Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


September 26, 2013

Seaworthy lesson

Local couple taking students on Mediterranean voyage

They have traded their home on Woodland Road for a life on the open water and over the next two years, Bob and Sara Knapp will be sharing their journey with local students.

It’s the latest adventure for the Andover couple whose last excursion was a four-year sailing voyage that took them to 70 islands in 23 countries.

They spent the last three years since then planning their next expedition — this time on a larger boat, the Quintessa, paid for by their life savings and the sale of their Andover home.

Their plan is to eventually sail to the Mediterranean Sea — bringing two West Elementary School classrooms along for the ride.

“When we did our last trip, (school Principal Liz Roos) suggested that we get in touch with a class,” Sara Knapp, 62, said. “We never quite pulled it off that time, so this time, we said, ‘Let’s do it.’”

As they travel, they’ll communicate with the fourth-grade classrooms of Frank McCall and Holly Plamondon via email, Skype video-conferencing and any other means available.

“We’ve got these great experiences and we’re not able to share it other than with family and people reading our blog,” Bob Knapp, 56, said. “We thought, how could we give back?”

Before they set sail, the Knapps visited with the fourth-graders to talk about the upcoming trip and how they’ll travel over the next couple years as well as answer questions about their prior sailing excursions and what they’ve seen.

McCall is familiar with what his students will see and hear. He had the chance to sail with the Knapps this summer.

“They had offered a day of sailing as part of a fundraiser in support of A Better Chance of Andover,” he said.

After his brief ocean excursion, McCall was approached by Roos, who pitched an idea for his students to work with the Knapps during the school year.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Pictures of the Week