Live Aboard for a Day

Guest Blog by Natalie Irwin

We are excited to report we got to lay eyes on the Jennings Family this weekend and they are happy, healthy and thriving!

We are an American family that met the Jennings in South Africa in 2010. Claudia and my husband, Andy, worked together at Standard Bank for six years. We moved back to the US in 2016 but have stayed in touch.

I remember several times having the conversation with Claudia that they wanted to take their girls out of school and travel by sea around the world. We had been fortunate to take a sabbatical from corporate America when our children were almost the same ages as Erin and Bowdie and we were very encouraging – we basically told Claudia and Andrew to “go for it” – keeping in mind we were the ones staying on dry land!

We have been following their journey on Instagram for the last 18 months and messaging via What’s App. Once Lodestar arrived on the east coast of the United States, we hoped it would work out that we could meet them. On Friday, we drove from our home in Atlanta, Georgia four hours to Savannah, Georgia where Claudia had found a place for them to drop anchor only 20 minutes from our apartment for the weekend.

Friday night the Jennings came to us and we talked non-stop for hours. There were a million questions, a million glasses of wine and a million laughs. There are no pictures to document our reunion but let’s just say it was amazing!

On Saturday, we drove to the marina where they were anchored. We were picked up by the girls in their dingy and made our way to Lodestar and got our first glimpse of their home. It is absolutely amazing how they have truly made a 40 foot catamaran feel like a 3 bedroom home. They even have a herb garden aboard!

The day was hot but beautiful and we toured the rivers around Savannah – the Skidaway and the Wilmington rivers.

Reunited after four years

We found a nice spot to anchor and Claudia whipped up a lovely lunch of burgers and homemade rolls. We took a dip in the river to cool off. We talked more of their travels learning in detail about the beautiful world we live in.

A view from Lodestar on the Skidaway River. It was great for our family to be outside after “sheltering in place” since March.

As a “live aboard” for the day, I was also gifted with a lovely painting by Erin and “watermelon” lips by Bowdie – look closely and you will see my lips do look like a watermelon!

Painting by Erin
Watermelon lips by Bowdie

I can’t even begin to put into words how wonderful the weekend was. In a time of so much uncertainty in the world, the Jennings sure do seem to be living their best life. It was wonderful to get a glimpse into what their day to day life looks like. Thank you Claudia, Andrew, Erin and Bowdie for sharing your love of the water, nature and your moving home. It is not easy what you are doing but what a way to see the world! Can’t wait to see you again!

Bowdie, our dingy Captain, and Claudia saying good-bye. Can’t wait to see you all again!

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