I’ve had many questions about our journey. Most of them are more or less the same frequently asked questions. A friend kindly suggested I write a page on the blog with these FAQs for people to refer to. Not that I get tired of telling people our plans, but this does make it easier.  So here are a few to start. I’m sure I’ll be adding more. And please feel free to ask about more in the comment section or you can contact me personally with questions or comments.

Q: How long do you plan on going for?! And what is your route? Where do you “park” your boat?


  • We hope to be sailing for 10+ years. Ideally we would like to stay out until Taj graduates high school. Then again, I’m guessing Christian and I will want to sail alone (sans kids!), so who knows!
  •  OLD BUT STILL REALISTIC: As for route: most cruisers would say that having a planned route is impossible. Our idea at the current moment is to go down to Mexico and The Sea of Cortez, starting August 2015 and arriving in Panama early 2017? From there, we hope to sail west via Galapagos, French  Polynesia, Fiji, then New Zealand. We are hoping to pick up work in NZ for a year  (currenlt here in NZ, Now for almost 2 years and mostly likely at least 3) and then head up to Fiji and other surrounding areas for a few months, then back down to Australia. And again, hopefully pick up work in AUS for a year. From there, hopefully up to Indonesia and really take our time island hopping. After that, maybe Sri Lanka, Maldives, Seychelles, South Africa, Brazil, Patagonia, then back up to the East Coast of USA.  Really, there are so many options and who knows what will happen by then. We’d love to go up the Red Sea and into the Mediterranean, but as of now Piracy is too abundant for our comfort. Things could change by the time we get near there, so stayed tuned and find out….
  • “Parking” our boat will mostly consist of dropping our anchor in safe anchorages along the way. We will most likely find a place to dock  it only if we stay in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa to work for an extended period. Our goal is to not pay for docking or mooring as much as possible in order to keep on a low cruising budget.

Q: What will you do for income?


  • We have saved enough for two years with a budget of $15,000/year.
  • I (Josie) have worked as a RN in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for over 15 years at Wellington NICU, a few of the Kaiser Hospitals in the Bay Area, UCSF Children’s Hospital and Santa Barbara Cottage Children’s Hospital. I hope to pick up travel assignments along the way when income is needed and when opportunities arise.  I would love to get a year assignment in New Zealand (currently employed in Wellington NICU). I also do some canvas work and have a sewing machine on the boat for sail repair/cushions/dodgers etc.
  • Christian has is Captain’s license and will be able to deliver boats and pick up jobs that might require a Captain’s license.  He is also a certified technician for Spectra Watermakers‘ desalination units. Which means that when someone’s water maker needs some work and we are nearby, Christian can be contracted out to do it. He is also very experienced with boat maintenance/repair/rigging, so not only will that save us a lot of money, he will be able to help others along the way.
  • The kids will hopefully develop their own way to make their own spending money. (Nina loves to babysit!)

Q: What are you doing for school?

A: I think I could spend a whole blog writing on this one. As for a general description of what we do: We are using a Waldorf style education in combination with “what ever works for that moment” and un-schooling. See our boatschooling links for some of the resources we use. If we are at a port for longer than 6 months, we will most likely enroll the kids in the local school (currently in local New Zealand schools, Waldorf and public High-school).

Please let me know what other questions I can answer and I’ll try my best to add them here or refer you to a previous post on the blog.



6 thoughts on “FAQs

  1. Pingback: FAQs | A Family Afloat

  2. Christine

    Hi there, my name is Christine. My husband, Ryan, myself, and my 4 yr old son William will be embarking on a similar adventure as you and your family are on. Not sure how long we will sail, but we are very excited about our upcoming adventure. I was hoping to find in your FAQs some info on what kind of preplanning you did before you set sail, what necessary items you have on your boat, i.e. kitchen stuffs including food for long travel, gear, supplies, and anything else. We would also like to set up a blog and some kind of way to help continue to fund our adventure. Can you share some ideas? We have our passports. Do you suggest any other documents to bring with? Currency. How does that work when you travel from country to country? Do you exchange American cash with local cash or do you do it electronically? If electronically, how? I’m so excited to learn all about how you prepared for your trip and how you are sustaining. I am in awe of you all and commend you for being so creative in your incredible journey!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A Family Afloat Post author

      Hi Christine,
      Sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you. To be honest, that’s a lot to answer all in one little reply, so I’ll do my best.

      Kitchen items: we use our pressure cooker all the time. It save propane and time. There are some good pressure cooking recipe books out there. We stock up on rice, flour, beans, lentils, pasta. etc as staple items. We buy fresh produce along the way. There are certain veggies that last longer and certain ways to store them to make them last longer. Eat the ones that go bad first, then the others. We have an Engle fridge, which only draw 0.7 amps, so that is pretty cool. It’s hard to find organic outside of the US, so stock up on that stuff if that’s the way you eat. Quality peanut butter is rare, almond butter even more rare. I recommend the egg cases to prevent them from cracking. Stock up on tea/coffee. We have a few quick foods for rough passages. Sometime, just having a bunch of snacks is nice (nuts, crackers, chips, fruits). I try to make a big meal the night before we leave on a passage so that we have left overs.

      I find WordPress is easiest to navigate with. You can get a paypal button. Some people use other methods like subscription to their videos type of thing. I’m going to be working a s a travel nurse from time to time to keep us going.

      Passports, boat documents, fishing license, you need a TIP card and Mexican liability insurance .

      For exchange, it’s easiest to use a local bank ATM. That being said, we had to replace our hijacked cards a few months ago hike we were in La Cruz. But exchanging cash is more costly and recommend avoiding that route.

      We were already living on the boat we sailed off in four years prior to leaving, so we had it pretty dialed. We did get rid of more stuff and crammed more on right before we left, but for the most part we were set. There will always be things along the way that you can do. We seem to organize and reorganize as we go and learn what works.

      Read blogs

      Hope that helps!

      Josie on SV Shawnigan


  3. Agne Lukoseviciene

    Hi Christine, we are planning to sail / cruise with our 4 years old daughter. may be we will meet out there :). looking for answers as you do 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


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