Possibly the best and most honest movie depicting what it’s really like to be out there blue water sailing.

Daria Blackwell


One Simple Question presents a unique experience to the viewer. Elements of history, education, and the environment are presented in a thoughtful narrative style while seamlessly guiding the viewer on an adventure of a lifetime. The story is positive without preaching and there is something for all viewers to learn and understand no matter what their point of view might be on important environmental issues. The story is unique in that it engages the viewer on their own terms.  While to some the sailing community might be viewed as elitist and unapproachable, One Simple Question demonstrates just the opposite. It is an experience each viewer could imagine that they are one of the characters in the story, and they too, could participate in this journey of discovery.

Jeff Forster
Executive Vice President Production, Detroit Public Television


A stunning film about things big and small. A story of one couple living a simple life aboard a small sailing yacht and their quest to find an iceberg.  And it’s also the story of something very big – the sweeping planetary changes that are becoming impossible to deny. Ben and Teresa are easy to love and impossible to forget.

Deb Castellana, Director of Communications
Mission Blue / Sylvia Earle Alliance


One Simple Question is an introspective adventure film that may well be one of the best video interpretations of small sailboat voyaging.  As the film’s writer, producer, and on camera talent, Teresa and Ben Carey use the basic premise of searching for an iceberg to share with the viewer the experiences of cruising while raising awareness to many environmental issues that face us all.

While the film may lack the professional polish of a high budget production, the storytelling and passion for the cruising lifestyle shines through. It is refreshing to see new filmmakers tackle the many challenges that a program of this nature offers.

Bill Mills
Director of Photography, Digital Cinema HD, National Geographic, CBS’s 60 Minutes, Discovery, NOVA


One Simple Question reminds us rather than just sit around waiting, worrying, and stressing that it’s much better, more useful, and fun to think clearly, dream big, and do something!

Wallace J. Nichols
National Bestselling Author of Blue Mind and Ocean Scientist


One Simple Question will inspire viewers to enjoy and relish the ocean and to become ocean advocates. It is a charming romance about two young people in love, and their uninhibited love affair with an iceberg. This film puts the “real” back in “reality” shows. I highly recommend it.

Professor Chris Palmer
Author of Shooting in the Wild, Distinguished Film Producer in Residence at American University, and Director of the Center for Environmental Filmmaking


Please add your review of One Simple Question, live event, or event host experience. Write your review in the comments below. Please include your first and last name and indicate where and when you saw the film and tell us if you were a screening host.

29 Comments Post a comment
  1. Apr 27 2015

    Many days after viewing this film I still keep reflecting on the imagery and the raw innocence of adventure. The films strengths are in its individual components and how they work off of each other resonating and revealing subtle memories, emotions and desires that are at the heart of any sailor and/or adventurer. Thank you for this refreshingly unjaded glimpse into your world.

    (Camden Public Library Screening Hosted by Ocean Cruising Club, April 11, 2015)

  2. Apr 27 2015

    Live Screening with Teresa and Ben Carey at Maine Maritime Academy on April 22, 2015

    “One Simple Question” is a superb movie; it’s well laid out to enact the young couple’s fantastic voyage and adventure. The movie captures the beauty of the two young sailors’ conflicts with one another, with the elements, and those that exist within them. The romantic idea to seize an opportunity and seek out a goal is encapsulated in their quest for an iceberg. In viewing the magnificent beauty of these blue and white ice mountains and the joy that these two sailors exude, we are brought in touch with the human experience as it relates to the scientific and nautical realities of climate change.

    Tristan Taber
    Residential Life and Student Activities,
    Maine Maritime Academy, Castine, ME

  3. May 6 2015

    Attendees at our Small Boaters’ Film Fest loved One Simple Question! Its adventurous spirit, focus on the simple life, environmental message, and likeable subjects made it an approachable and fun film for a wide audience – sailors, water lovers, and armchair adventurers alike!

  4. Shelli Hemans
    May 8 2015

    I had the privilege of viewing One Simple Question on a Friday afternoon when I received a free ticket in the last hour of my workweek. I found it: moving, delightful, educational, beyond interesting and freeing. It took me to a place I hadn’t visited in a long while…You see, I used to live in Key West and frequently went sailing and I’ve never been sailing as much as I did down there. It made me think from a writer’s perspective, which is good, because I am writing a book of my own. I pondered and relived this movie for weeks and it changed my perspective. I find myself wanting to watch it again…

    Shelli Hermans
    Blue Ocean Film Festival
    November, 2014

  5. Patrick Feeney
    May 27 2015

    A very compelling movie. I found that I was drawn in not only by the adventure of sailing but also by the adventure of making a movie about it at the same time. Teresa and Ben are great models for setting goals, accepting the risks, and making things happen. Once they made the commitment, things began to fall into place with this delightful film as one of the results. Their enthusiasm and zest for life is contagious!
    Northwest Outward Bound School event. Portland, OR May 2015

  6. Jun 16 2015

    One Simple Question is an inspiring story of a couple’s sailing journey, and life journey. The film initially appears to be very simple, as the title suggests, though there are many beautiful complexities that are explored in the nooks and crannies of the adventure. It was truly compelling, even for viewers that knew little to nothing about sailing. Having Teresa Carey present for the screening to answer questions was a unique privilege as she exudes such a positive and energetic energy.
    Megan Buchholz
    Northwest Outward Bound School screening and live event
    May 2015

  7. Jun 21 2015

    We saw this movie at a meeting of the Bluewater Cruising Association in Vancouver, BC. The entire audience of offshore sailors was spellbound. This movie is a fascinating and authentic portrayal of life at sea on a small boat. It also captures the spirit of adventure and discovery that compels so many to sail over the horizon, away from a routine and comfortable life ashore. We highly recommend this movie!

    Norm & Beth Cooper
    Ocean Forest Voyaging
    Offshore Sailing School & Outfitter

  8. Jul 6 2015

    Refreshing film involving the ocean devoid of having something sold, something traumatic, or any crazy wrong doings by corporations in the mix. Simply enjoyable yet inspiring. A must see for the over stimulated to Zen, for people of any age afraid to learn more about their own nagging question, and to those desiring to feel out on the open ocean but cannot get there. For those interested. It will be held at University of North Carolina Wilmington October 14th.

    Bonnie Monteleone, Founder of Plastic Ocean Project, Inc.
    Director of Science, Research and Academic Partnerships and Executive Director

  9. BK Schirripa
    Oct 14 2015

    I am not of the “sailing community” so to speak, just an average Joe, but when I had the honor of attending this event and to watch “One Simple Question”, I actually felt drawn in and inspired. I found myself not wanting to miss a single word, not wanting to miss a single thing! There was a very thin line of wishing I was on the adventure with Ben and Teresa, and actually feeling like I was right there with them. I felt excitement, anticipation, even sat on the edge of my seat, and not really to mention. . .a tad sea-sick for a minute!! I thought, and felt, that between the two of them, there was so much life on that voyage. And I absolutely love that they have Dory with them. It doesn’t matter where they are, the truth is that the message they have and that they share, absolutely enthralls their audience. I feel that they not only capture the willing and the participating, but they actually make anybody want to learn more and want to be a part of making the much needed changes to our environment. Their honesty, simplicity, energy, and what I view as pureness, truly does capture the hearts, and definitely the minds, of those that do listen. If only the world would jump aboard, (I wish their vessel could hold the world), it would certainly be a better place to live. I’m so very grateful I was able to be a part of the event. I’m still reliving it and I probably will for a very long time to come. I will continue to look forward to attending more of these well-put-together events in the future, and to be able to watch Teresa and Ben grow and learn more of their experiences. Thank you for all that you do and for all that you are.

    BK Schirripa
    Annapolis Boat Show screening at Bacon Sails, October 2015

  10. Cathie Trogdon
    Oct 15 2015

    My husband, Peter, and I were invited to this movie screening during the week of the Annapolis Sailboat show when Teresa and Ben were in town. I was amazed at the high quality of this documentary about a young couple’s quest to find an iceberg on the North Atlantic, knowing that the filming and production was all volunteer.

    Keep an eye on these two, they are destined to do big things as they follow their dream and live their passions. Their involvement with a new organization, Hello Ocean, promoting citizen science for sailors is fantastic.

    Cathie Trogdon
    Weems & Plath

    Annapolis Boat Show screening at Bacon Sails, October 2015

  11. Warren Stringer
    Oct 17 2015

    My wife, Carol, and I were able to see One Simple Question at the screening at Bacon Sails in Annapolis Oct 9. Let me say up front, this is an outstanding film. The cinematography is terrific. The sailing scenes make you feel the reality of high latitude voyaging, both good and bad. We are right there for the breathtaking scenery, and we feel Teresa’s exhaustion as she questions the entire voyage.

    This is what we appreciated most about this film — its honesty, and humor. We follow Ben and Teresa’s journey, from beginners, to solo sailors, to sailing together on a beautiful boat, on a crazy quest to a sea of severe, forbidding beauty. At the end, we share their joy as they find their iceberg — and what an iceberg it is !!

    At the sailboat show this year I heard the thought expressed that we need to do more to bring young people into sailing. Ben and Teresa are in the forefront of this new generation of sailors, showing us with this film not only that worthwhile adventures are still out there, but also This film also, why such adventures are worthwhile. “After violent storms, and peaceful dawns, we find ourselves in balance.” So says an old poster I picked up at Minnesota (now Voyageur) Outward Bound so many years ago. I find the same sense of balance in this film.

  12. Oct 21 2015

    Want to know what it’s like to live your dream? Watch One Simple Question and find out. More than a documentary. More than an educational film. It’s a love story of Teresa & Ben, and their adventure in pursuit of their dream, finding it, living it, and sharing it with the world. Excellent cinematography and original musical score to match!

    It was a real pleasure meeting Ben and Teresa at the Made In Michigan Film Festival, October 18th, in Frankenmuth, MI.

    Congratulations on your award for “Best Documentary Feature”!

    I just ordered my DVD and look forward to sharing it with family and friends. Thank you for attending the festival. I wish you all the best in life.

    Dennis Isken
    -screener for the Made In Michigan Film Festival

  13. Reed Austin
    Oct 22 2015

    I had the great pleasure of meeting with Ben and Teresa at the recent Annapolis sail boat show. They are as genuine and charming in person as they are on screen. This movie is simply beautiful. Teresa is an excellent writer, as the script clearly reveals. The cinematography, production values, interviews and score all work together beautifully. I did not expect anything this professionally presented. It’s a wonderful story and I can’t wait to share more of their adventures.

  14. Nov 4 2015

    One Simple Question is a captivating story that grips you from the beginning with beautiful seascapes, a taste for the sailing lifestyle and leaving behind conventional choices.

    A true and real story with depth, about a couple that shares a simple passion for adventure, being on the water, and the great unknown ahead.

    I thought about it long after I watched it and it’s the kind of movie I will watch over again, and show to friends. It’s a fantastic documentary that will leave you with some personal reflection, awareness of the world around you and a healthy dose of inspiration.

    Ben and Teresa have a likeable and natural chemistry – and you can’t help but get caught up with their raw enthusiasm, as they take the ordinary simple things, and bring out an extraordinary experience.

    (Annapolis Screening – October 9, 2015)

  15. Jerrett Archer
    Nov 4 2015

    Just watched the movie, wonderful job! Thanks for making this film, you put a ton of thought and so much work into this project! Cinematography, wonderful. Really good soundtrack, I enjoyed it a lot. Beautiful scenery and of course, the story is really worth the watch. My kids enjoyed the movie too. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

    (Puchased DVD)

  16. Ada Suneson
    Nov 8 2015

    We purchased the dvd and really enjoyed this movie. It is such a great story about sailing, love and the enviornment. Highly recommend snuggling in for the evening with a bowl of popcorn and watch the adventure.

  17. Jan 4 2016

    Filming and creating a documentary can be a very tough thing. It is even tougher while doing it aboard a sailboat that needs constant attention and maintenance. A lot of time and work went into the making of “One Simple Question”, and it shows. The only thing we would say is sail towards the equator and come have a beer with us 🙂

    — SV Delos Crew (DVD Viewing)

  18. Jan 14 2016

    Great work putting this together. I know how easy it is to get caught up in an adventure and forget to press record. Thank you for not forgetting because it was great, as a viewer, to come along for the voyage. The music and cinematography were an excellent blend. Having sailed from Maine to much of the Maritimes I was particularly drawn to the film. My experiences sailing around Newfoundland were much like yours, and I’m aching to return. The people, the coast, the food… Thank you again for recording it in a way that resonates with all sailors, but particularly those that love to leave the harbor behind, and turn to the north! For anyone interested in sailing, climate change, adventure, icebergs, Maritime Canada, or living simply, you must see this movie.

    — Matt Garand (Purchased DVD)

  19. Mar 7 2016

    What an incredible experience to document and share. We hosted a screening of this film as a community event and received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our local sailing crew. A packed theater ooed and awed at the adventure, passion, and excitement of Ben and Teresa’s journey up the eastern seaboard.

    After the film the cast, Ben and Teresa, skyped in for an interactive Q&A. One viewed commented after the film, “That was the most enjoyable post-screening of a film that I’ve been to in my life. That wasn’t “going to the movies” that was an experience.”

    Thanks to “One Simple Question” from Colorado!

    ~Philip Muller, Colorado Community Sailing screening, March 2016

  20. Jenni Robertson
    Apr 8 2016

    Congratulations Theresa and Ben, and all the film crew on a wonderful, inspirational, and educational movie.
    It captures the beauty of nature and all its wonders.
    You remind us that living simply can be done and immensely enjoyed, especially doing something you love doing.
    The guests and interviewees are also very inspirational and have many pearls of wisdom to impart.
    So thankyou for sharing your wonderful film, I highly recommend it, and look forward to your next film venture.

  21. Lisa Roehre
    Jun 12 2016

    I met Teresa and bought the DVD at the 2016 Blue Mind Summit last month. Teresa’s presentation at the summit was singularly inspiring so I had the same expectations of “One Simple Question.” I was NOT disappointed and became exceedingly inspired and motivated to begin a new quest in my own life. This movie is so much more than a story of an adventure at sea if viewed from a perspective of how to approach life; align with our personal passions and the desire to accept the journey with all its highs and lows, how to deal with the storms that suddenly arise and how to make the most of the periods of calm, how to connect and network with others to support your journey, and how reaching your goal and appreciating the entire experience is what makes life worthwhile and readies us for our next adventure.
    ~ Lisa Roehre, DVD purchased at Blue Mind Summit 2016

    “One Simple Question” shows us all that setting a goal starts with a question, but that the experiences had within the pursuit of the answer, not in the answer itself, is what makes life extraordinary.

  22. Sharon
    Jun 15 2016

    Just returned from a sail-training expedition with Ben and Teresa where we took our biggest leap yet toward a lifelong dream. We didn’t watch One Simple Question until after the trip. We chose an expedition with Ben and Teresa by what we could glean from their writings and videos…that they are organized, intelligent, enthusiastic teachers, lovers of a simple life, the environment around them and great adventure outside the walls of modern day hustle and bustle. After spending 10 days at sea with them, we can most assuredly say they are excellent trainers of ancient and modern mariner skill sets…yet what we see in One Simple Question is always present in how they see each day and each challenge. On a technical level, awesome cinematology! Wonderful interviews from people we’ve followed as they shared their own journeys around the world. Great storyline – how they shared a deeper level of themselves as sailors, as a couple and as dreamers as they grow awareness of the delicate balance our environment requires. Teresa and Ben dare to dream. Unlike so many, they put feet to those dreams…and then they take a step further and invite all of us to ask that One Simple Question of ourselves and then act upon it. Bravo and thank you both!

  23. Scott Grometer
    Oct 18 2016

    I watched my DVD of OSQ again tonight. Such a beautiful film on so many levels. As a lifelong sailor, I love the sailing and boat footage. As someone who is pondering relationships and how to make them work, I love your and Ben’s gentle examples. As someone who is still trying to figure out my life purpose, I love your questions and willingness to share your process. As a longtime fan of the BCC (and the Nor’Sea 27 too), I love watching the boat(s) in action. I love the guest appearances by the veritable who’s-who of the sailing world.

    I find myself moved to tears each time I watch–can’t tell you why exactly–perhaps just feeling the joy of you on the sprit watching the dolphins (or were those pilot whales?), the excitement of your first iceberg sighting, the humor of your pronunciation of ‘icejeberg’!

    So, many, many thanks for sharing your adventures with us all. My friends love it (even those who have never stepped on a boat). My elderly parents love it (it helps them understand my irrational love of sailing). I love it!

    Best to you and Benji! I look forward to seeing/hearing/reading about your future adventures!

    Scott Grometer

    PS: It would sure be great if you could produce a soundtrack album from the great music of OSQ!! I love the music almost as much as the movie!

  24. Simon Lippett
    Nov 10 2016

    I’ve been waiting to see this film for ages, so when I received a message to say it was available for download I was straight on it. What a film it was! It was every bit as good as I’d hoped it would be.
    Ben and Teresa please please please make more sailing films like this!

  25. Adam Wisneski
    Nov 15 2016

    Engaging film right from the start with a well-crafted story that is funny and suspenseful and serious and informative all at the same time. Ben and Teresa are a gifted storytelling team for sure!

  26. Jan 5 2017

    I, and my family, enjoyed the film a lot. Well spent money. Ben and Teresa hit the nail and really shows what many cruisers feel and wish to do, to address a big question although with little means, with sailing as the vehicle. Congratulations! Great!
    ~ Martin Leisborn, purchased digital download

  27. Sheralee Longhurst
    Feb 1 2017

    I loved the film – I purchased it for my husband for Christmas… but of course I couldn’t wait to until Christmas to show it to him… he loved it too.
    An inspiration to everyone to pursue your dreams, boating or otherwise. Fantastic film.

  28. Brandon Snider
    Apr 12 2017

    My wife and I loved the movie!! Highly recommend. Thank you!

    ~Brandon Snider

  29. Jose Rodriguez
    Apr 12 2017

    I watched One Simple Question (downloaded the digital version) and truly enjoyed this documentary. I have followed several offshore sailors ventures around the world through books (ie John Kretchsmer or Tania Aebi among many others) but there are very few movies where the real life aboard gets documented so nicely and so naturally as in “One Simple Question”. The movie is great in showing what a simple life and the pursuit of happiness idea that Teresa and Ben have embraced is, with its challenges and beauty. I also like it that it is a sailing movie. I like the minimalist simple life approach but I love sailing so to me, this movie is poetry to my heart.
    When I read about the movie I wondered what the simple question might be. Sailing north until they could find an iceberg? Just a honest and simple goal. No attempt for a record or an exotic destination but the pure love of living the life for a couple that likes living simple while sailing.
    Well done!

    ~Jose Rodriguez, digital download

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