Articles by Jill Schinas

About Jill Schinas

Jill started sailing at the age of three weeks and spent her formative years messing about in racing dinghies in Chichester Harbour. She made her first blue-water passage at the age of 18 but it was to be a further ten years before she was shanghaied by the skipper and started her career as an ocean-going hobo.
Jill has written a handful of books and has many more in the pipeline, but her true vocation is as an artist.

Read more about Jill

Holiday in Tahiti – Part 2

Having returned to Tahiti, Caesar, Nick and Jill have begun the task of reclaiming their boat from Mother Nature’s grasp. Last week we saw them scrubbing away algae, wiping away mould, and chipping away rust. But there was much more to be done before the skipper would allow the family to put to sea.

This is what happens when you abandon your boat in the tropics

The story so far: Caesar and his parents, Nick and Jill, have left their baby trees to fend for themselves, all alone on a mountainside, and have flown to the other side of the blue planet. With this misdeed they have probably cancelled out most of the Brownie points that they’d earned by planting their fledgling forest (so now they will have to buy more land, somewhere, and plant more trees.) Back aboard Mollymawk, the family is finding out what…

On the Other Side of the World

It was the smell which first alerted me to the change in the weather. Aboard a boat, one always hears the raindrops pattering on the deck – one is attuned to hearing the first few, so that one can then rush around, shutting the hatches – but in a house it’s all different. I found that, often, if I hadn’t happened to glance out of the window and seen the change in the view – seen the cloud rolling down…

The Return to the Sea

(Long Read – 3,000 words) Finally – at long last – we’re back on the boat! I’d always imagined that when the world fell apart – when Global Warming hit hard and the droughts and storms made food scarce, or when Capitalism toppled over, or when the bombs began to fall again or Fukushima blew apart – then, I imagined, we cruising bums would be well set up. With our own means of international transport and with the lockers always…

Robinson Crusoe’s Isle (but not really)

When they pointed it out to us from the village, Selkirk’s Look-Out seemed to be not very far away. We had come ashore to do the official paperwork incumbent upon any new arrival to the Juan Fernandez islands, and we were not equipped for a hike. We had just one small bottle of water between the five of us and no food. Still, the path up the back of the valley did not appear to be very steep, and the…

Stormies and Wanderers

The human race has suddenly vanished from the streets and from the countryside and even from the ocean. All over the world, countries are in lock-down and ports are closed; all over the world, cruising yotties are being quarantined aboard their boats. And all over the world, while Homo sapiens hides from a deadly virus, wildlife is making a come-back. Or so they say.

Stay Right Where You Are!

“To cruise or not to cruise?” – that is the question of the moment. We’ve seen several social media posts recently from yotties who are holed up in one particular port and who want to move on to another where the grass seems greener; and we’ve even heard from people who want to rush out and impulse buy a boat – right now, this week – so that they can flee from the plague. With the coronavirus rampaging around the…

The End of the World is Nigh

In March of 2019, Nick and I celebrated 30 years of living the liveaboard life together - but, in fact, on the anniversary of the day that we joined forces and embarked, we were not actually living afloat; we were hanging out on a hillside in Iberia. We had left the boat and gone there in order to save the world.

Space Oddity

“For here am I floating in my tin can…” Three weeks of luxurious living aboard the RMS St Helena had rather spoiled our kids. When they first set eyes on the vessel which was to be their new home, Caesar peered into the empty, unbuilt interior of the fifty-footer and said, “She’s very small…”. Clearly, it was going to be difficult to find space for the moat which he had planned to construct around his cabin. I forget what words…

Passage to Juan Fernandez

Our passage to Juan Fernandez was expected to take a week, but in fact we covered the distance in under three days! When we set out from the Rio Valdivia, on the morning of the 2nd, there was no wind – and nor was there forecast to be anything more than a force two in that vicinity for the foreseeable future. Outside the rivermouth, at about midday, we shut down the engine and waited to see which way the current…