Some people enjoy sailing as a leisurely activity away from the city. Carol Plouffe and her family take the water a bit more seriously.

The two adults and two children are packing up everything into an 11-metre boat to spend the next eight months at sea, travelling from Montreal down the U.S. coast, looping around Trinidad and Tobago before coming back up north through the Gulf of Mexico.

For the family of four, it’s a chance to give the pre-teen kids a real-world education.

“We discovered we’ve been working all the time, buying stuff we don’t really need, buying more, working more,” said Plouffe. “It puts a lot of stress on the kids.”

Ludvik Plamondon, Plouffe’s 12-year-old son, said he’s excited for the voyage.

“I’m going to see things my friends can’t see,” he said.

However, the trip won’t see the kids playing hooky. The boat’s living room area will double as a classroom where they’ll be homeschooled.

With the anchor set to be lifted on Sept. 16, the family has prepared by living aboard the boat while it’s been moored at La Ronde Marina for the past four months.

The trip does have some challenges but Plouffe believes they’re prepared.

“There’s no wifi, I do have data on my phone, we download some movies on our iPad when we’re somewhere where there’s wifi so the kids can have cartoons like all the regular children,” she said.

But while there will be some home comforts, the point is to challenge themselves and have an experience available to few others.

“I think it’s going to enlighten all of us,” said Plouffe. “Just make us more human.”