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See the Orton Family performing in Hawaii!

Book & Music Festival in Hawaii

The Orton family — best known as the seven-member family who sailed the Atlantic ocean — will be performing some of their favorite songs and talking about their new book, Seven at Sea, at the Hawaii Book and Music Festival on May 4, from 11:30am to 12:00pm on the Keiki Main Stage.

This family-friendly event is free admission and parking.

Seven at Sea

Seven at Sea details the Orton family’s extraordinary story — told alternately by Erik and Emily — of the family’s whirlwind adventure at sea. The journey brought them together as a family and taught them many lessons along the way.

Hear more from Erik and Emily on LDS Living’s podcast This is The Gospel.

Follow their stories and learn more about the family on their blog, Fezywig.

Who are the Ortons?

When Erik and Emily Orton were living in Manhattan, struggling to keep up with their finances, taking care of five children and striving to really thrive in their life together rather than just survive it, Erik would take dinner breaks from his night shift temping and look out over the Hudson river. During those breaks he watched sailboats passing by and wondered what it would be like to be on one of those boats with his family.

Now any other couple who never had experience sailing, whose wife had a fear of deep water and who had — as mentioned before — bills to worry about and five kids to wrangle through daily life might have let that dream lie, but not Erik and Emily.

“Life moves fast,” Erik and Emily say in a blog post from 2014 just before leaving on their trip. “Our kids will be leaving home soon. We’ve wanted to do a trip like this for a long time. That’s why we started sailing lessons over five years ago. This is our last year before our kids start leaving for college, missions, marriage, etc. All good things, but life will change. We want one last chance to be together as a family before we move into that next chapter.”

The family, knowing the many risks including running out of money, injury, and even just humiliation if the plan didn’t really work, set out on an adventure of a lifetime and planned a 5,000 mile expedition between New York and the Caribbean with their kids on the boat they named Fezywig.

“We believe the greatest gift we can all give each other is encouragement,” Erik and Emily say in another post on their blog. “We hope sharing our thoughts and stories will spark clarity and confidence about what matters most to you and help you feel encouraged to pursue whatever that is.”

Erik and Emily Orton and their family.

Erik and Emily Orton and their family.