PAM SAYS: Going to the Movies at Sea


Sailing around the world with two small children on a 39 foot sloop has its challenges!  We sailed our boat, KANDARIK, six wonderful years giving me and Andy and our daughter, Samantha, and son, Jamie, so much more of a life than we ever could of staying at home.

Andy and I tried to think of everything we could to not only educate our children, but also just as importantly, to entertain them, especially on long ocean passages like crossing the vast Pacific, running across the Indian Ocean, and sailing up the Atlantic.

Funny enough, the challenge became a way of life that far exceeded all our expectations.  Cooking classes became a daily routine and Sammy and Jamie loved to take over making a good meal in our little doll house of a galley.  Learning navigation, keeping careful watches, steering when the self steering just could not handle the sea conditions, keeping our little sloop clean and well organized, and doing the school work that was not really a chore at all but something fun for all of us.

But, I think it was books that created the most attention and gave me and Andy, and Sammy and Jamie the most education AND entertainment.

Every day at sea, depending on dry conditions in the cockpit, we would all look forward to going to the movies together.  We had no computers, no screens, no DVD’s back in 1985.  But we had a boat load of really good books!

Going to the movies every day, weather permitting, consisted of all of us together in the cockpit, with some popcorn or some fresh blueberry muffins, or rich chocolate brownies, all made in our tiny galley.  I would get a book that we could all enjoy and I would read to all of us, sitting in the cockpit with self steering keeping us on course and miles made towards our destinations.  While I read aloud the time flew by.  We all were reluctant to leave our little theater, our cockpit, and we really looked forward to the next afternoon’s day at the movies.

Books with many chapters were wonderful as we all could not wait for the next chapter.  Here are some of the books we, as a family at sea, shared as we sailed around our wonderful planet:

  • “The Never Ending Story”
  • Any book written by Paul Gallico, our favorite was” Jenny” about a little boy turned into a cat living at sea! And our most favorites of all, that would always bring tears to our faces, “The Snow Goose” and “Snowflake”
  • Any book written by Raold Dahl or Arthur Ransome.
  • Every single book written by Nevil Shute, especially “Trustee From the Tool Room” about a man’s adventures at sea, “A Town Like Alice” and so many more.  A treasury of books for children of all ages!
  • And then the wonderful books of the Mariner’s Library, each book a rare jewel that can be enjoyed by any age!

You don’t need a screen to go the movies aboard your little boat.  You can read to each other and create the best vision of wonderful stories by gifted authors.  There was never a time aboard our boat that we, or our two children, were ever bored or without something fun to do.  It was a life I shall always treasure and cherish