SIDNEY — Normand and Kirsten Schafer aren’t your typical adventurous family.
The North Saanich residents and owners of CheapTicketsCanada.com have not only traveled the world together, but they recently completed a year-long 12,000 km South Pacific sailing adventure with their seven children.
The Schafer family, made up of Normand, Kirsten, Alyssa, Jaeden, Dailin, Orin, Eli, Teyauna and Zakary (aged 1 to 18), set out at the beginning of 2013 with a newly purchased catamaran and a sense of adventure.
“We wanted to do something with the entire family all together before our oldest children started going off to university,” said Normand.
“We’d talked about it for five years or so because my wife had done a similar type of trip when she was a child.”
Finally, the family decided to take the plunge and start their adventure when their two eldest made plans to attend university the following year.
“It was quite a learning curve to learn how to sail and to prepare for this trip within 14 months,” Normand laughed, adding the trip was chock-full of life experience for the whole family.
“We had done some long trips before so that kind of primed us for it but it was definitely very different. There were some difficult times and some scary times but it was also an experience none of us will forget.”
The family is presenting a look back at their trip on Friday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. in Sidney at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (2210 Eastleigh Way). Admission is free.