Interview with Jen and John from ‘S/Y Aeeshah’

Aeeshah (Swahili girl’s name meaning Life. In Arabic it means Alive)

Aeeshah (Swahili girl’s name meaning Life. In Arabic it means Alive)

Three Johns! When we stayed in Saint Croix (USVI) in January 2015, we first introduced ourselves to Jen and John from Bermuda. They were buddy sailing with another John and Jo from ‘Out of Africa’.

A couple of years ago, ‘Bad Bunny’ met ‘Out of Africa’ in Grenada. Knowing ‘Out of Africa’, when we were in Saint Croix, the three Johns’ grouped all together and enjoyed BBQ’s on the beach, hiking, a Cruzan Rum Factory tour, and Sundowner (Cruisers get together and drink during sunset.) In order to keep the three Johns separate we made up names for them Bermuda John, Africa John, and Bad John. Later, we remembered that we actually had met Jen and John a month ago when we hiked Pic Paradis in Saint Martin together.

Here’s response from a lovely couple Jen and John from ‘Aeeshah’!

Question: About yourselves and your boat?
Answer: We are Jen and John, British, from Bermuda. Our boat name is ‘Aeeshah’, a Gulfstar Hirsh, built in 1989, sloop. Our website is

Jen at Old Town in San Juan, Puerto Rico in March 2015

Jen at Old Town in San Juan, Puerto Rico in March 2015

John enjoying FREEDOM

John enjoying FREEDOM

Question: Where are you at today?
Answer: Saint John, USVI on April 7, 2015

Question: What was your career before cruising?
Answer: Jen was a teacher/deputy head of girls private school (BHS) and John was Shift charge engineer at BELCO.

Question: What made you decide to live on a boat?
Answer: Our dream was always to do as we are now – see our blog

Question: How long have you been living on board?
Answer: 3 1/2 years

Question: Why did you choose the boat that you have now?
Answer: Best suited to our needs and design

S/Y Aeeshah

S/Y Aeeshah

Question: How many miles have you traveled so far in the boat?
Answer: 5,586 miles – since having these electronics, but overall 6,000+

Question: How did you prepare for the cruising lifestyle (financial, technical, and general preparation)?
Answer: Have always had boats of all types. Jen grew up boating. John had been at sea – merchant navy. We had a 5 year plan once our youngest reached a certain age. Both of us had lots of experience on water, but also did get our US qualification at a sail school.

Question: Best cruising/sailing place or experience and why?
Answer: We have enjoyed everywhere and have been blessed to have many excellent experiences in most destinations – see our blog

Question: What do you like the most about the cruising/sailing lifestyle?
Answer: We like the way of life, the freedom, and lack of stress

Question: What do you like the least about the cruising/sailing lifestyle?
Answer: Least for Jen – seasick. John – Jen being seasick

Question: What was your most fearful moment of cruising/sailing experience?
Answer: Most fearful were the terrible squalls we have experienced

Question: How do you maintain your boat?
Answer: We keep at it never leave things undone, fix as it breaks, clean as it needs, constant attention.

Question: How do you maintain yourself (health, fitness, and strength) and your relationship with your sailing partner?
Answer: We walk and swim daily, if possible. Try not to squabble, let things go, don’t stress or fuss. – been together for 37 years helps to understand each other.

John and Jen in Trinidad

John and Jen in Trinidad

Question: What do you miss the most?
Answer: Miss family, traditions from home

Question: What is your favorite website?
Answer: John would say all his weather sites. Jen doesn’t have one really, but does follow Facebook to see what her friends and family are up to.

Question: Advices to future cruisers/dreamers?
Answer: Advice would be do it, set off don’t wait and miss the chance to truly enjoy life.

Question: Want to share your best and simple boat food recipe?
Answer: Favorite boat food….. The easiest possible as Jen dislikes cooking. But these work well and are healthy (*note – Mincemeat is the sweet mix of dried fruit put in British Mince pies at Christmas, can substitute this with canned Cranberries)

* * * Mincemeat Bran Muffins * * *

—Ingredients and Instruction—

2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
¾ corn-oil
Mix these together

1 cup milk
2 cups all-bran
Mix these together

Combine all above

Add sifted together:
2 cups flour (half whole wheat)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp soda
2 tsp baking powder

1 cup mincemeat
½ cup raisins

Let stand in fridge for a while before baking. (Will keep up to 2 weeks in fridge)
Bake at 375 for 20 minutes

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