Three hundred sixty-five days is a long time to be living on a boat. Yet, the Palmer family—mom and licensed captain Brooke, dad and second helmsman Braden, their kids Rooney and Penn (above), and their dogs Frasier and Captain—just celebrated this milestone aboard their boat Mermaid Monster. If ever there were a family that understands and embraces the notion of “no better time than the present,” the Palmers are it. Their story—stories, really—are inspiring.
What’s even more inspiring is the fact that the Palmers had never owned a boat before buying Mermaid Monster. While Brooke grew up enjoying ocean cruising off Seattle, Braden was more of a waterskiier and wakeboarder in California. Interesting enough, Brooke tells me that from the day they met, more than a decade ago, they shared a dream of traveling the world with their children.
Fast forward to last summer, after 11 years of marriage and two kids. The Palmers turned to each other and said, “Why are we waiting? Let’s just go and get our boat!”
Since then, the Palmers and Mermaid Monster have cruised Nantucket, New Jersey, and North Carolina. They’ve been to the Bahamas and back. They’ve logged thousands of miles, with thousands more planned. Mermaid Monster is planning to circumnavigate the globe. It’s the experience and education of a lifetime, for all of them.
Indeed. Four-year-old Penn knows how many gallons the fuel tanks can hold. He’s also quite the expert cookie baker in the galley (and, apparently, a film director in training, knowing exactly when filming should pause, as you’ll see). Six-year-old Rooney, meanwhile, is fascinated with all aspects of sea life, from fish to turtles and more. In fact, on one of the family’s first nights on the boat, she turned to Brooke and wondered, “What’s under the water?” The two of them have met more people from more walks of life and cultures than many adults have in their lifetimes.
Never mind that Mermaid Monster isn’t a superyacht. (She’s a Nordhavn 55.) So many superyacht owners I’ve spoken with over the years started out with a boat about the same size as, or even smaller than, Mermaid Monster. Many of them still own boats that size, too. The common bond they and the Palmers share is passion. They’re passionate about cruising, and passionate about adventure. Most of all, they’re passionate about sharing both with their family. As Brooke puts it, “With the understanding that time is our only non-renewable resource, we decided we’d better not waste it.”
You can follow the Palmers and their Mermaid Monster adventures on their popular YouTube channel.