An ad­ven­ture at sea that many would envy


xxxone of the most ex­cit­ing and fas­ci­nat­ing sto­ries I wrote this year stood out like a sore thumb among the fish­ing boats docked at the Arisaig wharf. It was a story about the Cook fam­ily and their sea­far­ing life­style aboard the Hang­time.

I re­ally can’t take credit for much of a story like this. It’s not ev­ery day, a 47-ft. cata­ma­ran comes ashore in Antigo­nish County. And it’s cer­tainly not com­mon to dis­cover an en­tirely fam­ily mak­ing a full-time home out of that boat.

When some­thing draws stares and a bar­rage of ques­tions wher­ever it goes, it’s news, plain and sim­ple. What sat­is­fied me most about writ­ing this story –al- most as much as get­ting to step onto the Hang­time to in­ter­view the Cooks – is that it all came to­gether as a re­sult of me in­ad­ver­tently get­ting a tip from a co­worker. A col­league ca­su­ally men­tioned that peo­ple were talk­ing about an un­fa­mil­iar boat show­ing up at the wharf in Arisaig.

The ques­tions, as you can imag­ine, came nat­u­rally once I started snoop­ing around and let­ting my cu­rios­ity run its course. It didn’t take long be­fore the unique – and some­times. a bit in­tim­i­dat­ing – de­tails of the lives of Karen, Brad, Char­lie and Ben Cook on their oceanic home took shape.

Writ­ing about any­thing re­lated to new or al­ter­na­tive liv­ing ar­range­ments, in an age when fewer and fewer peo­ple are buy­ing, and able to af­ford hous­ing in Canada, is al­ways go­ing to yield an in­ter­est­ing tale.

There are count­less sto­ries and anecdotes emerg­ing about peo­ple liv­ing in ‘tiny homes,’ or even cam­pers and vans. It’s great to be able to an­a­lyze that with the help of some­one liv­ing the dream; and sprin­kle in a bit of re­al­ism with the ro­man­ti­cism as­so­ci­ated with an itin­er­ant life­style.

By the way, stay tuned this winter for an up­date on the Cook fam­ily.

FILE PHOTO Brad and Karen Cook, and their two sons, Char­lie and Ben, are seen aboard the Hang­time, a 47-foot cata­ma­ran. The fam­ily spent the sum­mer sail­ing around the Mar­itime prov­inces, liv­ing full-time aboard their boat.

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