The Crew

Matt (aka: Daddy, Matty)


Position: Skipper, fix-it wonder boy.


Matt is a natural sailor. Being a proud Dutch boy, raised around boats and sailing, he is super confident and comfortable around all things boat-ish. Come to think of it, he was also raised in the garage amongst all the tools. He was often tossed electronics to take apart, and is pretty much comfortable around anything with moving parts. I'm constantly asking "how do you even know that?", and he looks stunned, replying "I'm not sure - I just... do". 

He is trained as a machinist but is nothing like a robot. Matt is a pretty sensitive guy, and is much more of a hugger than I am. He is a hands-on dad and is often found playing with Lego. Sometimes the kids are there, too.


Frances (aka: Mama, Franky)


Position: First Mate, cook, dean of education, part-time Superwoman.


Frances may be short, but she is anything but short on personality and enthusiasm. Since she finds speaking in the third person a little unsettling, she will cut it out now.

I also love sailing, having done some as a kid, but now as an adult, I love the freedom it grants for travelling and seeing new places from a different point of view. When I'm not busy homeschooling the kiddos, or figuring out what we're going to eat for dinner, I'm usually reading a book. All the books. I'm happy to give anything a try. 

I bring home some bacon by being a photographer (@francestakesphotos) and have worked with some incredible people over the years.


Piper (aka: Pickle, Pi)


Position: Deck Hand


Piper is a light in our world. She is constantly finding new creative projects to fill her days. We often find her, first thing in the morning, pulling out her pencil crayons and sketch book, working away on a story or drawing.  

Piper loves quiet time on her own to read books, but she also loves friends and together they let their imagination run wild. We love her gentle spirit and how she takes care of her brother. We're so happy to call this happy little sailor our girl! She is in grade two for 2016/2017.

Digory (aka: Digs, D)


Position: Cabin Boy


Digory is our dimple-cheeked goofball.  If he can make you laugh with a joke or a silly face, he will. But he is such a caring little guy, too. He is our cuddler and general softie. Digory loves his blanky and his siamese cat stuffy, Siamee. He is great at building really unique concepts with Lego ("Spider-mo-copter" being an example - Spiderman's helicopter, obviously) and he is just getting interested in letters and reading, and he's always loved books just as much as his sister. Digory is in Kindergarten for 2016/2017.




Ventilly? What's with the name?

For some reason, both Matt and I have like the name Tilly for a while. It just sounds nautical to us, and playful and timeless and just plain fun. We've thought of maybe naming a boat that one day. But it didn't seem enough.

In french, "vent" means "wind", which seemed very apropos, non? And "vent" and "tilly" together just sounded nice. It rolls off the tongue and the domain wasn't taken. Score.

It's also, in a way, similar to our last name initials: Van Tol, VT... Ventilly. We just made up a word. We're allowed, so we did. And that's that.