Bringing Up Baby on the High Seas

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. (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.

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.

Doing laps
(Somira Sao)


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

Flying fish
(Somira Sao)


Skipper James Burwick prepares for landfall at Auckland, New Zealand

James Burwick
(Somira Sao)


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

Los Glaciares
(Somira Sao)


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

Climbing
(Somira Sao)


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

Floating the Santa Cruz
(Somira Sao)


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

flamingo
(Somira Sao)


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.

Van in Los Glaciares
(Somira Sao)


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.

Sleeping in bunk
(James Burwick)

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