A floating library that sailed into Hong Kong this week has been the only home one little crew member has ever known – three-year-old James Blair is the youngest member of a family that has lived on board for four years.
The Blairs are just one of the families among the 400 volunteer crew members aboard the Logos Hope, which sails around the world, offering books and charity work wherever they go.
Matthew Blair, 38, from Australia, his wife Heidrun, 37, from Germany, and their two other children, Rebecca, seven, and Amy, five, joined the ship when it was launched in 2009. James was born on land in Australia before joining them on board.
They have a two-room cabin of about 350 sq ft. Bathrooms are communal. Besides always having a book to read, the children go to school on board.
“We made this choice for our children to grow up – at least for a few years – in this environment because we believe it’s very good for them,” said Heidrun. “Sometimes when they return from school they’ll ask, ‘Which country are we in today?’”
The family now feel it’s time to move on and will settle in Germany this June.
Logos Hope opens from Friday until April 1 at China Merchant Wharf, Kennedy Town. A HK$10 admission fee gains access to half a million discount books. The ship will remain in Hong Kong until late May for maintenance work.