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Family of four redefines 'Quality Time' by sailing the world together

by Taylor Pittman on 6 Oct 2017
The Nance family is sailing around the world in a 45-foot boat Aimee Nance
In January 2015, the Nance family ? Phil, Aimee, their 14-year-old daughter Jessica and their 12-year-old daughter Emma ? set sail together to explore the world. In a span of almost three years, the family has given a new meaning to “spending quality time together” by sailing across a massive ocean, swimming with whales, hiking active volcanoes and more.

After dealing with 90-minute commutes to work and paying nannies to help raise their girls, Phil and Aimee decided to make a change. They now live with their daughters on a 1978 45-foot Dufour ketch sailboat called SV Terrapin (SV stands for sailing vessel, and a terrapin is a species of turtle).

“We felt that we were missing out on watching our children grow up,” Aimee told HuffPost. “After mulling around various ideas, we decided sailing would give us the greatest opportunity to see most of the world on our limited budget.”



In 2014, Aimee and Phil sold their house in San Diego, California, and everything in it. They then moved aboard their boat and remained in San Diego for seven months, practicing for their voyage ahead. Aimee had no experience with boats growing up and Phil only had experience with smaller sailboats. (Aimee suggests anyone considering their lifestyle to take American Sailing Association classes, and the couple also learned many skills from trial and error before any of their long excursions.)

At the beginning of 2015, the family headed south. For two years, Aimee, Phil, Jessica and Emma explored the Pacific coast of Mexico. This past spring, they sailed across the Pacific ? a 24-day trip ? and made their way to French Polynesia, continuing west to the Cook Islands and American Samoa. While traveling, they take breaks to swim, snorkel, explore the different countries and territories, meet fellow sailing groups and more. The family is currently in Tonga.

“How long our visas permit us to stay and the weather windows between destinations dictate how long we can stay and enjoy a particular country,” Aimee said. “We definitely enjoy being at anchor in beautiful places more than we enjoy long ocean passages. We have been in Tonga now for about three weeks.”

Their next stop? Fiji. The family plans on staying there for six to seven months to wait out cyclone season.

Read the full article here.

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