Chris Draper · Cruising with kids · Sailing · Travel

Christmas Shot

During our week back in the UK, I feel like the kids and imbibed a shot of Christmas complete with Christmas jumpers & even blooming snow! We camped out in Essex and spent lots of time with my parents, but we also hit up the Harry Potter studios, the Natural History museum with aunty Ellie, London lights and caught a few fab friends and family! I proudly took on new responsibilities as Godmother and intend to be a positively bad influence on Oliver Greenland for ever more…

It was a surreal experience to get back into UK life. Scary how quickly the pace of life consumes you and how the underground still strips you of all personality as soon as you step on a tube! The free flowing hot showers, lights, creature comforts and readily available food were momentarily special. Whilst it was awesome to go home to see my Dad, I struggle to see how we’d fit back in. Life goes on and friends move on and we’d be forging another new life. Transient living has been our life for the last 7 years and whilst sticking down some roots would be fantastic for the kids, I’m not quite sure where those roots will be! Guess I’ll stick to trusting in this nomadic lifestyle and see where we end up… is certainly never dull!

Chris cracked on with solar and battery fitting in between surfs and missing our chaos dreadfully! I’m slightly overexcited that we can now charge the odd appliance and I feel guilty bragging but we can also power the freezer….Christmas really did come early in Martinique!!

We are beginning to spy a few Brit boats since the Arc came across, hopefully we’ll catch some families at a beach soirée soon. Looks like we may chill here for the next few days with kid boats and get the bateau sorted pre-Christmas.

For now I’m watching Harry return from another lion fish hunt, while Lily rocks out with some buddies on the bow, I can see where she gets her aggressive dance moves from and I think it’s about time I joined her up there!

Chris has also done a bit of his own writing it turns out. He only goes and gets his published though! Have a gander at the January edition of yachting world to see our lovely mugs.

Classic kid thoughts in the UK:

-“Mum why is that metal thing by the window really hot when I touch it?”….Lily met a radiator.

-“Mum what is that brown muddy water?”….Harry met the Thames.

-“Mum we’re in London and I can’t see Harry Potter’s night bus anywhere”.

-“Mum in the olden days did you go to school here?”

*All family health chat has been censored by my Mum. Remember we are British after all (she’s probably the only one who reads it!)*


We left the marina…

I feel a mild fraud saying the adventure has started as there has been a lot of hanging out in Nanny Cay marina! We had high hopes that we’d be out of here cruising the BVIs on day 2. However, with any boat ownership comes tinkering & wallet emptying. Not on moth ownership scale, but a few things to take care of. Our primary issue has been changing anchors to one with a cat’s chance in hell of holding us. It didn’t fit through the windlass & some welding etc was needed. We’re on Island time so it’s taken a while. There was also a potential tropical storm forecast for the weekend which caused a bit of angst & made us reluctant to give up our cheap rate berth. Don’t worry Mum this looks like it’s now going to pass some 200 miles north of us….we’ll keep an eye.

Yesterday we were getting restless & we finally left the marina for a shake down sail on our fine new yacht! All systems go & Chris didn’t seem to disappointed by the lack of foiling. Harry was stoked. Lily was underwhelmed & slept through the whole thing.

The bonus to marina life (apart from the showers, pool & bar) has been meeting other families doing similar things. Pete, Janine & their 3 boys from Australia were the 1st guests onboard. A lovely family 5 months in, they have imparted much knowledge. Harry has stuck to Tom like glue. Despite being on enforced holidays (thanks Lu Chigs) he joined Tom for homeschooling – amazed that he’s keen! Dave & Dawn next door on a 67ft cat have helped us no end too.

Thursday saw Chris get legitimately excited about doing 8 knots on our way back from anchoring near Peter Island. Lily even managed to be conscious for some of the journey back to Nanny Cay! Simple life indeed it is. I went all Martha Stewart & baked cookies. Have no fear this will not last.

We’ve been asked a few questions in the last few days so here goes with answers:

– We have never been cruising as a family. No try before you buy 1 week bareboat charter. No, we went all in with commitment & a massive purchase after selling a house.
– We don’t know if the kids get seasick. I believe everyone has a tolerance. I’m sure we’ll nudge it in some of the swells & sharp chops.
– We have no definitive plan or timeframe. It’s all dependent on Chris’s work & what happens with the America’s Cup & how much we enjoy cruising.
– Basic plan is to cruise the Carribbean until February. Hide south for the latter part of hurricane season as we have arrangements to lift out in Antigua as needed.
– If come February we’re still sailing & all sane we may head across the Pacific & make our way to New Zealand.
– The boat is a Fountaine Pajot Lipari 41 that we bought out here in the BVIs.
– Yes we looked for a long time with lots of help to find the boat. Particular thanks to Rod Waterhouse, Elvira Llabres and Pablo for that.
– Yes we intend to homeschool the kids!
– No I am not a Teacher & quite frankly I went round the houses & was slightly blinded by all advice & curriculums. We have the basics & will supplement where we can.
– Yes we’re all pretty nervous but you only live once & we wanted to grab this opportunity by the horns. The chance to show the kids some of the world by boat is too good to miss.
– Yes we could have waited but we don’t believe there is the perfect time…,

Best quotes of the day:
“I can’t believe we actually live on a boat” said Harry.
“Living in a house was so boring” said Lily.

No *#$#arama quotes from Chris all day- result!?

Chris Draper · Cruising with kids · Sailing · Travel · Uncategorized

Hello Fille de Joie…


Yesterday we said goodbye to Bermuda after two awesome years. The past 6 weeks has been an emotional rollercoaster as only the America’s Cup can be. The highs, the lows, the pack up, the goodbyes all so intense.

Last night we arrived in Nanny Cay (British Virgin Islands) to begin the next  adventure on our Lipari 41 Cat. As we rocked up at the marina in a taxi with two sleeping kids during a torrential down pour I’ll admit I was nervous to say the least. However, turns out agreeing to buy a boat I’d never seen has panned our pretty damn well. Smiles all around as we boarded our new home.


Today was was all about getting the kids settled. Just us….all day….together. I think the last time that happened was due to a hurricane! We stashed all the useless junk that it was really important to bring 24hours ago & hit Nanny Cay pool & beaches. Day 1 rocked. Tomorrow it’s time to go sailing.


Each blog we’re keen to not sugar coat this experience completely, so will give you a taste of the not so great…

  • Our little blondie is now more green haired.
  • Despite her best efforts Lily still has a little finger after she shut it in a rather large door-doh!
  • Harry had some hanger issues- should be resolved when we’re properly provisioned.