Our family of six, Nick (dad), Maggie (mom), Tristan (17), Lily (15), Mara (10), and Rory (7), sail the world to breathe and live.
In June of 2017, we left Ohio and Michigan waters for a life aboard Selkie. We got to know her with a year sailing in the Caribbean, then crossing the Atlantic, via Bermuda and the Azores, and a year in Ireland and Scotland. The following summer, we sailed the North Sea, visited the fjords of Norway, stopped in Denmark, and circled the Baltic Sea. In winter of 2020, we sailed southwest England, crossed the Bay of Biscay, enjoyed Galicia, Spain, crossed to the Canary Islands, sailed south to Cape Verde, and crossed the ocean back to the Caribbean. In 2021, we visited and spent months cruising St Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, then Sint Maarten and the Dominican Republic. During hurricane season, our boat was tucked in safely in Rio Dulce, Guatemala, for a refit. In 2022, we traversed the Panama Canal, sailed to the Galapagos, crossed the vast Pacific, and enjoyed French Polynesia (Marquesas, Tuamotus Atolls, Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora). We finished the Pacific via Tonga's Vava'u, then down to New Zealand. Via sailing and traveling by campervan for 7 months, we explored all the we could of North and South Island, NZ. Currently, we are home in Toledo, OH, USA to let the children navigate traditional school. Fingers crossed for this land decision.
Mom, as a third generation teacher, leads the way.
In the past six school years, we have paired with Moving Beyond the Page, Oak Meadow, and Math-U-See with additional books, art, and musical instruments to make living onboard just as educational as life on land. Adding travel, like historic sites, museums, and cultural experiences, is the best education a child can get. Boat kids are the best kids! For a social experiment, we are letting the kids try traditional school in Toledo, Ohio. What an adventure that will be!
We are exploring land life for a bit. In 2024, we will wait for a weather window to continue our journey from NZ up to Fiji, over to Australia, onwards through the Torres Strait, Darwin, Bali, Singapore, Western Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Maldives, and then decide on the Mediterranean or South Africa. Sail on! The Indian Ocean will be our next home.
"I need the sea because it teaches me."
View us in real time as we circumnavigate.
DEBUT CHAPBOOK FOR SALE:
LEVELS OF THE OCEAN
Poetry Chapbook! Released March 2022!
Levels of the Ocean is poetry written by a sailing mother on a night watch. When it begins, she is new to live-aboard sailing, but as you progress through the poems, you grow with her on overnight crossings. The poems take you from the Carribean Seas where “moist tongues told truths,” over the North Atlantic where the “ocean whispers,” through the Thames and the Baltic Sea with “soft moves that settle on the skin,” then across the Bay of Biscay to a sound that is “like gods fighting from below.” Eventually, in the ocean off of Portugal, the sails “bang, clang, creak, hull smash, wave break, whomp,” which gives you a “strange embrace.” At the darkest moment, environmentally, mentally, she confronts “expectations towards death,” and lastly, finally, messages and life “seeps through the hull into dreams.” Enjoy this poetic, sailing adventure!
Her Sea-filled Arms: Layers of Blue shares poems that drop down through the blue colors of the Canary Islands off of Portugal, to Cape Verde off of Africa, across the Atlantic Ocean through the Caribbean, over to the Dominican Republic and into Guatemala with a family of six on a sailboat called Selkie. The water sparkles and swallows, and their arms reach and breathe. The galaxy becomes their nest, and the children complex planets. The author, Magdalena Hirt, captures wind, stretches sails, raises sailors, doges squalls, harnesses life, moves with moonlight, whispers with depths, floats with phosphorescence, contemplates earth, holds mystery, listens to waves tell stories, swings with memories, and falls madly in love.
NEW PUBLISHED ARTICLE
Here is the issue cover: Jan-Feb 2023
Article Below: "Finding Your People"
ARTICLE IN ENCHANTED LIVING
Pre-dawn Sea Secrets
Pull anchor up from a tiny stone bay with a cave. Sail softly over the sea so calm and eerie, silver and slithering still. Drop anchor cozy and snug at an empty island you’ve been reading about surrounded with cliffs and birds. Walk the huge rocks off the shore that contain so many stories of survival, exploration, and history. Feel magic in the moment. Pull anchor again and head north with hot tea in hand finding room on the sea.
Cruising World January 2021 "Wintering Aboard in the Scottish Highlands"
My live-aboard family of six has docked. We pull off our Irish sailing Duberries and slip into our knee-high Wellies. We step off the boat onto the floating pontoon at Oban Marina, and stretch our legs after crossing the North Atlantic and sailing up the Irish Sea. When I put on my Wellies, my sea body becomes a land body again. I walk through the boatyard, and trudge through the muddy paths, and my sailing soul is filled with the piece of land my heart needs. Floating offshore aboard Selkie is the life we have chosen, but this land, this place, the family of Oban Marina and Kerrera is a home we chose for the Winter....
“Another storm is coming. Double check your lines.” Yes. Of course, just another huge wind spiraling in off the North Atlantic. It’s like living inside the tornado that takes Dorothy over the rainbow, and if you can endure the rigging slapping in the wind that whistles through the highlands to your hatches, the water slapping the hull, and the dock lines stretching, squeaking and pulling, you truly live in a brightly colorful, magical land of adventure. Every week one blows through, and we get use to it like a weekend. It becomes a two-day family holiday aboard—we hang tight, listen to Selkie get yanked back and forth, cook a giant pot of spicy chili in the galley, get hands-on our homeschool work, or explore another mechanical endeavor in need of improvement. When the storm settles, and everything is still, we can hear distant hairy cows moo, laughter, dogs, and an announcement of the CalMac ferry across the bay.
MEET DADDY: AKA CAPTAIN NICK
Sailing since childhood, he is a jack-of-all-trades, and a master of fun!
MEET MOMMA: AKA TEACHER/WRITER
She is a sailing, sassy momma that enjoys being a teacher, writer, wife, mother, and galley goddess.
MEET TRISTAN (17)
Made from boat life, Tristan is comfortable onboard as a sailor, being a big brother, a writer, and an adventurer.
MEET LILY (15)
Lily is a sweet and understanding sister that enjoys drawing, cooking, writing, and Netflix.
MEET MARA (10)
Mara in the middle is willing to rile up any kind of fun and hopes to be a pop star or the first woman on Mars!
MEET RORY (7)
Rory is Selkie-raised and learned to walk onboard. He's actually in charge of us all.