North Sails Expert Warwick Kerr (Wazza) owns a Spirit 36 called Wakaki, hull #45, built in 1991. She had one owner before Wazza. “This boat was a good compromise between my modern racer mentality, and my wife’s more traditional long keel, heavy cruiser mindset.” Hear about their trip, their boat, and their sails in part I of Bluewater Cruising on Wakaki.
Kilian and his parents cast off in October of 2019 from Mallorca with nothing but a vast open ocean in their sights. Sailing south to the Caribbean is where they’d find their stride, bouncing from port to port, having fun, swimming, and learning new things. The family cruising life has taken hold of each family member, and Kat, Wazza, and three-year-old Kilian couldn’t be happier to share this experience together. So far the family has been all over the Caribbean, currently residing in Sint Maarten with hopes of heading down to Grenada in a few weeks to meet new friends and fellow cruisers.
“The day we arrived to the Caribbean from our Atlantic crossing, we told him we would go check out a beach so he could run and ride his bike. Kilian shook his head and replied; ‘No mama, I want to keep sailing.”
Kilian has had some unique opportunities living his new cruising lifestyle. He is learning how to snorkel and has vastly improved his swimming skills. He’s been getting tips from his dad on how to catch fish, too. He is learning the basics of surfing, and wants nothing more than to get up close and personal with sea life. Snorkeling with mom and dad is a real treat, with the safety of his parents and his eyes down in the sand spotting fish, rays, and the colorful corals. “He gets very excited when he sees turtles and dolphins. We aren’t sure there is anything he doesn’t like out here,” says Wazza. Wazza and Katrin couldn’t be more proud. Kilian plays a part when it comes to setting their anchor by helping his mom and dad communicate from bow to stern. “When it comes to helping his mom and I with our 3Di NORDAC sails, he is in charge of furling our headsails at the end of the day.”
“It couldn’t be possible if Kilian didn’t like what we were doing. Kids are incredibly adaptable and live in the moment. No thoughts of consequences, the future, or a pandemic– just living life to the fullest each day.”
Kilian loves eating freshly caught fish. “He is intrigued by lobsters, (which he calls ‘lobbers’), but he doesn’t eat those…yet. He has taken up a new hobby in cracking coconuts drinking the milk and eating the meat. He also digs just about anything that comes off the BBQ,” says Wazza.
While cruising around, the family enjoys kitesurfing and has recently taken up surfing, “which is especially fun with the little one,” says Wazza. So far, the family couldn’t be happier living onboard and traveling around the Caribbean. “It’s incredible the experiences we can share with our son,” says Wazza. “We don’t even have to try. Every day is a new adventure for Kilian, and he loves it all.”
So far, Kilian’s primetime cruising highlights include exploring ashore in Gibralter, where he got to see monkeys. Onboard is most entertaining since the dolphins are always coming by the boat. He also likes to look for stingrays. Kilian is looking forward to sailing and being free to adventure. “Swimming and snorkeling are his main priorities at the moment”, says Wazza, “but he seemed keen to go kiting with me at some point.”
The family has shifted most of its land activities to water activities, which has made a whole new world for their son. “He’s most interested in what’s happening underwater, and now that he knows how to wear his mask and snorkel, he can be part of it.”
“He’s learning a ton about the outside world, and he’s not as shy as he was at first with getting to know people and being open to meeting new people.”
Wazza and Kat are teaching Kilian new things every day. “He knows the weather and the wind, and knows when it’s going to rain.” When the family is looking for a new spot to anchor its Kilian’s job to communicate between his parents on maneuvers. When they pull up to a new mooring, he helps make sure both mom and dad know what is going on. Helping his family fix things onboard, and being part of the action is what he’s all about.
When it comes to eating, the family keeps it very healthy yet exciting. “We make our own muesli and granola,” says Wazza. “We’ve caught tuna, Mahi Mahi, and Wahoo. There are some places where you are permitted to spearfish so that we can catch lobster and grouper, too.” Porridge with fruit or our boat-made granola is his go-to for breakfast. “We have a fun tradition with Kilian, where we find a new spot and anchor for the night and make pancakes the next morning in our ‘new’ place.”
Kilian has taken to the lifestyle and being onboard Wakaki very well. It’s like the perfect world for him. He has his toys, his cabin, his swing, and ropes and lines to climb. “He just loves the boat. He’s very comfortable when he’s onboard. His cabin has turned into his calm space,” says Wazza, “giving him all the feels of a safety blanket where he can relax if he’s a little tired and gets cranky, or if we are out and about and he’s ready to go back ‘home’.”
Kilian has met a lot of people along the way, but his favorite person tends to be the one who he is spending time with at that moment. He really enjoyed catching up with some old friends from Mallorca who were visiting Antigua a few weeks back. He’s recently made friends with the daughter of the dock owners, where Wakaki is stationed at this time. “He’s learning a ton about the outside world, and he’s not as shy as he was at first with getting to know people and being open to meeting new people.”
With certain islands strengthening their lockdown procedures, we’ve been limited to certain places and we are now in Sint Maarten for the time being. We plan to head south to Grenada after this, where they have a friendly cruising community. After we get there we plan to stick around there for a bit, exploring the island, and other islands if possible during hurricane season.”
“Kat and I were talking about this the other night. While all of this seems amazing, easy, so perfect, it couldn’t be possible if Kilian didn’t like what we were doing. Kids are incredibly adaptable and live in the moment. No thoughts of consequences, the future, or a pandemic– just living life to the fullest each day. Luckily Kilian doesn’t get seasick. He’s a pretty chilled little dude. This type of life isn’t for everyone, but fortunately, we all enjoy it.”