"Life's an adventure."

It's a phrase Olympian, trans-Atlantic rowing champion, author and motivational speaker Rob Hamill sometimes starts his talks with.

This time, the phrase couldn't be more true for his wife Rachel and three children Finn, 16, Declan, 14, and Ivan, 11, as they join Hamill on another crazy adventure living on the high seas.

The family have packed up their home in Te Pahu, 24km north west of Te Awamutu, fostered their dog out and moved aboard their 43 foot catamaran Javelot.

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"I wish we'd done it sooner," Rob said.

Declan, Rachel, Rob, Finn and Ivan (front) Hamill onboard Javelot in Whangārei Harbour. Photo/Michael Cunningham
Declan, Rachel, Rob, Finn and Ivan (front) Hamill onboard Javelot in Whangārei Harbour. Photo/Michael Cunningham

He was inspired when getting ready for the Atlantic Rowing Race in the early 2000s and he saw children running between boats in the marina talking to each other. Hamill had won the inaugural Atlantic Rowing Race with Phil Stubbs in 1997.

He spoke to some of the parents who said the kids tend to get a bit of an education just meeting other kids.

"That's such a cool way to bring up children," he said.

In late July, the family left Auckland bound for Whangārei. After a month in Whangārei getting repairs and work done, the family will set sail on Thursday for Fiji via Minerva Reef.

After that it's Vanuatu and New Caledonia ... then "wherever tickles their fancy".

Rob said they were considering following the journey his brother Kerry took in 1978 aboard his yacht Foxy Lady through South East Asia to Koh Tang Island, where he was captured by Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge and killed.

The boys have been taken out of school, with the goal of learning by life experience.

Declan said he was excited about "seeing new stuff", while Finn was looking forward to nice weather where they could wear shorts and T-shirts.

They said their friends thought it was cool, but thought leaving school was bad.

The boys and their father aren't fussed. Rob wants his children to be able to adapt to challenges, embrace new cultures and learn by discovery.

He also liked the idea of less screen time for his children.

Former NZ rower and Trans-Atlantic rowing champion Rob Hamill is setting sail on another adventure with his family along for the ride. Photo/Michael Cunningham
Former NZ rower and Trans-Atlantic rowing champion Rob Hamill is setting sail on another adventure with his family along for the ride. Photo/Michael Cunningham

The family bought the boat in 2014 and sailed it to Fiji in 2015, which helped whet their appetite for this adventure.

Rachel said living in such close quarters wasn't a problem.

"Although it's a small space everybody's got their own room so they can still disappear and have their own space."

It might not be a smooth start to the adventure with Rachel and Declan known to suffer sea sickness for the first two days of open sea sailing.

The family were documenting their travels in a vlog.