Brad and Karen
Brad and Karen, along with their two children, Ben (10) and Charlie (9), are living the dream since they one day decided to set sail for freedom and happiness aboard their Saona 47 ‘Hangtime’. For the Cook family, the call of the sea has always been stronger than anything else. Firmly committed to enjoying the unique experience of sailing forever without knowing when they would return, their wonderful journey is only just beginning.
“The perfect combination of performance and comfort led us to choose a Fountaine Pajot catamaran. The catamaran Saona 47 is beautiful to look at and handles wonderfully. Life onboard is easy with spacious, multi-purpose rooms.”
After leaving La Rochelle in 2017 and crossing the Atlantic on their catamaran, they sailed to the Bahamas before spending a few weeks on the coast of Nova Scotia in Canada, where Karen was originally from.
“Exploring my home province by boat was simply amazing. We also had the support and company of so many family and friends. It was an incredible experience, and I would recommend the Atlantic provinces of Canada to any cruiser.”
“In October 2018 we rode the Eastern Seaboard down to Norfolk, Virginia making stops in Nantucket and New York City, to name just a few. From there we went offshore to Nassau in the Bahamas. We really loved cruising the Exumas, but didn’t love the thorny path eastward to get from there to the Caribbean islands. Once we arrived in the BVI’s we relaxed a bit, invited friends aboard and spent a few blissful months through the Caribbean islands. Some highlights were kitesurfing at Necker Island, spending time in Anse of Columbier in St Barths and visiting Iles des Saintes in Guadaloupe.”
“In spring of 2019 we travelled another 2,000 miles back to Canada via Bermuda and enjoyed another glorious summer on the east coast. A highlight of this summer was our trip to Newfound, Canada’s easternmost province. We enjoyed the friendly people and the wild ruggedness of ‘The Rock’. A highlight of Newfoundland was anchoring in ‘White Bear Bay’, a fjord with massive cliffs and stunning waterfalls that was completely remote and utterly breathtaking.”
The Cooks’ daily routine aboard their Saona 47 is enviable. Every morning, Brad and Karen rise early and enjoy a cup of coffee while catching up on emails. Even on a sailing catamaran, Brad and Karen’s boys can’t escape their schoolwork. Each day after they wake up, they do lots of mathematics, English and some reading. The boys are even both learning French !
“After we are done with the morning routine we swim to the beach and go snorkelling or exploring. Brad and I enjoy water sports such as surfing and kitesurfing, so we are always watching for good conditions. Generally the afternoon entails a bit of downtime, work for the parents, a game for the boys, and perhaps a discussion about the weather and the plans for the next few days. Sunset is often enjoyed from the flybridge with a gin and tonic in hand as the boys enjoy another swim. After dinner we are not far from bed – these days full of fresh air and activity are tiring!”
“We love that we can see the world but still have the comfort of a home. We spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so fortunately the galley on the Saona 47 is bright, spacious and very functional. My favourite place is the bunny deck (our nickname for the flybridge). The boys love to lie inside the sail bag or jump off of the hydraulic platform.”
By setting off one day without knowing when they would return, Brad and Karen made a decision that they are never going to regret.
“We believe that time goes too fast to not to do these kinds of projects together. We evaluated our situation and decided to go for it. Kids grow up so quickly, and in a few years our kids will be more interested in spending time with their friends than with their parents, so we wanted to enjoy this time with them. We all love to travel and travelled extensively when the kid were young, but packing and unpacking plus trying to catch flights can be exhausting.”
The Cook family still have many projects and build with their kids, their next sailing routes. They’ve opted for the Carribean this winter and then sailing around the Mediterranean for a year or two.