May 16th 2017 by lilhomiej • 75 Questions • 78 Points
Hello all! I got a lot of requests for an AMA in a recent post I made, so here it is! Here's the basic story, when I was about 5 years old my parents, 2 doctors, decided they wanted to sail offshore. So, they took lessons, bought a boat, and we took off! We lived on the boat for several years, sailing along the West Coast, until through some unfortunate events the boat sank out at sea. Feel free to ask any and all questions, and I will do my best to answer! Since a lot of it is from memory, it may be slightly off in timeframe, so forgive me.
https://imgur.com/XkAulos Here's a photo of our second boat, Ra, for proof.
Edit* Ok everyone, thank you so much for the questions! I have to take a break now, my fingers are getting sore! I appreciate all of your questions and comments.
Never stop exploring!
Gold?! Why thank you kind stranger! You made my day :D
Mr Bacon - Would you like to see, and/or star in a Tremors remake??
As an adult now, would you do it again? Alone? With your parents? Your own family? What would you different?
Good question, now I probably wouldn't but i'm not really sure. I guess I would have to see what my child would be like and for that matter whoever I marry in the future. Not everyone can do boat life, and I wouldn't want to press that on my family. Alone, no way in hell, too dangerous and lonely. I'm a social guy, I wouldn't be able to handle it I don't think.
now I probably wouldn't
Just wait until you hit adult life and the alternative is sliding papers around your desk for 30 years.
Good point. I'm partial to camping, maybe I'll go off the grid out into the woods with my family or something like that.
Hey, Mr. Bacon! One of my favorite films you've starred in is James Gunn's Super. Did you enjoy working on that movie?
Also, how do you feel about the Kevin Bacon jokes on American Dad?
I'm OPs mom and sailing was so awesome and you were so brace. What was your favorite part of sailing and living out at sea?
I loved doing super! and I don't mind jokes at my expense
Can confirm, this is mom! My favorite part was probably living in Mexico, the people were amazing, surfing each day and all that lobster.. oh man the lobster. Can't think of a better time :)
Dude is that really your mom?
I loved that man, you could not be in a bad mood around him. so enthusiastic
Yep! She saw the ama since it got so big.
Hey Kevin. Big fan.
I just recently watched the movie Cop Car and thought you were a great in it. So much fun to watch you be the bad guy.
Any plans to play a piece of human garbage again in the near future?
Ugh, you (and your mom ) are so frigging cool. Sorry about your dad being a barnacle though. :/
Why thank you! She's pretty damn cool, best mom I could ever ask for.
You're quite adept at playing heroes and villains. Which one do you personally enjoy more? Cheers!!!
I thought earlier in a post further up you said she was (deceased)?? Glad she is ok but that did that mean when you wrote it earlier?
Sorry, I probably wrote that wrong, I meant my mother's mom was deceased by that time.
Did the boat sink while you were on it? Did you have to be rescued?
My mom and I were not on the boat, so what happened was that my dad wanted to sail from San Diego to Hawaii. My mom had a bad feeling about it, and wouldn't go, so he decided to solo it. My mom and I flew over while he tried to go solo. Something went wrong and the boat took on water, he had to ditch into a life raft and got rescued 12 hours or so later by a cargo ship. We were stuck in Hawaii for about a year while they worked to make enough to go home.
holy shit that's a story
Oh, I've got so many more too but I don't have photo proof for all of them unfortunately. Ran with the bulls in Spain at 15, climbed a mountain (I do have a pic of that one), got my scuba license as a kid and went scuba diving in Panama, checked out Morocco... So many adventures.
Kevin, how hot was it on a set of "Wild Things" with those hotties almost naked?
Sounds like you missed out on a lot of childhood things but also lived a fun and adventurous childhood!
Yes and yes, it was a mixed bag but I wouldn't trade it for anything. some of the best years of my life!
Hi Kevin Bacon, what is your advice on living a successful and happy life?
What hawaiian island did you live on? I thought this was a funny post to stumble across because I lived on a boat (docked in a harbor) in oahu for about a year. Boat life is definitely not for everyone, but it sure is memorable and fun.
I lived on Oahu! Right in Honolulu :D How funny.
Why'd you have to stay in Hawaii - didn't they have insurance on the boat? I mean, I just assumed "whoops, I sunk the boat" was just pops pulling off a classic insurance scam.
No insurance that I know of, pretty much everything we had went down with the boat so it was pretty devastating. We really didn't have any savings so that's why we had to stay there for a while, we were able to move back after about 8 months though.
Amazon Prime and "I Love Dick" in one sentence = You have my undivided attention. So what's the show about and what's your role encompass, Mr Bacon?
Was living in hawaii nice?
it's about a couple who's love life is re kindled by their lust for another man
Unfortunately, not really. The circumstances surrounding being there made it hard, and it was tough to integrate. I got beat up a lot, called "howle" because I was white, and overall I just didn't like it. Beautiful place, but not for me.
My mom describes it like this " I felt like my mom (deceased) was screaming at me not to go, so I listened." There was also an electrical storm as he went out that fried the boats wiring so he actually had to come back and let my mom fix it, as she was the electrics person.
What is your favourite memory from your time on the boat?
The time a whale followed us for about 2 days, or the time we found ourselves in a giant pod of dolphins. Both stand out as the best times of my life.
Yeah, but I wasn't on it for that event so I don't count it.
When you say giant pod of dolphins... do you mean 20? 100? I honestly just don't know what a giant pod would be, but it sounds fucking dope.
It was so large I couldn't see open water that didn't have a dolphin in it. 2000+ maybe? Hard to tell honestly.
a whale followed us for about 2 days
can you speak more on that?
Woke up one morning to a huge spraying sound, looked behind us and there was a whale about 30 ft back. Not sure what type, but it seemed to like us and followed us for the next couple days. Stayed behind in exactly the same spot, I think it thought we were a whale too. It was so cute and amazing, kid me nearly exploded from the awesomeness.
Not really, there was a lot of maintenance to do, we had electronics so we could watch movies, play video games and listen to music. There was also fishing, swimming, and other fun stuff. Also, it was before internet was really popular (at least for us) so I had a much easier time relaxing and not being go go go.
Have you discussed this point of your childhood with your parents as an adult?
Maybe to see what they were thinking when they decided to up and live on a boat, since I'd guess that wasn't a spur of the moment idea. Did they plan it out with a child in mind? Why not let you in on it beforehand?
Yes, I've discussed it, they basically say that they thought it would be an interesting way to raise me and they wanted to live their dreams. With not telling me, I think they figured it would be easier to convince me once it was already in motion. I can't blame them, but sometimes I do feel like I didn't get a chance to really have a solid foundation in my childhood, but I think what I got instead was pretty worth it. I don't really know though, I'll have to talk about it with my mom sometime soon.
I have a few questions: What did your parents do for money? And how was it readjusting to land life?
They were doctors, so they traded work for food and money. It wasn't too hard adjusting back, I think being around people was the only tough part, you get used to being fairly isolated out on a boat so dealing with social settings became odd after a while out. It was fine though after a little bit.
Dad tried to solo sail to Hawaii against my mom's wishes, ended up sinking it and having to be rescued. Not sure how it ended up sinking exactly since the story he tells about it doesn't sound right, but I never pushed the subject.
Maybe... Knowing him I wouldn't be surprised.
What do you do now in life? Did real friendships derive from the time you lived on the boat?
Now I'm a student, I mess around with crypto curriencies and have made decent money off of that, but my real passion is Biochemistry and i'm applying to the U of Minnesota to study it. Not sure what my career will be, but I know it'll be science-y! I don't have any friends from that time, I met a lot of people but always had to say goodbye and never kept in touch because of my age and the distance between us.
Went to University of Minnesota - started in Biochemistry. Good luck! Let me know if you need help with Gen Chem 1 - it can be brutal
Why thank you, I might just take you up on that :)
Sorry if it's off-topic, but could you elaborate on the crypto currencies comment?
Did you trade them like other currencies, like Forex? How did you get into that?
So I first heard about Bitcoin years ago, and it interested me. I kept an eye on it but never really explored it fully, until a few months back I really got into it. You trade it on several exchanges, like poloneix, kraken, or bitstamp, and it's sort of like Forex I believe. I'm still in the learning stages of it but with how much crypto currencies have grown recently I've done quite well, I got my mom into it as well and she's done amazingly. I would suggest the bitcoin subreddit for more info if you are interested.
This is such a random question, but what did you guys do with your garbage? I imagine you had packaging from food, etc.
There wasn't a ton, plastic wrap from food and that kind of stuff. There was a little cargo spot towards the back we would keep plastics and stuff not biodegradable, but anything that would break down we would just toss overboard. As long as it wouldn't hurt anything in the water, we chucked it. Good question though!
Homeschooled by my mom mostly, so I did go to school :)
There was a v-birth which is a little cabin up front, it had a curtain but besides that there wasnt much privacy. I was young though so I didn't really mind, you get used to it after a while.
Yeah you're a child but your parents are adults....in a presumably sexually active relationship.....trapped on a boat for months with a small kid and no bedroom...
Loud music and a curtain, I would go to bed... They didn't... Now I need to take a shower, I feel dirty.
My dream is to do exactly what your parents did (minus the sinking part). Any advice/warnings?
Take good lessons for a long time before you do it, plan it out well in advance. Find a boat that's stable, not to damaged, and comfortable. Make sure to bring plenty of entertainment. One warning, everyone is sick for a while first going out, keep garbage bags nearby. Keep a life jacket on, always, you never know what might happen. Don't go alone, solo sailing is difficult to say the least and really lonely regardless.
Do you still like eating fish? I'm assuming you had many during that "trip".
Yes, but you're right that it gets old quick, I can really only eat it for one meal and then I need something to eat something different.
I think we had a family friend hold it for us and then we would get it when we came back after the 6-8 months, but i'll have to get back to you on that one since i'm not sure.
how was social life? I imagine you guys made stops at some point. Did you meet new people while living this life?
Totally! Met people everywhere, the best place was Mexico, lived there for a while and I met so many cool people and other kids. It was great, my only regret was having to say goodbye so often.
Communication was probably tough but I'm sure you learned the languages, right?
Yep! Learned Spanish when we lived in Mexico, I got pretty decent at it too, although after we left I didn't really have any way to practice it so I lost it until years later when I took school classes in it. It came back pretty easily though.
Not really, we traveled up and down the west coast and would usually be offshore by about 200 miles (if I'm remembering correctly) so visits were difficult lol. We would visit them when we got back to shore, since we would only spend about 6-8 months at a time out before coming back to restock.
Would you rather have lived on the land during those years?
No, I think I gained a lot more than I lost, I mean how many people get to grow up on a sailboat?
What are some of the most creepiest/chilling experiences you've faced in the open sea?
I would say storms on the open sea are the hands down, most terrifying thing ever. Huge, macker waves, just such raw power it makes you feel tiny.
How did pooping work? I've always wondered.. is there a septic tank that you would have to replace when you docked, kinda like an RV or did it just get released into the ocean?
Usually released into the ocean, or you could also just sit slightly off the deck and go right into the water. "Hang tooky" we called it, nothing better.
Why did y'all stop sailing? What did your parents move on to?
Boat sank when Dad tried to foolishly solo sail from Cali to Hawaii, he was rescued but we were stuck in Hawaii for nearly a year and it wrecked my parents marriage. When we got back to Oregon they split and life got a little shitty for a while.
Do you sail on your own now? If not, do you think you'll go back to it? I'm curious what changes you might have noticed in the past ten years regarding new systems and technology for sailors. Also, were you part of any communities of sailors on the west coast? My parents live aboard a 42' Tayana and are going through the Bahamas currently, seems like a lot of work but a really nice way to live.
I don't sadly, I did a little bit of day sailing a dew years ago with my mom but it hasn't really been my thing oddly enough. I got my fill those years growing up, plus I get motion sick really bad now and school got in the way. I'd imagine the technology is just incredible now, I would love to see what a modern boat has under the hood so to speak. That's awesome that your parents are living the boat life, it is an amazing way to live and I hope one day i can do more day cruising in nice warm places like that.
I didn't learn to ride a bike until I was about 10 or so lol
No, nothing like that. Massive storms, but no rogue waves.
A mix of both, we would stock up on non-perishables before heading out and then supplement with tuna that we would catch. You get sick of tuna though pretty fast, so one time we happened to pass another boat out in the middle of nowhere and we radio'd them to see if they wanted to trade anything. They were out of movies, and we wanted meat which they had! So we put the movies in a waterproof bag and tossed it to them as we passed each other, and they threw us the meat. It was an amazing moment and so funny.
Did you ever come across any sharks? They're my favorite animal, but I've only been able to see/swim with them once in the wild. If so, what types?
We accidentally swam near great whites in Guadalupe, didn't see them but the locals we're screaming at us when we swam in. It was terrifying once we realized what they were saying.
Are you me? My parents did the same thing but from age 9 to 12 for me. We have a 49' ketch that we sailed down the west coast to Panama from Seattle. I wonder if we met/crossed paths.. The cruising community is pretty small and it seems like the same time range. 2000-2003.
Quite possibly! That would be amazing if we had, I do remember meeting a lot of boat kids while sailing, but we all went along our ways. Literal passing ships in the night.
You should write a book. What did you do daily if you were offshore for months on end? I'm guessing there was no internet so what was daily life like?
I'm actually writing one! I have a lot of other stories to tell, some amazing and some terrible, but I've always wanted to write a book so I figured why not? Daily life depended on things like the weather and where we were, if it was calm or stormy. Usually it would just be taking turns steering, setting lines to catch fish, plotting the course for the day. I had school work to do, as I was homeschooled, and then we would make dinner and my dad or mom would read to me before bed. We also had wind generator and electronics, so I could watch movies, listen to music or even play video games! I had a PS1 at the time, it was awesome.
In those years, were you introduced to the internet and did you have access? If not, how was turning back to shore on a world filled with it?
No internet, didn't really have it until we stopped sailing and even then it was dial up so I never really used it. I got my first real taste of it around age 11 or 12, and by then I had very much readjusted to land life so it wasn't much different then other kids my age.