Good morning shipmates,
We just wanted to let everyone know that tonights live chat will be starting at 1900hrs UK time instead of the usual 1800hrs.
Hopefully that will be a bit better suited to our friends abroad who are having to get up early to tune in. Now you get an extra hour in bed 🙂
Hope to see you all there later.
Have a great day.
Carl & Jenny.
Well a few months ago we spent a fabulous two weeks sailing in the Ionian on the Bavaria 41 with the charter company Sail Ionian. On wee k two of our trip Kevin and Dee, our friends from SV Kejstral sailed over to join us for the week.
You can see our adventures on our videos, but here’s part 1 of their series of the same week.
Hope you enjoy it, and if you do give them a thumbs up and subscribe to their channel.
Can somebody just stop the world and let us step off just for a few weeks?
I know the old saying that the older you get the faster time goes, well according to that saying I think i must be getting on for a 160 years old! This year has just flown by. It only seems like last week I was retiring and now we are into October and Christmas adverts have started and people talking about Christmas dinners and decorations!
Well I refuse to be drawn into Christmas this early, we’ve still got some sailing to do when we get down to Crete! Speaking of which just a bit of an update on whats happening with the boat buying process.
Well, we found the boat, a Bavaria 47, which is currently in Crete. it is a beautiful boat (the one at the top of the page 🙂 We put our house up for sale, it went on the market at 4.30pm on the Friday and was sold by 12pm on Sunday. The searches and all the legal stuff is currently in the hands of the solicitors but we were told at the beginning of the week that we should expect to be completing within 3-4 weeks, so its now final sorting out of things and putting the personal possessions we won’t be taking with us on all of the selling websites and Facebook for sale pages. In fact tomorrow I have someone looking at a saxophone, someone else coming to buy one of my rifles, someone else coming to look at some biking gear and cameras and another coming to have a look at my last motorbike that has to go. Yesterday we sold our car which had just come up to the three year anniversary. We change it every three years so had it on a PCP plan, (similar to a lease but with the option to buy it at the end, hand it back or change it.) We took it to the company we got it from new and they actually offered to buy it from us for an amount more than what was owing on it so we used that money to buy a cheaper car which we will use for running around in for the next few weeks and then we will give it to our son who’s driving licence should be getting sent to him very soon, so he will have a nice first car, just as we did with our daughter when she started driving. We have been emptying the house of picture frames mirrors, fancy lights etc, well let me re-phrase that, Jen has been emptying the house!! Every time I walk into a different room something else has gone. I even noticed today that if you clap your hands together there’s now an echo in the lounge. On Sunday the 52 inch tv is going and we’ll be left with a 30 inch screen. I won’t even be able to see the picture from where I sit lol!
Well thats about it for now, we hope you like the new look we have given the website, and don’t forget we will be doing our live Sunday Sundowners starting at 6pm this coming Sunday. So until then, take care everyone and enjoy the weekend.
Carl and Jenny.
Okay folks, we have a bit of a request. For those of you who watch our Youtube channel you will have seen on a couple of the later ones us two doing a bit of a jig to our theme music. What we would like to do to add some fun to the videos is to put small clips of our viewers doing the same jig on the titles at the end of each episode. SO if you’re up for it, just film a 15 sec clip of the jig on your phone or a camera, highest quality you can, and make sure if its on a phone its held in the landscape position. We will add the theme music so don’t worry about that. You can then send it us by email or Facebook messenger and then sit back and wait for the next episode. We’ve had a couple sent in already. They will be on the next episode:)
Here’s a link to a clip showing what we would like, or any variation of it. Scroll to 8.01minutes to view.
A prize for the best one (in our opinion).
Finally just an apology for not updating the blog page as much as we had intended. We now have several social media pages, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Whats app, Snap chat, You tube and Patreon, as well as our web site. We tend to update the other sites daily/weekly and the blog was getting missed. We’ll aim to keep it updated a bit more in future.
Have a great weekend and get those clips sent in.
Carl & Jenny x
Well we’ve had this course booked for some time now and the day came around when it was time to set off on this latest adventure!.
At the time of booking the only airport open in Greece within driving distance was Athens, also the only flight company advertising flights to Athens was British Airways, which meant we had to fly from Heathrow. We decided to travel down the day before the flight and book in at the Raddisson Blu hotel, they allow you to leave the car there in their car park for your trip. It’s only a few quid more than their normal room rate so well worth it. We travelled down on Monday afternoon and settled ito the restaurant that evening for one of the best steaks we’ve ever had.
Next morning we got an Uber cab (first time we’ve used Uber, using the iPhone app). Really good, and good prices. Our cab arrived and dropped us right outside the departure lounge at terminal 5. As this was going to be our retirement treat holiday (or one of them anyway) we upgraded the flights to premium, so got fast track security, priority boarding and VIP lounge all included. What a difference it makes to a less stressful experience.
We were soon landing in Athens, only a few months since we were here last, and as we have flown here a few times we are quite at home finding our way around the airport. We collected our bags and headed for the car hire booth. Within half an hour we were on the road. Sat nav set, showing a 5hr drive, eta 2100hrs. En route we called the sailing company to update them on our arrival time. Luckily a new motorway has been built which knocked off just over an hour so Neil & Di, the owners of Sail Ionian actually met us at the office. They very kindly allowed us to stay on the boat the night before our charter started so another thumbs up to their brilliant service. We stepped aboard our home for the next two weeks, a Bavaria 41′ yacht called “Off Piste”. Di had prepared a welcome pack for us consisting of loads of fruit, some tinned stuff, bread, oil, vinegar, salt & pepper and other bits and bobs and a very welcome bottle of wine and a few beers.
The following morning is what down to business, we were joined by our instructor for the next five days, Steve. It turns out that he used to live just a few miles down the road from us before he moved out to Greece 12 years ago. Small world. We soon became good friends and Steve’s calm knowledgable way of teaching was put to good use. By lunchtime of day 2 he told us we would be doing our night sail that evening!! I was nominated as Skipper for the night and so had to plan all the navigation which would take us over 5 hours sailing in the complete darkness with islands all around and the only instruments allowed was obviously the compass, nav tools, plotter and dividers and the trusty pencil. It was all down to preparation and being able to identify lights. Jen took the reponsibility for the pilotage planning once we arrived in the new harbour.
Well we set off, Jen wasn’t to happy with us sailing in the dark but I was quite confident in our abilities and my navigation. Along the way the wind picked up to a force 7, great sailing conditions, Steve kept trying to put doubt into my mind about my navigation as a bit of a tester but I stuck to my guns, didn’t flap, and it turned out to be spot on. We arrived at our harbour in the early hours, had a celebratory beer and hit the sack!
Over the next few days we learnt new skills and tweaked our already learnt ones to a fine tune. We visited some beautiful ports and anchorages and ate loads of chicken souvlaki’s, Greek salads and drank a few beers as well.
We got back to base on Sunday evening and was awarded our dayskipper practical certificates..a successful week and two very happy sailors/Captains!!
The following morning we set off out on our own……!!
Watch out for the next blog post about the next 9 days on our own.
Carl & Jenny x
Well in our last post we mentioned that we were getting ready to visit Amsterdam. Well we went and had a great time.
We went with a couple of friends of ours, Mark & Sarah, It was Sarah’s birthday whilst we were there so there were birthday celebrations while we were there.
We visited a few places we hadn’t been before, one of which was the Bodyworks museum. A really bizarre thing to see, but very interesting. Google it for more info, but not for the fainthearted!
We of course took in a boat trip and also visited the Maritime museum. The highlights of which can be seen on our video of the trip.
Well we were only back a week and then it was time for our next adventure… we set off to visit our great friends, Glyn & Julie, who now live just down the mountainside from Guadalest in Spain, (near to Benidorm). They made us most welcome, as always. We haven’t seen them for four years and we took off in conversation where we left off last time. It seemed like only the day before that we last saw them, true friendship. We managed to get out on their boat a couple of days and spent some relaxing days along the coast enjoying the warm sunshine and blue skies. Our latest video is the highlights of the visit.
We visited a couple of local markets which you’ll see on the video which were interesting and we managed to pick up a Sailors squeeze box for taking on our boat. Not sure how that will go down with the neighbours on a mooring!!
So, at the moment we are sat at home, getting ready for our next trip starting soon. We are off to the Ionian, and spending a couple of weeks on a Bavaria 41 yacht we have chartered. The first 5 days will be spent doing the practical Day skipper course and the remaining time, assuming we get qualified! will be spent on our own. We have planned to meet up with Kevin and Dee from Sailing Kejstral in the Zakynthos area, there are making their way over from Turkey as I write this. It will be great to catch up with them and spend some time sailing, eating and drinking with them. We are getting all of our camera gear ready that we are taking. We thought about taking the drone, but we might be struggling with the bags, we’ll decide on the day we leave.
Anyway, thats a bit of a catch up on what we’ve been up to. We bought the drone and a new compact camera, a Canon G7X mkii to add to the arsenal of equipment we have to film. We have a video of the first flights of the drone here. We love the idea that we can incorporate the drone footage into our videos to give a better finished film with some interesting angles to add to your enjoyment. I suppose going through security at the airport will be interesting with all the electrical items, batteries, cameras, chargers, laptop, ipad, kindle and phone!! Ah well, small prices to pay.
Right thats it for this post other than just to say a big Thank you to everyone who has started or continues to follow us on our social media pages. The numbers are growing by the day, along with the number of views we are getting as well. If you don’t already follow us on social media, check out our “Come Aboard” page on this site where you can find all the links to all of our social media channels, be good to have you aboard. Subscribers to our You Tube channel especially welcomed along with any thumbs up you can give us on our films, it helps us out no end as it helps with our rankings. It would be nice as well to see some of you leave comments on here as well.
Okay, that’s all folks, have yourselves a great day.
Until next time,
Carl and Jenny x
So thats it, the end of an era! Today is day one of both me and Jenny being retired! I officially retired on the 6th March although my last working day was about three weeks ago, and Jenny finished yesterday. Today i’m having to pull her reigns in and get her to adapt to slowing down a little bit. We have for all our working lives been fixed to shift patterns, timetables, strict schedules etc, but as from today that has come to an end. We have been very fortunate that this week we have been able to pay off all of our outstanding debts, cleared our mortgage and can now say, in the words of Dave Ramsey …. “WE”RE DEBT FREEEEEEE!!” and boy does that feel good. A few holidays to take that we’ve had booked over the next few months and then its boat buying time. Between now and then though, we have got to finish sorting out all of our belongings, deciding what we need to keep and what we don’t and minimise on everything so that the day we move onto the boat, everything will fit on!
So what’s been the typical day for me since I finished? Well, because i’ve had a pretty hectic job and quite a stressful one at times my biggest change has being slowing down, i’m getting used to it a bit now although now Jen has finished as well, the pace will probably pick up again lol! So, at the moment, wake up around 7.30am, and start with a 10 minute meditation session, a nice cup of tea (Earl Grey or green tea with lemon), a quick check through emails on my iPhone, social media and then check YouTube for any new uploads from the channels I subscribe to. Sometimes a second cuppa and then its time to face the day. Last year I started doing DDP Yoga which I really enjoyed so i’ve started doing that again, alternating with a new workout plan – the TRX suspension straps. If you’ve not heard of these then Google them and have a look on YouTube. Really easy and can be used almost anywhere, especially on a boat, one of the reasons we bought them. I got these off E-bay, brand new for around £15.00 but they sell for $185.00 so we got a good deal 🙂 Once thats out of the way a nice shower.
It’s then time for breakfast and a few household chores and then its been sorting through our stuff, doing some planning and a bit of time spent reading.
Here’s a link to 10 Benefits Of Reading: Why You Should Read Everyday I have been reading on average 3-4 books a month, in addition to reference books for studying and research. It’s surprising how much you can read and how much you learn in just a short time each day.
We will be visiting one of our favourite cities soon, Amsterdam, and aim to have a look around the Maritime museum. We’ll be taking the GoPro with us so will get some footage and put together a short video of the trip. We’ve not been for a while so looking forward to it.
Well, i’m going to finish off my cup of tea and watch the rest of the Live Extreme Sailing program. Have a great day everyone.
C & J
Well it seems ages ago now that we publicly announced to our friends and family that once we had retired we would be selling up, buying a boat and sailing off into the sunset. Even sitting here writing this it still seems a long way off, but not any more!
Our plan has always been to retire from work, sell the house and possessions, apart from a few sentimental ones, get the boat and set off! Family have always said “oh you’ll never do it” others have tried to talk us out of it, but now the time is coming quickly to put our dreams into fruition. I (Carl) finished work last Friday, although my official retirement date is in five days time. 30 years serving Queen and Country. Jenny finishes a few days later. At least I get a few days to myself lol!
“What’s happening with the kids?” we’ve been asked many times. Well our daughter is 23, has her own career working for Audi and is also a singer/ songwriter. She now lives up near Newcastle with her job. Our son (almost 21) has recently moved out and got his own house and is now settling into that quite well, although he calls on his way from work a few times a week for his tea. He has a job in the construction industry that he absolutely loves. So thats those two sorted. That just leaves our dog “Ruger”. We’ve had him since he was a pup and he’s been one of the best dogs we’ve ever had. However, he doesn’t travel that well and as much as we have considered taking him with us, we feel it would be too stressful for him to move onto a boat, and also our plans involve flying back home every few months and that would be totally impractical with having a dog onboard, what would we do with him when we fly home? So, reluctantly, we have found a new home for him. He will be going this coming weekend, i’m not looking forward to the day at all. We are so confident though with his new owners. They had a dog just like him who they idolised but who passed of old age, and from the meetings we’ve had, along with Ruger, they have already fallen in love with him and he has taken to them. We can be sure that he will be looked after well.
Questions we’ve faced along the way.
“Why would anyone want to give up all that they had acquired throughout their working lives to live on a boat?”
Well thats an easy one to answer, it’s something we set our heart on doing 30 yrs ago when I started my career. We knew back then that if I completed my 30yrs service then I would walk away at a fairly youngish age, have a good pension and a good payout. We love to travel, and we love seeing all the different cultures, and whilst we love being in Foreign countries, we wouldn’t want to settle in just the one, so why not do it by boat. We can stay in one place until we get fed up then move on.
“Why would you put yourselves in danger and move away from everything we hold dear?”
Have you ever seen the statistics for road traffic collisions/fatalities etc in this country. Well i’ve dealt with more than my fair share of them in the last 30yrs. If I never saw another one in the next ten years it would be too soon! I haven’t got numbers to hand but it’s going to be a hell of a lot more than people coming a cropper out on the ocean waves. Yes there are Pirates in certain areas, simple, don’t go to those areas. You wouldn’t walk down a dark alley in a rough neighbourhood at night for risk of being mugged, assaulted etc, same thing goes out on the sea. Yes we won’t be just a five minute car ride away from our family, but with phones, internet, skype, email we have instant communication, other than if we are a long way offshore. If we need to get back home its a four hour journey.
“You are going into the total unknown with no real plan.”
Well yes we are sort of, but not totally. We know we want to spend the first couple or three seasons down in the Med area around Greece, Turkey, Spain, Italy and eventually cross the Atlantic down to the Caribbean and beyond. But the beauty is we aren’t stuck to a timetable or itinerary. If we like somewhere we may stay a while, somewhere else where we’re not too keen on may be just a day or two, and that is what is exciting to us. We will just go, see what happens and follow the wind.
One of the main things we are looking forward to is meeting new people and new friends. Through our YouTube channel and Social Media we have already met up with a few new people and become friends. So far, because we all have something in common there’s been quite a natural bonding which has been nice. We are looking forward to inviting crews from neighbouring yachts over for a sundowner, and maybe even getting invited aboard theirs 🙂
So much to look forward to! But in the meantime we have so much to do to fully prepare. Our possessions are getting moved on albeit a bit to slow for Jens liking. I really must start listing on Ebay, Gumtree etc. again.
We would really appreciate it if you could take a look at our YouTube channel, have a look at the videos, and once you’ve watched it give it a big thumbs up using the Like button. If you want to see more and keep up to date as our plans progress click on the subscribe button as well and you’ll not miss an episode. Just click on the button below go straight to our channel, but just before you do, why not leave us a comment below. We’ll be sure to read and answer them all.
Until the next entry, take care, thanks for reading and have a great day.
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Carl & Jenny.
So this weekend, Jenny finally got time to sit down and do the theory exam.
She has been studying using the www.Navathome.com online course. I must say, it is a great course, well presented and the feedback from the instructors has always been within a few minutes of sending. We would highly recommend this company and their courses. I did my Dayskipper and Yachtmaster theory in 1994/95 so have been doing the course work myself as a bit of a refresher. It was well worth the money, and probably didn’t cost anymore than paying for a classroom course, the benefit of this one is that you can study whenever you want. Anyway, the good news is….she passed!!!!!
So in April we are off to Greece where we are both doing our practical course. We’ve hired a Bavaria 41 yacht, 5 days with the instructor, then assuming we get through the assessment, the next 9 days on our own sailing around the Ionian, can’t wait.
Here’s the latest video we’ve just uploaded to You Tube. Please give it a thumbs up if you like it and subscribe to be notified when the next one is released. Hope you enjoy it.
Carl and Jenny
Firstly, as the first post of 2017, Happy New Year.
We’ve been a bit quiet on the blog for the past couple of months as the sailing season had finished and we’ve had a lot going on with other family stuff. Hopefully now though we will be aiming to put out at least a weekly blog (Mondays) and as the weather gets warmer and we start our trips more regular videos. There are a couple extra videos gone up on our You Tube channel so make sure you check them out.
So, an update on where we are at the moment with our plans to set sail later this year. Well we are slowly weeding out our possessions, we knew this would be the hardest part, still a long way to go though. I (Carl) have 27 working days left till retirement 🙂 at least that will give me a little time to sort out the rest of our possessions. Our son gets the keys for his own house, so he will be moving out in a couple of weeks and we will be putting our house up for sale within the next couple of months. We have a house sitter coming in soon in the meantime as we have 3 months of travelling prior to buying the boat so they will be keeping an eye on the house and will be able to show prospective buyers around, all though the houses around here generally sell within a couple of weeks of going on the market.
We recently visited the London Boat Show, and treated ourselves again to stay on the London Sunborn Yacht right next to the Excel Arena in Victoria docks. Highly recommended if you are staying in London.
We were a bit disappointed with the show this year, there didn’t seem to be many people in attendance, certainly on the two days we were there, so the normal buzz and atmosphere was missing somewhat, so much so that we didn’t even bother filming the visit. But on the plus side we got to see a couple of shows we wanted to see, Jen bought me some really useful spanners for the boat and we confirmed that we still wanted to buy the Bavaria 46 yacht. A nice 3 days away all in all.
Yesterday we had visitors around. Kevin & Dee from the You Tube channel Sailing Kejstral Adventures. What a great couple. We had a lovely afternoon/evening with them, and Jen even got to cook a gorgeous Mousakka, served with Greek salad and wine.
It was great to finally meet Kevin and Dee in person, although for the first ten minutes it was like watching You Tube, listening to them lol. It felt like we had known each other for ages and hope this will be the start of a great friendship.
We could have talked a lot later than we actually did but they had a five hour drive ahead so we had to say our goodbyes. We will hopefully meet up in the Med later in the year.
See you next Monday.
Carl & Jenny x