DEPKA renewal

Renewing our DEPKA

It’s time for our yearly DEPKA renewal!

One of the things an EU registered boat requires when sailing in Greek waters is a DEPKA. This is basically to show you have registered with the Greek authorities that your boat is in Greek waters. It is renewable every 12 months. The renewing is free. 

Ours was due to be renewed on the 13th November, but as I had a spare hour this morning, I decided to go and get it done today. Jenny was busy doing her keep fit exercises with some of the other liveaboards in the marina, so what better time?

Docs for DEPKA

The process

It’s quite a simple process. A trip down to the Port Police office (Coastguard) with the correct documents. It’s then just a formality of them photocopying your documents and stamping the DEPKA with a new date 12 months from now. I had to show the original DEPKA, TEPAI tax payment form (even though that expired at the end of October), the receipt for our SSR (small ships register certificate). We had to surrender ours to register the boat out of use over winter, otherwise we would  have to pay the TEPAI for each month. My ICC and passport.

They will check and photocopy all of the documents. Once done they stamp your DEPKA and put a new expiry date which will be 12 months from the day they stamp it.

DEPKA stamped

All in all it took around 10 minutes to get our DEPKA renewal and now we are good for the next 12 months in Greek waters. That is of course when we set off again at the beginning of the season and pay our TEPAI tax for the months we are in Greece. 

DEPKA Renewed

All sorted!

If you enjoyed this blog post please check out our Freebies page where you can download other guides.  If you’re feeling really good consider having a look at our Support us page.

Repair and Improve Your Boat’s Essential Systems

Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual:

Boat owners mechanical and electrical manual

THE guide to fixing everything on your boat!

Well as you know, one of the things with boats is that because they are constantly moving there is always something going wrong, wearing out or just breaking. As a result a quick and good repair/replacement part is required. This is the guide to fixing everything on your boat.

Now when you’ve been doing it for a long time I suppose it’s like anything else, you get to expect and know what’s what! That’s how we gain experience isn’t it?

Well we have a book onboard that takes away most of the mystery, makes it easy to understand and offers advice etc on what and how to do things, explaining it so that even the first timer can understand. Yes, you do need to be a bit practically minded, but, the way it describes things makes it quite easy to understand.

To quote Amazon’s review : “This manual takes both novice and experienced boatowner through minor to major repairs of electrical systems, engines, electronics, steering systems, generators, pumps, cookers, spars and rigging.

When it was first published in 1990, the Boatowner’s Mechanical & Electrical Manual broke new ground. It was hailed as the first truly DIY manual for boatowners and has sold in its thousands ever since. There have been significant changes in boat systems since then, particularly electrical systems. This fourth edition has been fully updated to reflect these developments and expand its predecessor’s worldwide popularity.

‘Probably the best technical reference and troubleshooting book in the world’ Yachting Monthly
‘It deserves to come standard with every boat’ Yachting World”

This isn’t one of the cheapest books to buy if you are a boat owner, but I think it will be one of the best books you buy. It is available as a hardback or for download to Kindle. In my opinion the hardback book is better as its more practical to use in book format when carrying out repairs, however if you want to read it for reference then the Kindle format would suffice. We have the hardback book.

Should you buy it? Well if you are a boat owner now, or are going to be in the future then YES, without a doubt. You will turn to this book regularly, more than you know.

If you do decide to get a copy, we’d really appreciate it if you could click on the link below, that way we get a small referral commission from Amazon on any sales, which helps to go towards the maintenance of our boat.

Good reading 🙂

Fair winds
Carl & Jenny


If you enjoyed this blog post please check out our Freebies page where you can download other guides.  If you’re feeling really good consider having a look at our Support us page.

How we prep for meals in advance

Greek Resident Permits

Well it’s been a very heavy rain day here today, we have had thunderstorms for the last few days but todays has been for most of the day. We had a short spell first thing this morning where the rain eased off so we got on our scooter and headed off to the local Police station. It’s a week since we applied for our Greek residents permit and was told we could pick them up today.

We wasn’t in the Police station for more than 2 minutes and came out with our registration cards. We are now officially residents of Greece. How that will help us post Brexit is yet to be seen but it can’t be a bad thing!

Food Prep for our roadtrip

Our plan for this week was to take our camper van and do a roadtrip of Crete. The terrible freak weather that is hitting Greece and a lot of the Med has put a damper on that plan. We will wait till later in the week and cut it a bit short as it’s supposed to pick up a bit later in the week. We then start our roadtrip back to the UK on Monday so that we can get things like an International driving permit amongst other things that Brexit is causing problems for us!! 

So to save time and make it easier for cooking when we are on our roadtrip, I have spent the day today in the galley on the boat making up various meals that we can then put into bags that are vacuum sealed and frozen. That way we can put the frozen bags into the fridge in the van, and then each night take out one of the bags that has two portions in and just heat up the contents. The easiest way is to put the bag into a pan of boiling water and heat it through. Less washing up and a nice meal at the same time!

The meals I have made today:
Chilli con Carne – 6 portions
Lentil Dal curry – 4 portions
Corned beef hash – 4 portions
Thai vegetable curry – 4 portions
Boiled rice – 10 portions

That gives us 9 days of evening meals of really good food. Even though we only have a fridge in the van the food will still stay fresh with it being vacuum sealed 🙂

We bought the vacuum sealer a few weeks ago and have been really pleased with it. It was recommended to us and we have already recommended it to quite a few other people.
The one we have was from Amazon, it’s and Andrew James make. Below is a link to our Amazon affiliate page and you will find the vacuum sealer on there along with some accessories. They make a great accessory to any boat, or in fact any kitchen!

Our Amazon storefront. Please visit and take a look.

We hope you enjoy the tips here what we are using.

What do you do to save time? If your a full time sailor what do you do to prepare food in advance? Please leave a comment and let us know.

Carl

 

A Voyage For Madmen

A Voyage For Madmen

A Voyage For Madmen

One of the things we do onboard Dream is read books. Lots of books. All genres, all authors, but I (Carl) in particular love to read sailing related books, mmm! wonder why that is?

I have been reading sailing related books since I was a kid, I think I still have the Robinson Crusoe and Treasure Island books in my parents attic. They used to take pride of place on my bedroom bookshelf as a kid. In fact I think the Treasure Island copy was one my Dad had as a kid! The Robinson Crusoe book was my “best book”. I can still remember the smell of it. A5 in size but approx three inches thick, red simulated leather cover with gold embossed binding and lettering. I can still remember the day my Dad bought it me. I daren’t bend back the pages for fear of spoiling it. But eventually I plucked up courage to read it. The most pages in a book I had ever read, back then.

Current Times

Nowadays, with space at a premium we restrict ourselves to actual paper books and instead opt for Kindle versions, apart from books such as pilotage and planning etc.

Now if you have never used a Kindle before, the first time you use one you will find it a bit strange, almost as if it’s not really a book. Well luckily it doesn’t last, and I can say now that I now find it strange to read a real paper book. The beauty of the Kindle, or any e-reader for that matter, is that you can always have it with you, the battery lasts for weeks, you can read it in the dark, ie, when you’re in bed and the other half wants to go to sleep, and now with the latest release you can read it in the bath, swimming pool etc as its now waterproof! Not forgetting to mention that you can have hundreds if not thousands of books all in that one device. You can even download the Kindle app to your iPad, iPhone, Android phone and tablets etc and read them there. 

Anyway, back on topic, we thought because we read a lot of books that are sailing related, we would start and do a bit of a review of the books we read on our blog and let you know what we thought of them.

So we’ll kick it off with this first book;

A VOYAGE FOR MADMEN by Peter Nichols

So what’s the story? To quote Amazon:

In 1968, nine sailors set off on the most daring race ever held: to single-handedly circumnavigate the globe nonstop. It was a feat that had never been accomplished and one that would forever change the face of sailing. Ten months later, only one of the nine men would cross the finish line and earn fame, wealth, and glory. For the others, the reward was madness, failure, and death.

In this extraordinary book, Peter Nichols chronicles a contest of the individual against the sea, waged at a time before cell phones, satellite dishes, and electronic positioning systems. A Voyage for Madmen is a tale of sailors driven by their own dreams and demons, of horrific storms in the Southern Ocean, and of those riveting moments when a split-second decision means the difference between life and death.

Well my thoughts on the book were quite good. I have read all the books based around the Golden Globe race. This one is a bit of a compilation of all the individual books. Whilst it lacks a little in in depth detail, as an all round book it covers the story quite well. If you haven’t got time to read all the different books by different sailors involved in the original Golden Globe race then this is the one for you. It gives accounts from each of the sailors, and covers the unfortunate story also of Donald Crowhurst, who’s story has been made into two or three films so far.

Would I recommend this book? Yes I would. The book discusses the fate of each sailor in turn. Using well described words, Nichols describes how the nine sailors fought through storms and collisions, through the roaring 40s and the furious 50s, and how each man experienced those moments of solitary despair, lonely disappointment and occasional mystical elation that are unique to long-haul solo sailing. One of the most commendable features of the book is the way Nichols discusses the technical side of yachtsmanship with verve and passion without ever turning into an anorak. This is a fine and absorbing true-life tragicomedy, suitable for landlubbers and sea dogs alike.

Should you buy it? Well yes you should. Order it as a Kindle book, sit down with a hot mug of tea, or whatever else you fancy and settle down for a good read. I finished the book in three sessions I was that engrossed by the writing style and the actual storyline. It’s just a shame the final ending couldn’t have been a little bit different and happier. 

If you want to get a copy of the book you can click on the link below. This will take you straight to the page on Amazon. I’ve also added a link where you can buy the latest waterproof edition of the Kindle.

Leave a comment below and let us know what you think of the book and please let us know of your favourite sailing related book(s).

Have you watched our latest video yet? If not you can see it here.

 

Psst!! It’s Valentines Day today

Valentines Day

Did you miss the calendar this morning?

How many of you are reading this whilst you’re at work and thinking, “Oh no, she’ll kill me!” Or for you ladies, “Oh no, he’ll be disappointed!”

Well just a reminder IT”S VALENTINES DAY!  Lol!

We’ll be celebrating this evening with an intimate meal, a bottle of champagne and then maybe a movie.
The weather has been quite stormy here today so we’ll be tucked up on the boat.

So if you are one of the people listed above who has forgotten, or just need an excuse to treat yourself or your loved one a bit more then why not have a look at our Amazon page?

We have listed loads of items that we have on board or similar, and also items we think would make ideal gifts.

Click on this link to have a look: www.amazon.co.uk/shop/carlandjennysailingadventures

So what are your plans for tonight? Comment below and let us know how you are celebrating Valentines day.

 

We have recently  uploaded our latest video to Youtube. Episode 45.
If you haven’t watched it yet you can view it on YouTube or via the page on this site

As always our Patrons got early access to view. It is now available to everyone else  If you would like early access and a host of other rewards and Patron only videos then why not become a Patron. You can sign up for as little as $2.00 per month, and end it at any time. http://www.patreon.com/carlandjenny

Well thats it for now. Have a great Valentines Day
Love & Peace,
Carl & Jenny

5 Amazing gadgets to make your life easier on board

gadgets

5 Amazing gadgets to make your life easier on board

We have done quite a bit of travelling around the world so have got pretty good at knowing what travel gear works and what doesn’t. Now a lot of our travelling has been done by airplane, ship, boat and road and over that time have found our favourite bits of stuff that in our opinion and travels have become invaluable.
Can our favourite travel items turn into must have boat gadgets for our sailing adventures? We think so.

Travel gadgets now sailing gadgets

So as you know we have started our new adventure. Last November we sold up in England and moved to Crete for the winter, where we now live aboard our sailboat, Dream. We soon realised that some of our favourite gadgets became useful items on board our boat, especially for when we start cruising in a few weeks.
Storage on a sailboat is a premium, one of the hardest things for us was weeding out what we were keeping and what had to go. It was tempting to try and take as much as we could and cram it all in using every nook and cranny. However, we have had to stick to must haves.
Here’s our take on some of the gadgets we think are invaluable for not only travellers but for a life on board.

  1. iBeani iPad and Tablet standibeani - gadgetsThe iBeani was actually designed by a friend of ours so we have been using one of these for quite a while. They are so comfortable and make reading a Kindle, using an iPad so much easier. They are great to use anywhere.iBeani is a UK Made, Gift of The Year award winning tablet stand – Well known for its style, comfort, versatility and premium quality; the must have lifestyle tablet accessory for every home.

    This iBeani tablet bean bag securely holds all iPad, tablet and eReader devices currently on the market, from the smallest Kindle to the largest iPad Pro. Prefer a book? iBeani will hold that too!

    Thanks to its unique design, your iBeani tablet cushion will hold your device securely on any surface, at any viewing angle, portrait or landscape, with or without a tablet case. The perfect tablet accessory to use on your lap whilst relaxing & browsing on the sofa. It’s also a great iPad stand for your bed when catching up on the latest box set or movie. If you’re looking for an excellent iPad and tablet or book stand for the kitchen, iBeani is also fully washable allowing you to follow recipes hands free… It really can be used anywhere!

    iBeani tablet bean bag cushions are also multi-functional and can double up as a book stand, steady camera mount or a travel pillow / camping pillow.

    Want to get your hands on one of these? Follow this link to GET YOURS!

     

  2. 12 Volt Mac chargermac charger - gadgetWe use our MacBook Pro for all of our social media stuff. The battery life on the Mac is quite good and whilst we are in a marina we are hooked up to the mains so there’s no issue recharging. However, when we are on the road or sailing 12 volt power, courtesy of our solar panels and wind generator becomes our main power source. That is where this piece of kit comes into its own. Simply plug into a 12 volt outlet and you can charge up your Mac. There is a choice depending on which model you have. Even if you don’t need one for sailing, its ideal to keep in your bag so you can use it in a car/van etc.Want to add one to your bag? Get yours HERE!

     

  3. Kindle
    Where would we be without our Kindles? We absolutely can’t be without ours. Ours get used everyday!
    Originally, we started reading e-books using the iPad but once we used a Kindle there was no going back. These come into their own for travellers, sailors etc. We had literally over a thousand books when we sold up so obviously we weren’t going to be able to take all of those with us. Enter the Kindle. Now we can carry all of those books in our pocket. We even have on the computer on the boat a piece of software that has a collection of 12000 books which we can just download to our Kindle to read.

    We have Kindle Paperwhites.  In our opinion, these are so much better than the Kindle Fire if you want an e-reader.    The light-up screen allows you to read both in the dark and in glaring sunlight, so they are awesome for overnight travel, lounging on the beach, or swinging in a hammock on the foredeck.  And the battery lasts for weeks on one charge. 


    If you like reading and want to have books at your fingertips get one HERE!

     

  4. Canon Powershot G7X mark 11
    We have a few cameras in our arsenal of photography equipment but this is our go-to camera for everyday stuff. This is one of the most popular vlogging cameras used by thousands of You-Tubers all over the world so you can be assured when buying one of these that you are getting a proven camera. The video footage is really good and not forgetting it also takes great pictures. We have had ours now for around a year and still love it as much today as the day we bought it, it comes with us everywhere.
    Want a good camera for photos and/or video? Get it HERE! 
  5. Waterproof dry bag
    drybag - gadgetsWe love a good waterproof dry bag. W
    e carry small dry-bags with important documents and money safely tucked away in them.  And even better, we have a couple of  10 litre waterproof dry-bags with shoulder straps.  They roll up neatly when not being used. If we take a trip to the beach or in the dinghy we pull it out. Great for diving and snorkelling trips, boat trips, or just when we you are somewhere wet or raining and need to keep stuff dry.Keep your gear dry by getting yours HERE!

So that’s our list of must have travel gadgets….

These are the things we know and love for travelling and now sailing, but we’re sure you know of more.  If you can think of anything that you think should be essential for every traveller, add it to the comments below, and we’ll  add it to the list.

We hope you have found our list useful and find time to visit the links and hopefully grab yourself something useful.

Have a great day.

Carl & Jenny

 

Saturday Hours Live -We are interviewed live on radio!

This coming Saturday – We are interviewed live on Saturday Hours Live

Saturday hours live - Carl and Jenny

A few weeks ago whilst we were on the boat in Crete, totally out of the blue, we received an email from the web radio station Elastic FM asking if we could appear on a Saturday Hours Live.

They are based near Chesterfield, our home town, and asked us if we could appear live on their radio station for an interview about our journey so far into our experience of selling upend moving aboard a yacht.

After a few emails we finally agreed on a date when we were back in the UK visiting.

Well the time is close. We will be live on Saturday 7th April. We will be on from 5pm – 6pm so if you can, tune in online and join in.

The show is live between 3pm-6pm and can be listened to through the elasticfm.co.uk website or by downloading the Tunein app and search for “ElasticFM”. Also follow them on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @thesaturdayhours

The line up - saturday hours live

We are really looking forward to this so let us know after the show what you think. Please share this post, its a fairly new radio station and the more listeners they can get the better for everyone.

See you Saturday.

Carl & Jenny

The Boaters Checklist – Preparing Your Boat For Summer

 The Boaters Checklist – Preparing your boat for summer!

Marina - boaters checklist

Our boaters checklist.

Well today is the first day of Spring. The snow is melting away by the hour, the daffodil heads are starting to push through, the sky has turned blue again with hardly a cloud in sight. For those of you who are still landlubbers no doubt you will be getting odours of freshly cut grass this coming weekend as people start to get ready for the better weather. For those of you on the water, it will be the sound of a boat engine, maybe even the smell of 2 stroke as outboard engines are brought out of hibernation and given their first bouts of life this year. We thought we would share our boaters checklist with you.

It doesn’t matter whether your boat sports the latest engine or an old favourite, the Volvo Penta. One thing to remember is that they all need a bit of TLC to keep them in optimum condition and to preserve their reliability. Not forgetting though, it’s not just about the engine, the whole boat needs its regular maintenance program which mist cover all off the crucial areas including the deck, the hull and safety gear.

We put this checklist together after speaking to other boaters, researching online and from our own experience and want to share it with you. It’s something everyone should have to hand when getting their boat ready for the forthcoming season. To ensure that your boat is safe for you, your crew and your guests, complete each of the points covered in the list. It will also help to extend the value and life of your boat and avoid any unnecessary and unexpected costs in the future.

So where do we begin?  Well seeing what day it is today, how about a Spring clean?

We know, cleaning isn’t the most exciting of things, but, in our opinion its the one to get out of the way first (eat a frog for breakfast!)

Mark Twain once said “if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long!”

A good clean and polish will not only make your boat stand out from the rest but will make the remaining steps a bit easier and certainly less messy.

Okay, so its time to get out the hosepipe and buckets, if you have a jet wash you can use that but go carefully, especially if you have teak decks. Start off by giving the hull, deck and topsides a clean. Use a mild detergent and don’t be afraid of getting on your hands and knees and giving it a scrub with a soft sponge. Read the label if using detergent to make sure its compatible with the material of your boat, we don’t want any loss of colour now do we?

Once all that winter muck and grime that has built up over the last few months has been washed away it’s time to apply a loving coat of wax. If you choose carefully you will be able to find one that helps to prevent the damage caused by UV light which can fade your graphics and hull. There has been many a pub discussion over whether waxing the hull will make your boat faster by reducing drag in the water. Maybe some of the racers out there can comment!

While we are in the cleaning mood, don’t forget to give the Bimini, spray hood and any other canvas and cushions a good wash. Take time to check the stitching and re-apply one of the solutions which re-waterproofs and UV protects the material. If there are any minor repairs that need doing, now’s the time to get them re-stitched.

Has there any damage been caused over the winter?

It breaks your heart to find that there are scratches or gouges in the gelcoat. That weekend away when someone came and moored up next to you, not paying attention, or maybe the strong winds over the winter, all take their toll. So although it may have been unavoidable and however deeply pained you may feel, the thing to do is get it fixed asap.

Whilst we are looking for any signs of damage, don’t forget to check for any unseen damage, or wear and tear. Deck joints, stanchion mounts, winches, lines etc are all vulnerable to damage, either accidental or through general usage. Make sure you check them all. Giving the winches a service is always a good idea at the beginning of each season, replacing the grease.

If you are lifting your boat out of the water then now is the time to re-apply your antifouling and at the same time check your sacrificial anodes and if required change them.

One final thing on our boaters checklist is safety equipment.

Again it is easy to become complacent and think, “oh it will be okay” but these are probably the most important items you have on board your boat, and the ones that can mean the difference between life and death.

Life raft – Make sure its in date. Its difficult to check the condition of it with it being in a sealed unit, but you can check its still within the recommended service time, it’s secure to the deck and there doesn’t appear to be any damage to the casing.

fire extinguisher - safety - boaters checklist

Life jackets – Make sure the gas cartridge is still in date, if not get new cartridges and rather than waste the old ones give them a try, just make sure you can repack your lifejacket afterwards once you have fixed in the new gas cartridge. Make sure the lights work, the whistles are attached and the reflective patches are clean, also check the straps for abrasion damage.

Fire extinguishers – These will have a date stamped on when they must be either changed by or recharged. If you have a gauge on the top make sure it read in the green, if not get them serviced or changed.

Flares and EPIRB – These will also need checking to make sure they are still in date. Expired flares must be disposed of carefully. Marina’s and some chandlers will have a way of disposing of them. It has been know for people to keep them for bonfire night just to test them! One of the places we have bought safety equipment from is Force 4 Chandlery.

So thats about it. We hope you have found our boaters checklist useful. If you have please leave a comment below. You should now be ready for your summer sailing season. Your boat will be looking top dollar and you should be confident you are safe. Now go out there and enjoy your time on the water.

day sailing boaters checklist

Don’t forget to watch our latest video

Have a great week
Carl & Jenny

We get our paddleboards

We decided a few weeks ago, well probably a bit more than that, that this year we would get into the sport of stand up paddleboarding.

We tried it out on a friend of ours paddleboard in the marina. Jen took to it really quickly. I was a bit disappointed as I was big into windurfing a few years ago and to be honest found it not as easy as I thought. Maybe due to a long term ankle injury I have which affects my balancing skills now. However not being deterred we decided we would get a couple of boards.

We obviously needed inflatables as storage space on the boat is somewhat restricted. We actually researched them when we were at the boat show in Sept 2017 just before we went out to the boat. After looking at what was on offer we made our minds up that we would buy the RED brand when we were ready.

Now the time is here we researched again and found that the RED paddleboards, although one of the best, were probably too much money bearing in mind we were buying two. So after a lot of reading reviews etc we found that Decathlon had a few boards in their line up and one of them had reviews where owners had put them on a level with RED but at only a third of the cost. Well we’re not naive enough to think they will be quite as good but as beginners in the sport the cheaper ones would suffice, so a couple of days ago we went to Decathlon in Sheffield to pick two up.

We have already booked them in to our flight back at a cost of £28.00 each so not too bad.

Today we gave them a test run!

 

Let us know what you think, and if you don’t already follow us on instagram you can follow directly from this page.

We are looking forward to getting them out on the water.
Love & Peace,
Carl & Jenny

Roadtrip time! We take a roadtrip before our summer cruising.

Parked on the beach

It’s roadtrip time!

As many people know who visit our various social media pages we now live aboard our yacht which is currently moored in Crete. In addition, we also have our camper van that we converted just before leaving for Crete.

Over the last few weeks, we have been getting quite a few messages asking when we will be sailing, so we thought we’d take a few minutes to talk about it.

We moved down to Crete at the end of November, arriving there on the 1st December by driving down with all of our possessions after selling up in England. We had bought the van and spent just over two weeks converting it to a camper van, the idea behind that is that we had somewhere to stay/sleep on our way to Crete without having the costs of hotels, and also the other thought was that once we had it back in the UK, we would have somewhere to stay and transport when we returned back without having to impose on other people.  The fact that out of sailing season we can roadtrip around Europe was also something that made up our minds on buying the van.

So, at the beginning of December, after a week long roadtrip, we arrived in Crete. When we arrived ‘Dream” was on the hard standing as we had her taken out of the water for the survey. It was agreed with the seller that it would be better leaving her out of the water until we returned upon completion of the sale.

On our arrival we were told by the marina that we would have to wait a couple of weeks before our berth would be ready on the pontoon, so this gave us time to antifoam the hull as well as doing a few other jobs such as changing the seacocks and thru deck fittings.

Our boat, DREAM, was launched in the middle of December. Because she has been used over the last few seasons as a holiday home, and not done much, if any, sailing we had a few things to do to get her back to daily sailing status. We have had to renew all of the safety equipment as it was all out of date and to legally sail in Greek waters these had to be done. So we have been waiting for some of the replacement safety gear to be delivered. A few more jobs left, one of which, we still have the flares to replace which will be done on our return. Almost everything else is ready. Our plan is further down the page!

With regards to our van, we wanted to take it back to the UK at the beginning of March. Once it has been in Greece for 6 months then we would have to register it there which can be a minefield and an added expense. We also didn’t want it sitting on the marina car park while we were off sailing for the summer. So, we decided on March to take it back. A few reasons; It was both of our Mum’s birthdays in March, Mothers day, and wedding anniversaries. It’s also Carl’s grandads 106th birthday and we wanted to be back for the celebrations of that.

You can watch our live updates of our roadtrip to Crete here.

Time for another roadtrip.

The roadtrip begins! We set off and got the ferry from Heraklion to Athens. We then spent a couple of days parked up on a sandy beach, just a few metres from the waters edge. It was great. A nice beach front bar a minutes walk away serving beautiful food and drinks, free use of their facilities whilst we were camped even during the night. We then had to head up to Patras to get the next ferry which would take us all the way to Venice.

The next couple of days were spent  in Venice and then decided, as it was still snowing in the UK, to drive down to Monte Carlo, Monaco and Nice. We saw some of the sites and camped out right next to the waters edge again. Great scenery and good weather.

In a couple of days it would be Mothers day. We had planned to be back at the end of that coming week so that is when everyone was expecting us. We looked at the map and worked out that if we set off that afternoon, drove for a few hours we could get up to Calais by Sunday morning and get on the Eurotunnel. If we didn’t hang about we could be back in our home town by Sunday afternoon! What a surprise for our Mothers’ day! We got rolling.

The crossing went without problems and after a short stop near the Dartford crossing to drop off a pedal cycle we were bringing back for a friend we were soon on the M1 motorway heading North. Luckily all the snow that had plagued the UK for the last week had gone and it was clear bright weather all the way.

We arrived at Carl’s Mum and Dads just after 4pm. A big surprise, and worth making the trip for. A couple of hours later the same experience at Jen’s parents.

We are now parked up at our son’s on his drive, camping still in the van. The trip was made all the the better when on Wednesday he passed his driving test. He has suffered from epilepsy since birth and didn’t think that he would ever be able to drive. Two years ago we went through a massive stress flu situation where he had to have part of his brain removed to stop his seizures. The operation is only carried out a couple of times a year as the risk is so high, and is only done if the life change improvement outweigh the risks. His operation was a complete success and now he has been fit free for over 18 months which meant he could have a driving licence and learn to drive. The world is now his oyster 🙂

So onto the plan for the summer;

We will be setting off at the beginning of May and heading to Rhodes. Mid May we will be picking our daughter and partner up who will spend the next week with us exploring a few of the local islands there. We will be dropping them off in Kos. The plan is to then continue up the Eastern side and getting as far North as we can before the Meltemi wind starts. We will then cross to the western side and then go with the wind back south exploring islands as we go. The plan is to get back to Crete mid September/October.

We will continue to update our YouTube channel with our adventures, as well as our blog, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages so please continue to follow.

We are looking forward to the summer and meeting lots of people on our travels.

You can see our latest video here

Love and Peace,
Carl & Jenny