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  • Photo: Somira Sao

    What would it be like to spend your childhood at sea, growing up in a sailboat as your family hopped from one continent to another? Somira Sao intends to find out. For the past three years, the New Zealand-based photographer and her husband, James Burwick, have lived on their boat, traversing the Atlantic and Southern Oceans with their children in tow. For the couple's three kids, home is a 40-foot racer, the neighbors are whales, and taking a family trip sometimes means spending a month without setting foot on land.

  • Photo: Somira Sao

    Doing laps

    Tormentina Sao-Burwick does her laps on the deck of the Anasazi Girl as younger brother Raivo watches. When topside, the kids are tethered in at all times.

  • Photo: Somira Sao

    Flying fish

    A flying fish makes a visit to the deck near Western Australia

  • Photo: Somira Sao

    James Burwick

    Skipper James Burwick prepares for landfall at Auckland, New Zealand

  • Photo: Somira Sao

    Los Glaciares

    Tormentina and Raivo savor some downtime in a forest of giant dandelion greens in Argentina's Parque Nacional Los Glaciares

  • Photo: Somira Sao


    Looking bad to the bone, Tormentina prepares to climb during shore leave in Jackson, Wyoming

  • Photo: Somira Sao

    Floating the Santa Cruz

    James Burwick, Tormentina, and Raivo take a break from floating the Rio Santa Cruz during a stopover in Argentina

  • Photo: Somira Sao


    Tormentina does her best flamingo impression in Tierra del Fuego, Chile

  • Photo: Somira Sao

    Van in Los Glaciares

    If you can't bring your boat on shore, a campervan is the next best thing. Raivo and Tormentina relax in their bunk in Parque Nacional los Glaciares, Argentina.

  • Photo: James Burwick

    Sleeping in bunk

    Sao and her children catch some shut-eye during a short passage from La Trinité-Sur-Mer, France to La Coruña, Spain. For more on Sao and her family's roving life, read her essay on raising a family on the ocean.

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