Highs (and lows) of the seas for world sailing trip family

Kim and Sienna Brown
Kim and Sienna Brown

A couple who sold up and set off to sail around the world with their young daughter in tow have spoken about the highs and lows of life at sea.

Kim Brown, her husband Simon and daughter Sienna (now aged five) set off from Aylesbury a year and a half ago.

The family have encountered a number of obstacles along the way. Including vital boat parts breaking, challenging behaviour from their struggling-to-adjust daughter and navigating through force eight gales.

Kim, who recently wrote on her Sailing Britican blog about their experiences sailing round Menorca, said: “The other day, while surviving through a swell - where the boat dramatically rocks back and forth while anchored- I felt a bit down and despondent.

“It’s funny how things become normal after a certain amount of time and as humans we tend to look on the negative side of things after a while.

“Last year I would have noticed the swell, told myself that it’s only temporary and just laid down while it took its toll, or I would have taken the dinghy to shore to seek stable land.

“Nowadays I find swells as an inconvenience that slow me down. Instead of writing, cleaning or carrying on as usual. I have to change plans and just chill out.

“I suppose that over time, even if you are living your dream, there are things that simply become normal and annoying.”

But Kim says that the ability to travel anywhere in the world, following the sun to experience only the best weather and the wonderful people they have met along the way more than makes up for the challenges they often face.

Kim also spoke about the triumphs and troubles of home-schooling little Sienna while aboard the yacht they have named Britican in homage to Simon’s Aylesbury roots and her own America heritage.

She said: “If there’s one thing I’ve learned about living on a boat it’s the concept of going with the flow.

“I know that sounds cliché, but if you don’t go with the flow on a boat you are going to hate being on a boat!”

She added: “Concerning flow, and Sienna’s education, I noticed that she had a huge capacity to learn whatever she was interested in, but failed to show an interest in basics like letters and reading.

“I attempted to use a learn to read app on the iPad, to introduce sounds but Sienna became very discouraged because she couldn’t understand what was going on.”

So Kim says she has studied other homeschooling programmes in books, on Youtube and online to find a better way of doing it.

She said: “What I’ve done is create my own homeschooling method using a variety of resources.

“The core that I started with comes from the Confessions of a Homeschooler website.”

To find out more about the family’s trip, and for the latest updates on life at sea go to www.sailingbritican.com