So…What does happen when a 10 year old gets invited to go sailing the globe?
She says, ‘Yes,’ of course!
At least that was the response Lily Eames-Jevons, from Spilsby, Linconshire England gave when her mother, Jayne, asked the question.
On April 2013, after selling their house and possessions, Jayne and Lily flew out to meet Paul Thornton, Jayne’s partner, in Croatia to start an exciting new adventure.
Sailing on a Bavaria 44’ the trio’s plan was to pick up the boat in Croatia and set sail for as long as they could. Money was a normal concern and so was Lily’s education but the family was eager to explore the world by boat.
With the attitude of taking it one step at a time they climbed aboard and started sailing the globe
Fortunate for my family and I, our paths crossed with Lily, Jayne and Paul, otherwise known as the owners of sailing vessel Delphinus, in St Lucia. While walking around the Rodney Bay Marina, Jayne noticed the name of our boat and remembered reading my SailingBritican.com website. Jayne and Lily gave a knock on the side of the hull to introduce themselves and ever since that day we’ve been great friends.
As I notice with all boat kids, Lily, now 13 years old, came across as intelligent, kind, confident and eager to contribute to the conversation. She told me a bit about herself and then enjoyed talking to Sienna, our five-year-old daughter.
Instantly I knew that Lily would be happy to spend time with a 5 year old or a 65 year old
It didn’t take long for me to find out that Lily had a blog of her own. When I realized that I had a fellow blogger in my company I had to run down to the local bar, grab some WIFI and check out some of Lily’s articles.
Starting from the most recent entries working backwards I was blown away with Lily’s ability to write. After each sailing the globe post I found myself wanting to read more. Thinking back to being 13 myself I couldn’t aptly describe a location, convey humor or express my feelings like Lily does.
And Lily’s writing about her sailing adventures is starting to gain attention
Lily’s blog article about crossing the Atlantic and arriving in Barbados has been put forward to the Cruising Association for the privilege of winning the Dingle Award. Entries will be judged at the end of March.
Furthermore, an article Lily wrote was recently published on the Atlantic Drifters website. Atlantic Drifters, Tom and Dave were preparing to row across the Atlantic Ocean leaving from the Canary Islands. Lily serendipitously met the duo and then spent weeks and months following their tracker as they crossed the ocean.
While they were crossing Lily messengered questions and the guys or one of the rower’s wives responded. Lily eventually wrote an article about the guys, what they were doing and the questions she asked them while they were crossing. It’s well worth a read – view the article here: Atlantic Drifters.com
But let me stop rambling on and get right into the interview I had with Lily!
Kim: So Lily, how did you end up sailing the globe?
Lily: My mom asked me ‘would you like to sail around the world?’ My response was yes. After that we sold everything, went into rental accommodation and then we eventually flew out to Croatia to meet, Paul, my mom’s partner who was preparing the boat for us.
Kim: Where did you sail after you got on the boat?
Lily: We sailed around Croatia for a while, then went around the Mediterranean to Greece, Italy and Malta for our first year. On our second year, we went through the French canals through Paris and along the Siene River. We then went up to the North Sea to the Baltic Sea and hit all the countries aside from Russia and Norway. For the winter, we stayed on the boat in Ipswich in England. This past year we sailed into the Atlantic along the coast of France, Spain and Portugal ending up in the Canary Islands before crossing the Atlantic Ocean stopping in Cape Verde. After the crossing we arrived in Barbados and stayed for a month.
Kim: Holy smokes! When I was your age not only did I not know that those places existed but I could have never imagined travelling to so many countries. Out of all those places thus far, do you have one favorite?
Lily: No, I don’t actually have one. Choosing one place would be too difficult. There are amazing sights everywhere we go. I love seeing new places and not being stuck in one area for too long. Also, I actually like to be outside my comfort zone.
Kim: So tell me about your education. What are you doing for school?
Lily: I’m homeschooled. I don’t follow any set curriculum so it’s nice to be able to learn at my own pace. For about three hours per day I work on textbooks, usually between 9am and noon. When we’re sailing I do my schoolwork as long as it’s not too rough and I have weekends off. Overall I feel like I learn a bit more than I would if I was in school.
Kim: Homeschooling is so interesting. Before we set sail I didn’t have any knowledge about it or realize how popular it’s becoming. In the last book I read over 3 million children in America are being homeschooled and the trend is massively growing. I also read that in the course of a day most children get ½ hour of good quality learning time. The rest of the time is spent over distractions. I’m not sure if that’s correct or not, but homeschooled children don’t need to spend 6 hours learning which frees up a large portion of the day for swimming, socializing, land based day trips and having fun!
Lily: Yes it does. I must say that I’m very grateful for my life. I also have to say that sometimes I do wish I was a normal kid doing normal things.
Kim: I understand. I kind of think that it’s a traveler’s predicament. On one hand it’s great to have all these amazing adventures but on the other hand there’s a part of us that feels like we’re missing out on being normal.
Lily: Yeah, I agree.
Kim: So Lily, what’s the worst part of sailing?
Lily: Seasickness. Paul says that there are two stages to seasickness. The first stage is that you feel like you’re dying and the second state is that you wish you were dead.
Kim: I’ve never heard seasickness described so accurately. As a fellow sufferer I have to agree that it sucks. How about your scariest sailing experience?
Lily: I probably have a few but none are coming to mind right now. I don’t really scare easily. If anything I’m scared of boredom! (Lily laughs and so do I). Actually, I have a phobia of sea urchins now. I managed to step on one and it took over 6 weeks for it to heal.
Kim: Ouch! Those darn sea urchins are everywhere. I say, ‘don’t step on them, eat them’ (Watch my video on how to eat sea urchins here). You’re a vegetarian Lily, so perhaps that’s bad advice for you. (I laugh at myself and Lily looks at me like I’m slightly odd…) Anyway, what about making friends? Has it been easy or hard to meet other 10, 11, 12 year olds?
Lily: Before coming to the Caribbean I found it very difficult. Often the language was a barrier and also I’m shy. I often found it easier to talk to the parents of children or ask my mum to help me strike up a conversation with another kid. That being said, I have always been happy to play with any children.
Kim: And in the Caribbean you’re finding it easier because the language barrier isn’t there?
Lily: Yes. Already, I’ve made some great friends with the sailing vessel Honu Kai. I’ve had some sleepovers and we’ve done some great day trips. It’s great to have the opportunity to explore the world and have similar aged friends with me.
Kim: And what do you want to be when you grow up Lily?
Lily: I’d like to be a Fictional Author and a Journalist.
Kim: Well, you’re well on your way Lily. I’m sure you’ll be extremely successful.
Lily: Thank you.
Kim: So how can people find your sailing the globe blog?
Lily: Well, I have a blog at: Sailblogs.com but I also post my articles on the Facebook Group, Sailing the Globe: Delphinus. On Facebook I post more photos and the members interact more with comments.
Kim: And what’s the future for your blog and Facebook Group?
Lily: I’d like to keep it going. I post every week and I especially like conversing with people that leave comments. I also like to personally meet up with people that I’ve met in the group.
Kim: I seriously hope you keep it going Lily! It’s fantastic to hear a younger viewpoint. Most sailing bloggers are in their 60’s so hearing what it’s like to travel the seas through the eye’s of a 13 year old is very valuable…Just a couple other questions…What’s your favorite book?
Lily: I don’t have on favorite book. I have a favorite series.
Kim: What’s that?
Lily: Harry Potter.
Kim: Of course it is! There isn’t anything better than Harry Potter. I’m not even sure why I asked that question. Perhaps I was just trying to figure out if parts of you are ‘normal’. You’re certainly normal with your enjoyment of Harry Potter 😉 What’s your favorite meal?
Lily: That’s easy. It’s my mum’s veggie pizza, especially if it has mushrooms on. My mum is an excellent cook.
Kim: And what’s the future for Lily?
Lily: I’d like to go to college when I’m 16 – either in New Zealand if I stay with my mum and Paul or in England. If I stay in England I’d have to live with my granddad if he’d take me.
Kim: I’m sure your granddad would be very excited and honored to have you around! Big decisions on the horizon but for now it’s all about getting your homeschooling done and having fun!
Kim: It’s been a pleasure to spend time with you Lily. Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for me. Hopefully some of my readers will be interested in your blog and Facebook Group. I will certainly be following you from now on.