What started with her partner’s love for sailing turned into an adventure with the whole family on board. Meet Emma, mama of two (Cedar, 4, and Autumn, 1,5) and co-captain of the dreamy 36ft Westerly Corsair sailing boat the couple and their two kids call home.
Currently sailing the East Coast of Australia, we chat to Emma about family dynamics on board, travelling with kids and and creating quite the nest for her little crew…
FIRST THINGS FIRST, HOW DO YOU TAKE YOUR COFFEE?
Large soy latte please. I’m also a bit of a Bonsoy snob!
If I’m making my coffee at home, which at the moment while we’re sailing is often, I’ll add a teaspoon of Medicinal Mushrooms; Jing from Superfeast or Reishi. Or sometimes I’ll add some collagen depending how I feel!
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR FAMILY…
We are just your average young family of four really. There’s, Guy, myself, my eldest boy Cedar who is almost 4 and a little miss, Autumn who is 1 1/2.
We live in the beautiful Northern Rivers which is where Guy and I met almost 7 years ago and which will always be our base home. Both the kids were born there and we have such a wonderful group of friends and family there so it is definitely a sweet little spot for us.
WHAT IS THE STORY BEHIND YOUR SAILING BOAT? WHEN DID YOU START CALLING IT HOME AND WHAT MADE YOU MAKE THE MOVE?
Guy has always been into sailing boats. When we were first together he owned a tiny Tiki 23 which he sailed up the Queensland Coast. Since I’ve known him he has always had a boat sales search up on his phone looking for another boat to own so when the kids came along, it was only a matter of time he put the idea out there to find a family friendly one.
We found our boat (still unnamed!) for sale not far from where we were living at the time and it was the perfect family sailing boat. We offered the owner a fair bit less than what he wanted but we were lucky and he came back to us a month later and accepted!
It’s been a major project. Autumn was only a few months old when we bought it and we’ve been on there working on it, tearing it apart, fixing, painting since! This was literally every weekend in between Guy being at work during the week and with the two kids in tow. It was massive.
Finally, around 12 months later after a much needed Bali holiday, we moved aboard! It was such a relief to finally be on there and I was so happy to cull all the unnecessary things you accumulate from living in a house and downsize!
HOW HAS IT CHANGED FAMILY DYNAMICS?
Living aboard hasn’t really changed dynamics at all. Life is still the same really but in a smaller and floatier space!
But this last month being away has been amazing. Just having an extra set of hands around 24/7 is pretty life changing! Neither of our kids are in daycare so it’s me and them all week usually and it’s been so so nice having Guy around to help with all the playing, cleaning, hide and seeking!
Also getting the kids on and off board with two people is so much easier! Let’s just say life is pretty slow-moving living on a boat, it’s not as easy as rushing out the door and into the car in the driveway!
WHAT’S YOUR PHILOSOPHY ON TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN?
Don’t have ANY expectations! With anything! Be totally fluid and put routine aside. That’s what has worked with us anyway, especially with Autumn. She has always just been dragged along to whatever we are doing at whatever time, if she’s got a carrier or some arms to sleep in, she is a happy baby! She’s a little legend traveller because of her lack of routine I swear!
Don’t book a night flight thinking “this is great, they will just sleep the whole way” because they most likely won’t! But if you just go into it pretty cruisy, with a tonne of snacks (like heaps!) and movie downloads, it doesn’t matter that they don’t sleep at their usual time, they will eventually crash. Even if it’s hours later than usual! Stress less and be prepared for any scenario and travel will be a lot more enjoyable for everybody!
WHAT WOULD YOU TELL SOMEONE THINKING OF EMBARKING ON AN ADVENTURE LIKE YOURS WITH A YOUNG FAMILY?
Just do it! Life is too short. Not long our babies will no longer need/want to be around us all the time! So why not give them these amazing learning and growing experiences while they still do! Even if they don’t remember any of this time, there’s no doubt these experiences will be ingrained in their being and make them the most epic of humans!
LASTLY, WHERE ARE YOU HEADED NEXT?
We’re back home in the Northern Rivers for the next 3 to 4 months to work hard and save some money before we head off up the Queensland Coast. We plan to be gone for up to 9 months before we have to find some work again either up the coast or back down at home.
I’m so looking forward to seeing some new places especially up North and I’d love to continue around the top of Aus and make our way to the Kimberley’s in WA but who knows what we’ll do!
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Inspiration/ImageCredits: Emma Fidock