The final sailing episode of season 3 where our boat life truly did meet real life.

If you’ve seen it then it was probably ALOT. Thanks for watching and for any kind comment left.

Those experiences during our sailing season were a huge weight that we carried around. Boat life resumed and we continued to persevere with work, sailing, schooling. This also included focusing on restoring our mental health. To help us ease the pressure we slowed down our output & focused on quality over quantity. We also made sure that every single day we took time out for things that made us smile.


The aim of this blog is not to plough through the whole ordeal again watch the video for that! Instead we wanted to document our experience in a positive way. Sometimes boat life can appear to be a holiday but the truth is that you can’t escape life’s trials.

We want to help you guys understand the dynamics of having and dealing with difficult patches as a sailing family. If you happen to be embarking on your own boat life adventure this could prove valuable. This could also advise what to do if you happen to need healthcare whilst sailing and travelling in Greece.

boat life on anchor
boat life Holly Blue


Life is going to happen. There is no avoiding it. Whether you live in a block of flats, a penthouse in LA or a floating home like ours. But going through personal trauma as a family that live in a floating home is challenging in many unique ways.

We are sure most of you will have experienced the isolation of lockdown when worlds were reduced to 4 walls. It’s the closest thing in comparison to living on anchor. There are no immediate family around & often no friends to lean on nearby. When things get tough (particularly relevant when travelling and working) they can feel magnified.

As live aboard parents we understand our roles are not only providers and nurturers. But we also have to be friends, counsellors & teachers for our children. The boys have much less contact with similar different sources of support. This means the responsibility falls on us to show strength, vulnerability, lessons learnt and the value of hindsight. A delicate balancing act that will be the platform for which they deal with their own emotions later on in life.

We have to be all these things even if our own world feels like it’s falling apart. There is no space for wallowing. But it is also important to not hide away in a cabin when tears threaten.


To save everyone else you must put your own life jacket on first.

First and foremost YOU MUST prioritise your own physical health (in between sailing) by eating well, staying fit and resting.

Mental health the you live a boat based life is equally important. Practises like yoga (even just 5 minutes a day!) and talking openly about how you are feeling (communication) is important.

As a health and wellness coach of over 10 years now, these are the tools I have implemented many times. So I took everything I knew and threw it into our family wellbeing when times got tough.


First of all. Being your own boss and living a life where you get to call the shots is a blessing. It is a lifestyle tool that you can use to your advantage when you need a ‘time out’.

Slow down your work flow so you can make time every day to fit in fun. This simple adjustment can work wonders for the mind. Especially if you need an outlet for stress or upset.

This ‘mindful’ way of living means you can get the breathing space you need to maintain energy. It also creates a degree of ‘presence’, making you more aware of others needs.


Josh got really into learning the piano. He generally talks very openly about his feelings so keeping up with his mental state was easy.

Noah is more of an introvert by nature. It was important to continue to keep lines of communication open with him. We did this by finding moments to connect & otherwise just tried to keep general vibes high and let him ‘be’.

Ross took a ‘glass half full’ mental approach. For him the biggest trauma was nearly losing his wife and best friend. He focused on the positives. He still had his family and took comfort in knowing he was living the life he had always wanted. Looking forwards by creating exciting sail plans made him feel appreciative and lucky for what he already had.

When he edited this video, it also became an outlet for the trauma he went through. It was difficult for him to re-visit the memories but the process proved to be cathartic and healing.

For me the pain of grief was acute, deep and mentally difficult to process. I found I needed various outlets – watersports, fitness, yoga, drawing, singing, teaching and exploring.

Endorphins are my medicine & having a purpose helped me look forwards. It was key to divide my energy between the boys, work, play and Ross.

It was also important that in the moments between distractions (when grief gripped suddenly) I let myself go & cry, HARD. I hugged the boys tightly in these moments. They needed to see that I wasn’t a robot, and that they were important. Then I simply got back up, dusted myself off and carried on again.


Don’t underestimate the power of a furry friend. Having a pet (of the feline variety) on board is fantastic for mental health. Did you know that just 20 seconds a day of stroking a pet releases stress-reducing hormones? They also take up surprisingly little space.

Once we got our cat Ronnie acquainted with boat life, having him quickly became one of the best decisions we ever made. Not forgetting cats keep the rats at bay! There will be more on our new furry fella as time goes on…

boat life laura
boat life laura ronnie


For information on healthcare requirements for visitors to Greece here is a useful link:

Extracting the knowledge from our experience, here is my personal experience so far with various medical services here in Greece.


Always be aware of the safest place to ‘leave’ your vessel. Should you need urgent or organised medical care whilst sailing. Before visiting islands locate the local hospital, private healthcare specialists and then their proximity to a marina. So that they can look after your boat in the event you need to leave it.

We DON’T recommend leaving your boat at port as boat insurance doesn’t cover this. In our experience often anchors are crossed or adverse weather conditions require your vessel to need adjusting. Utilising a marina means this worry is out of your hands and the boat is in their care.

This is why Ross had to stay in Zakynthos whilst I was in Patras hospital. Holly Blue was at port when I was transferred and this particular port is notorious for anchors being picked up. This is mainly by the huge tourist ships that come in and out of the port.


If you have a serious medical condition or require emergency surgery you usually need to be transferred to the mainland. This is by either ferry or helicopter as smaller island hospitals (in our experience) are either ill-equipped for serious cases. Often an anaesthetist is not present on weekends. This situation has arisen twice for us now.

Most island hospitals are fairly well managed and can be quite quiet too. The doctors and staff are professional and thorough. Note that what establishments might lack in decor their services make up for. Waiting times are usually not extreme either. In all cases we have often been treated immediately.


Something to bear in mind is that children are not permitted in Greek state hospitals. Fortunately they are quite relaxed with partners visiting and sleeping over.

The ONLY time we have noted an island hospital to have poor standards was at Kos main hospital. We do NOT recommend anyone to go there. Seek private hospitals and health professionals if you happen to need to visit.

One thing to note is that Greek healthcare workers are passionate about their work but their approach can seem stern. This is just the ‘Greek way’. It’s nothing personal! What might seem lacking in sensitivity they make up for in their urgency to look after you physically.

Last but not least the food – take your own! You do get fed by Greek Government hospitals but it is incredibly plain, bland and won’t fill you for long. This is because many patients are being prepped for surgery or have sensitive stomachs due to conditions or post-surgery. Although it makes sense it doesn’t make a bad situation any easier to ‘stomach’. There are canteens and shops in most hospitals that sell more appealing products. Visitors can even buy beer, as you will have seen from the episode!


Aside from government healthcare there is also a vast array of great private medical specialists. This includes dental care. And can be found on the majority of the islands. If you like a menu to choose from, prettier walls and speedier service look into this when taking to cruising. Prices are reasonable and the level of care is generally great.

Much love to you guys, and as always, thanks for being there and keeping the dream alive for us.

If you would like to join the crew for early release episodes you can become become an official member here.

Laura xx

Watch the episode in full, here!

Laura hospital
ross and laura hospital