Cabrillo Middle School, Home of the Mariners

This morning, Leslie notified Cabrillo Middle School that this coming Tuesday would be Bryce and Trent’s last day in school.  We preferred they stay in school until next Friday, the last day before winter break, but the boys chose Tuesday.  Maybe by leaving mid-week, the boys show their classmate that they really are leaving on the trip.  Before rushing off to school, we provided them letters to give their teachers, explaining what we’re doing, hoping to enlist one or more of them to connect their classrooms with our adventure.  We affixed our boat’s postcard to each letter as well.  Cabrillo Middle School, Home of the Mariners has been a good experience for the boys, a school for our mariners.  Leslie and I are grateful to have had them attend a near-by public school that is safe, clean, caring, and offers terrific extra-circular activities.  Bryce particularly enjoyed woodshop and Trent enjoyed band, rare opportunities for a middle-schooler in California these days.

Here’s a copy of the letter:

Last Day of School: Tuesday, December 17, 2014

Bryce and Trent are leaving soon with us aboard our 42-foot sailboat, Kandu, to begin our family’s circumnavigation. More than sailing, we intend to immerse ourselves in the various cultures along the way. Were we to sail non-stop, we’d be done in less than a year. We anticipate being gone for 5 years, plus or minus a couple years, depending on how much fun we’re having and finances.

Our intention is to share the experience through our website blog and video channel, supported by Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. We plan to demonstrate cultural diversity, what other kids do for fun, what they eat after school, what their school and home lives are like; as well as the math and science associated with our self-contained nautical lifestyle. Bryce and Trent are surfers and we intend for them to chronicle their experiences, what they learn from kids of other cultures, what surfing requires of them, obstacles they overcome, posting on the blog and producing videos.

Our family is aligned with a couple studies and a volunteer program: collecting seawater samples to measure micro-plastic levels, measuring plankton densities, and delivering needed supplies to remote communities. For the American Numismatic Association’s educational branch, we will collect coins for their museum and share our traveling experience with their youth charters.

Our website is shaping up, and will include a map that tracks our current location. We will be able to send and receive text via satellite and email via high frequency radio. In ports with WiFi, we will be able to Skype or Facetime live, connecting classrooms of different cultures with each other, to share how they live, what they do at school. Our first destinations include Baja Mexico (fishing villages) and Puerto Vallarta, then Galapagos (Isabela Island), then Easter Island, then Pitcairn, then French Polynesia (Gambier, Marquesas, Tuamotus, Society) where we hope to stay for up to year (if we receive our one-year extended stay visa next month).

For school, we’ve purchased some home-school programs in math, English, and science. The boys will be participating in the process of navigating and maintaining our home afloat, where we must repair nearly everything ourselves, including our watermaker. They will learn how to relate to other cultures and environments, what each demands. Where possible, they will be introduced into classrooms of the regions we visit, attending for weeks or months at a time.

We cannot know what will happen, when, or where we will go until we get there. Circumstances of weather and life will drive much of what happens. If you’re interesting in learning more or ways to incorporate our trip within your classroom, please contact me.  And of course, we hope you’ll follow along at: RigneysKandu.Com.

Eric Rigney


Bryce's School Year Ends
Bryce, last June, at the end of his seventh grade year.
Kandu's postcard
              Kandu’s postcard

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