A Circumnavigating Family

This, our first official followtheboat podcast, is an interview with a young south African family half way through a sailing circumnavigation. They’ve visited a staggering 30 counties in 3 years but their trip has been put on hold as they attend to a dismasting hiccup! As if that’s not enough, Ronel has returned to their home in America for three months, leaving dad Neil to look after Emille, 7, and Pete, 5. There’ll be hell to pay if that new mast isn’t up when she returns!

Hear about the boys’ favourite countries and what it was like to be on board when the mast fell down. Meanwhile the parents fill us in on educating their kids whilst at sea, with some advice for would-be liveaboard families.

This is a wonderful insight into what it’s like to be a young family living on the open seas.

If you like our content and would like to support us, we will give you ad-free access to our videos before they go live to the public, discounts in our shop, access to Jamie’s iconic full-res photographs, and supporter-only blog posts. Click our ugly mugs for more info!

6 thoughts on “A Circumnavigating Family”

  1. Loved hearing about your adventures and getting to hear the boys talk about their favorite places. (not to mention Emille’s sound effects). They have grown so much, but I would recognize them anywhere.

  2. It was so good to hear you all sharing your stories! The boys have grown so, what a treat to hear their voices! We’ve enjoyed your adventures….happy trails and stay safe until we see you again! June and Mike

  3. Ronel and Neil were my Jersey City neighbors for a short while before they sailed out to sea. What a pleasure to hear their voices again. Were my circumstances different, I’d happily work towards earning the second mate post while visiting the world. I think they’re making something like the “Grand Tour of Europe” but wider-ranging with greater opportunities for adventure, even if a little saltier and soggier than traveling by rail.

    Loved the podcast. Record more of these, please. We landlubbers should be occasionally reminded that the world is vast and full of all varieties of everything.


  4. Excellent Podcast, always very interested to hear a non conformist view of their life. I was particularly interested in hearing the children and the issue of home schooling. I am a true fan of the school of life approach but was skeptical about their ability to keep up with the other kids on all of the curriculum. Whilst their counterparts will be schooled for about five hours a day, five days a week, Pete and Emille’s 2 hours a day wouldn’t be enough. There is also the issue of friends and missing out on parties, school trips, sport, school performances etc.

    However, after listening to them talk, how articulate, practical, interesting and happy they seem, I am convinced they are getting a far more fulfilling and enriching experience than those in school. The places they visit, the people and cultures they meet, the languages and religions they encounter are more than any school can provide. I would love to hear further podcasts every five years – Will they settle in school? Will they be able to form relationships easily with other children? Will they follow a course at University and What seed is this life giving their future career?

    I must also say that Ranelle doing the odd bit of consultation to pay for their life while Neil holds the fort is not just commendable, but also a stark reminder that to survive as a non conformist, you still have to conform to economy. But it sounds like it has worked for the last five years – so keep it up!

  5. Donna Paganucci

    WOW!!! So good to hear of this adventure. What a great experience and education for the children! Please keep me posted on your trip, I’ll live vicariously through your adventure. Hope all goes well and keep safe!!

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top