Yachting World


If Kate or Russell Hall wanted to know where their eight-year-old and six-year-old boys had got to, all they would have to do was look along the pontoon for their shoes. Two little pairs of sandals cast aside showed where the two boys had leapt aboard another yacht to play with kids they’d never met until a few days before.

I met the Halls on the ‘family pontoon’ of the ARC transatlantic rally, where the organisers gather the boats with children on board. Here crews were quickly making friends, and kids hopping on and off each others’ boats while the adults worked through long jobs lists in preparation for their imminent ocean crossing.

Across the marina from the Halls, Ann Graydon and Richard Gauthier had befriended their cruising doppelgängers, another Canadian couple also sailing an Outremer catamaran, and were trading tips and advice with fellow cruisers.

These kinds of friendships and bonds slip into place easily when you are away cruising. But just how do you get here? The financial planning, the boat and equipment choice, the homeschooling: where do you start? We asked three crews at different stage of life how they made it happen.


Kaj Maass and Malin Andersson / Bavaria 38 Ocean Cross Ocean

Outside the fantasy Because ‘living the dream’ involves such long-term planning and stringent savings that the plan often dissolves before it can be brought to fruition.

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