YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Not All Smooth Sailing Around World, Family Admits : Adventure: Parents and two boys took yacht on round-the-world trip. After four years they own up to a few rough seas, but say it was worth it.


JAMESTOWN, R.I. — Rosie Day is tired of people who assume her life has been nothing but adventure as she spent 4 1/2 years sailing around the world with her husband and their two sons.

There was the pain of separation from friends, anxiety over the boys' education and the constant fear that someone would fall overboard, she said.

At one point, a frustrated Tim Day, then 8, stuffed a note into a bottle and hurled it overboard.

"The note said, 'Help! I've been kidnaped by my parents and forced to take a trip around the world!,' " Rosie Day said with a laugh.

"It's not all dreamlike. People think that, but it's not true. It was life; it was just a different life. It still had its problems," she said as her husband, George, nodded. "It certainly wasn't just sailing off into the sunset."

But there were plenty of memorable sunsets, from the Galapagos Islands to Singapore, through the Suez Canal and to the Bahamas, before the trip ended in Cape Cod, Mass., in July and they returned home to Jamestown.

They rode elephants in Bangkok and the Sultan of Oman's horse in Muscat. They dove into the Red Sea and the boys had daily "classes" aboard the 43-foot yacht, Clover.

It was the realization of a dream for the couple. The journey, which began in October, 1990, left them with more than memories and mementos.

"We always thought, when the kids could swim and read, we'd go off on the boat," said George Day, 45, former editorial director of Cruising World and Sailing World magazines.

Rosie Day, 47, a native New Zealander, was a travel agent before the trip. The voyage changed her, she said.

"I'm more relaxed, more self-confident. Being with such a mixture of cultures all the time matures you; you're not so judgmental," she said.

Life was simple aboard the boat.

Sons Simon, who was 11 when they set sail and is now 15, and Tim, an 8-year-old at the start and 13 at the finish, often studied up to six hours a day.

Their father wrote about 120 magazine articles and finished his second technical book, "The Well-Managed Sail Boat."

At night, the four took turns at watch, checking the horizon every half-hour or so and listening to the BBC on the radio. They also had equipment to communicate with land and other boats.

There were some long stays on land, including eight months with Rosie Day's family in New Zealand and nine months in Nicosia, Cyprus, where the Days bought a car, rented an apartment and enrolled the boys in the American International School.

They also picked up Bonnie, a white poodle who "only fell off once, at the dock," Rosie Day said.

Like their children, the Days are happy to be back and looking forward to pursuing new dreams. For them, that means starting a publishing company.

And the boat? George Day said it's "very much for sale."

Los Angeles Times Articles