am the chef and take care of the kids and the kids just have to be kids. For the first 4 years on Messenger we had no autopilot so I would drive a couple to a few hours in the morning and another couple to a few in the evening but for the most part Jay has been a slave to the tiller. Only for the last 2 months have we had an autopilot and since we have been sailing in the northern latitudes only Jay and the autopilot have driven, I'm from the tropics so I have stayed down bellow.
9. What is your favorite recipe for your first 3 days of a passage?
10. What is your favorite Ice Cream?
Jay, Caribe, and Luna chocolate.
Natasha (myself) strawberry Häagen-Dazs.