Posts in Category: Planning

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 We have had to renew all of the safety equipment as it was all out of date and to legally sail in Greek waters these had to be done.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

Contracts are signed!

Well it’s all official now!

We’ve just got back from our solicitors. There’s no going back now, we’ve just signed the contracts for our house sale!

Our completion date is next Friday. Once we receive the call from the solicitor on Friday morning to say our funds have been transferred into our bank that’s it. We are of no fixed abode! Although we do have a temporary residing address for mail and stuff.

The boat transfer is scheduled for the 1st November so from that day onwards we will be the legal owners of our “Dream”.

So where will we stay in the meantime?

Earlier today we went and paid for our new van, so we are now the official owners of a Nov 2014 Vauxhall Movano 2.3 CDTI High roof LWB van which we will be converting into a full camper van hopefully within the next two weeks. Side windows are being fitted today so once we pick it up tomorrow we have a trip up to North Yorkshire to pick up the carpet liner. Then once we get back the work starts on insulating and lining it out. We’ll be doing a video series about the conversion. We will be staying in the van until completion and then driving it down to Crete so we will have a week or so camper van road trip to get down to the boat.

When we get to Crete the first thing will be to antifoul the boat and get her back in the water. We’ll then spend some time getting used to boat life. Because we won’t be doing much sailing over the winter we are planning on doing a road trip a road trip to explore Crete. The beauty of having the van with us is that the only extra cost will be fuel. We are going to be land and sea gypsies!

We’ve been waiting all year for this and now it seems to have come around all at once. We’ve still a fair few things to get rid of, pass on, sell etc but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

On a final note, the weather here at home is now starting to turn quite Autumnal rapidly. The drizzly days have started, along with colder evenings, i’ve now had to pack my flip flops as i’ve had to start wearing socks for the first time since March. We are also starting to lose the light around 6pm, the sign of season change, so it won’t be quite so hard to drive off towards sunnier climes! The first few weeks are going to be rally hard emotionally we think, because it will be the first time we will have left the family for any time other than the holidays, so it may be easier for everyone if we all just say we are on an extended holiday. It will only be a few weeks till we are back visiting anyway, although this will be the first Christmas ever we wont have spent it with family. We will make sure we have Skype set up before we leave for our parents and kids so we can at least keep in touch that way.

Oh, and one last thing, just realised, this Sundays “Sunday Sundowner chat” will be the last one from our house, so we may have to open a bottle of bubbly. The ones following will be from on the road and then the boat, so join us for that.

See you all on Sunday.

Carl & Jenny.


At last, Dayskipper practical course in Greece

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

The time is ticking down and getting faster!!

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.
Follow our blog with Bloglovin

Carl & Jenny.

Our trip to the Southampton Boat show

On Thursday we set off from home to the south coast where we had planned to spend a few days at one of our favourite places on the Dorset coast, Wareham and Poole. We had booked a hotel right on the sea front at Poole Quay, it couldnt have been in a better position. We arrived just after lunch after a steady drive down, checked in, unloaded the bags then made our way onto the seafront terrace where we spent a couple of hours with a nice bottle of red wine relaxing watching the boats.
Following morning we were off to the boat show where we met up with some other YouTuber sailors, Paul and Lucy from S/V Patience. We had a great day at the show and made new friends.
Here’s a video of the day. Please give it a thumbs up if you like it, and even better, subscribe to our channel.
Carl and Jenny

Latest video now online

We had a drive recently up to the sailing club to see if the boat (Parker 21) had been put back in the water after it was damaged during the Isle of Wight round the island race. It was late in the afternoon but the boat was sat on its mooring, but it was too late to go and have a sail. So we planned to go and have a chill/de-stress day pottering about a few days later.

The weather forecast was for light to moderate winds but probably wet. Well the day came around and as you’ll see in the video, it wasn’t the most ideal of sailing weather….no wind at all and throwing it down with rain!

So, we battened down the hatches, and had a theory training session.

Please have a look at the short video we’ve put together and if you like it give it a thumbs up, and if you’d like to follow us on our journey from novice sailors to liveaboards in 2017 please subscribe to the channel.

Hope you enjoy it,  now off for the morning yoga and meditation session.

C & J

Passage Planning – Collision Regs – Symbols


The postman has been 😀

Three more books have arrived to help out with our planning. The first two, the symbols and abbreviations and the collision regs we already have but our copies are a few years old so we thought it best to update them. Not a lot of difference apart from the prices!!!

The third book, Passage planning is a new one to the collection and I’ve already started reading this one this afternoon. The weather outside can’t decide what to do today, so I’m swapping from being sat outside in the sun, to being sat inside watching the dark skies and showers. Looks like some clear skies coming so once this post is uploaded I might be back out there reading the book.

I had the privelidge this morning of passing on some filming tips on one of the Facebook pages we are members of. It’s always nice to be able to pass on a bit of knowledge to someone else, I’m pretty sure that there will be some questions posted by us in the months to come so it will be nice to get some answers in return. Instant Karma!

No studying tonight as Jenny has a meeting with the girls from her netball team along with a meal so it’s a night in for me, ideal time to read more of the books.

Our food and drinks kitty has been paid today for our charter in October. There are 8 of us chartering two boats 4 on each, and will be leaving Plymouth on the Monday for a five day sail. Destination to be decided once we get a bit closer and have up to date weather forecasts. We are expecting a bit of rough water though 😳.

C & J

Trip to the London Boat Show

We spent the weekend in London staying on the beautiful floating super yacht Hotel, the Sunborn, moored up at the side of the Excel Exhibition Centre at The Royal Victoria Dock, where we visited the London 2016 Boat Show.

We started on the next chapter of our lives and now looking what style, size etc of yacht we will be buying to move aboard and finally live out our planning of 30yrs.

Join us through the next few months of planning, the good and the bad. We have been inspired by quite a few sailor/vloggers out there to document our own journey. We hope you enjoy it and will continue to join us.

Carl & Jenny.