This girl started sailing around the world when she was 5. Now she’s 11

CBC Kids News • Published 2019-05-06 07:00

Elly Grin takes turns driving the boat

Elly Grin’s days start like most kids’ days in Canada: she wakes up, gets dressed and has breakfast.

But what comes next is very different.

That’s because Grin, 11, has been living on a boat since she was five.

She and her parents are sailing around the world.

A girl stands in front of a sail boat on a dock

Elly Grin stands beside her family’s boat in November 2018. (Kim Beemer-Grin/Facebook)

They return home to Emsdale, Ontario at least once a year in the summer, where her parents run a sports camp for kids. (They work remotely from the boat the rest of the year.)

Grin spends her days sailing, helping her dad out with chores on the boat, being home-schooled by her mom and discovering the world.

Grin is always travelling with her parents, Adam, right, and Kim. Her brother, Carl, left, joins them when he isn’t in school at the University of Ottawa. (Kim Breemer-Grin/Facebook)

CBC Kids News caught up with her while she was in the Maldives, a group of islands in South Asia, before she headed off to the Seychelles.

These are all the countries Grin has visited since she left Connecticut in 2013.

“It’s small and you get seasick sometimes,” she said about living on a boat.

A girl sits at a table on a boat doing school work,

While she is travelling, Grin is also being home-schooled. She sometimes Facetimes with her class in Ontario. (Kim Breemer-Gin/Facebook)

But Grin has seen more of the world that most Canadians, and she has some incredible memories.

“Tonga is my favourite,” she said. “I snorkelled with a whole bunch of sharks there.... Straight under you. You can reach out your hand and touch them.”

A girl stands on a boat in a wet suit with a snorkel.

Grin suits up to go snorkelling off the boat. (Kim Breemer-Grin/Facebook)

She also spent the day with elephants in Thailand.

It was a Christmas gift from her parents.

A girl and her older brother pet an elephant.

Grin and her brother pet an elephant at a sanctuary in Thailand. (Kim Breemer-Grin/Facebook)

She’s made friends in different countries and has learned how to sail a boat by herself.

“When we’re on long passages, we don’t stop at night. We go all through the night because there’s nowhere to stop. So we take turns,” said Grin.

The plan is to keep going around the world until they reach North America again.

Check out what life on a boat is like in the video above.

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