News Column

Family of Nine Embarks on Year-long South Pacific Sailing Adventure

Apr 10 2013 12:00AM



VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwired) -- 04/10/13 -- "Dropping everything," jumping aboard a boat and sailing to far-off tropical islands may seem like an episode from Moby Dick or Treasure Island. But that is pretty well what Cheap Tickets and Far and Away owners Normand and Kirsten Schafer from Victoria, BC, Canada are doing this year.

With little sailing experience except what Kirsten remembers from a similar trip with her parents and siblings when she was 15 years old, the Schafers are learning on the go and are doing so with their seven children ranging from ages one to 18. They also have started writing blogs about the whole thing as they sail down the California coast.

While many people have warned them of the treacherous storms and infamous "rogue waves" along their ocean route the overall reaction from the family is that it will add to the adventure. Dailin, 14, says, "I am more worried about what will happen when we are all stuck on a 45-foot boat for a month."

The most perilous part of the trip (as much for their sanity as for the storms) is the 30-day ocean crossing from San Diego to the Marquesas Islands in the South Pacific. That route will be the real test of their skills, as they expect possible 40-knot squalls and wonder if their food will last all the way there.

Following their first landfall at the remote Marquesas the family plans on exploring other archipelagos such as the Marquesas Islands, Tahiti, Cook Islands, Niue, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Wallis, Vanuatu and New Caledonia, before ending up in Australia... if they make it that far.

No stranger to technology, Normand says, "Using a high frequency radio 'tricked out' to send text, we plan on blogging even the most extreme experiences from the most remote locations using Ham radios." People will be able to track the Schafer's route and may be able to interact with them as they go. "We will share our experience through online blogs, YouTube, social websites such as Twitter and Facebook and by posting our route and GPS-mapped photos and videos on Google Maps and Google Earth," Jaeden, 17, says.

When he took his family on a 44-day, 21,000 km cross-Canada/US tour a few years ago, Normand received thousands of views on his blogs writing for the site Cheap Tickets Canada. He expects upwards of a million subscribers to his trip blog as everyone in the family is set to talk about their unusual adventure.


David Teame
250-385-3001 Ext 130

Source: Marketwire

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