A Family of Four Sails Around the World: Their Story
A Family of Four Sails Around the World: Their Story

Embarking on a sailing adventure with your family can be a life-changing experience, as the Johnsons discovered when they left their conventional life behind to sail around the world.

A Family of Four Sails Around the World: Their Story

Sailing around the world is a dream for many, but for one family of four, it became a reality. In this article, we’ll share the inspiring story of the Johnson family, who left their conventional life behind to embark on a sailing adventure that would take them across the globe. We’ll explore their motivations, the challenges they faced, and the incredible experiences they had along the way. If you’re considering a similar journey with your own family, we hope this story will provide valuable insights and inspiration.

The Decision to Set Sail

The Johnson family, consisting of parents Mark and Sarah, and their two children, Emily (12) and Jack (10), lived a comfortable life in a suburban neighborhood. Mark worked as an engineer, while Sarah was a stay-at-home mom. They had a nice house, good friends, and a stable routine. However, they couldn’t shake the feeling that there was more to life than their current existence.

Mark and Sarah had always been drawn to the idea of sailing. They had taken a few sailing vacations in the past and loved the freedom and adventure that came with it. As their children grew older, they began to seriously consider the possibility of leaving their conventional life behind and setting sail as a family.

After much discussion and research, they decided to take the plunge. They sold their house, cars, and most of their belongings, and purchased a 45-foot catamaran. They spent several months preparing the boat and themselves for the journey ahead, taking sailing courses, learning about navigation and safety, and planning their route.

The Route and Timeline

The Johnsons planned a route that would take them around the world over the course of three years. They would start in the Caribbean, sail through the Panama Canal, and then head across the Pacific to the islands of French Polynesia. From there, they would continue to Fiji, Australia, and Indonesia, before crossing the Indian Ocean to the Seychelles and Madagascar. They would then round the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, and sail up the Atlantic to the Azores, before finally returning to the Caribbean.

This ambitious route would take them to some of the most remote and beautiful places on Earth, and they were excited to share these experiences with their children.

The Challenges of Life at Sea

While the Johnsons were well-prepared for their journey, they still faced numerous challenges along the way. One of the biggest adjustments was learning to live in a small, confined space. The catamaran, while spacious for a boat, was still a far cry from the comforts of their suburban home. They had to learn to live with less and adapt to the constant motion of the boat.

Weather was another significant challenge. They encountered storms, high winds, and rough seas, which tested their sailing skills and their resolve. They also had to learn to deal with the isolation that comes with being at sea for weeks at a time, with no contact with the outside world.

Despite these challenges, the Johnsons found that life at sea brought them closer together as a family. They spent quality time together, working as a team to navigate and maintain the boat, and enjoying the simple pleasures of life on the water.

The Highlights of Their Journey

The Johnsons’ sailing adventure took them to some truly incredible places. Here are just a few of the highlights from their journey:

Swimming with Sharks in French Polynesia

While anchored in a remote atoll in French Polynesia, the Johnsons had the opportunity to swim with blacktip reef sharks. They were initially apprehensive, but soon discovered that the sharks were more curious than aggressive. This unforgettable experience allowed them to appreciate the beauty and diversity of marine life up close.

Exploring the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef was a major highlight of their time in Australia. They spent several weeks snorkeling and diving in the crystal-clear waters, marveling at the vibrant coral and abundant marine life. They also had the chance to witness the annual coral spawning event, a rare and spectacular sight.

Witnessing the Migration of Humpback Whales

While sailing near Madagascar, the Johnsons were fortunate enough to witness the annual migration of humpback whales. They spent several days following a pod of these majestic creatures, watching in awe as they breached, spy-hopped, and tail-slapped the water.

Experiencing Diverse Cultures

One of the most rewarding aspects of their journey was the opportunity to experience the diverse cultures of the places they visited. They were welcomed by local communities, who shared their customs, food, and stories. The Johnsons found that these interactions enriched their understanding of the world and broadened their perspectives.

The Impact on Their Children

Mark and Sarah were initially concerned about the impact that their sailing adventure would have on their children’s education and social development. However, they soon discovered that the experiences they were having were far more valuable than anything they could learn in a classroom.

Emily and Jack were homeschooled during their journey, following a curriculum that incorporated their experiences and the places they visited. They learned about history, geography, and science through hands-on experiences, and developed a deep appreciation for the natural world.

Socially, the children thrived. They made friends with other sailing families and local children, learning to communicate across language barriers and cultural differences. They also gained a sense of independence and responsibility, as they were actively involved in the day-to-day tasks of sailing and maintaining the boat.

Returning Home and the Future

After three years of sailing, the Johnsons returned to their home country, forever changed by their experiences. They found that they no longer desired the conventional life they had left behind, and instead chose to settle in a small coastal town, where they could continue to embrace the freedom and adventure of the sea.

Mark and Sarah now run a sailing school, sharing their passion and knowledge with others who dream of setting sail. Emily and Jack have adjusted well to life back on land, but the memories and lessons from their journey will stay with them for a lifetime.


The Johnson family’s story is a testament to the power of following your dreams and embracing the unknown. Their sailing adventure brought them closer together as a family, allowed them to experience the beauty and diversity of our planet, and taught them invaluable life lessons. If you’re considering a similar journey with your own family, we hope this story has provided inspiration and encouragement to take the leap and set sail.