SIX YEARS HAVE PASSED…..
Six years ago today I left my normal life and became a boat gypsy. I moved aboard our yacht Fandancer and my life changed forever. For the first 15 months we lived aboard in the boatyard in Gosport with the boat out of the water while Tim renovated every inch of her by himself.
Such a lot of things have happened since then…..
Tim and I got married (October 2010)
My daughter Jess got married.
I’ve had two grandsons and two granddaughters born.
My younger brother died (June 2014)
My father died (March 2016)
We sailed from Gosport and crossed the channel in October 2011, then travelled from north to south of France on canals and rivers, carrying the two masts on deck.
The first winter we spent in the French canal town of Beaucaire, between Arles and Avignon. One week the canal froze, it was -7degC, and slabs of ice surrounded the boat!
The second winter in 2012, we stayed with the boat on the Greek Island of Syros, in the Cyclades. In 2013 we kept Fandancer in a boatyard in Oreoi on the island of Evia, and the last two years in Preveza in the Ionian.
Since arriving in Corfu in May 2012, we have been to 42 Greek islands. My favourite Greek islands/harbours that we have visited have been Hydra, Paxos and Fourni.
In April 2014 we rescued a stray kitten, named her Artemis, and she is our boat cat (although she is currently on holiday in the UK).
Since my grandchildren have been born, over the winter months we have left Fandancer in Greece and have returned to the UK so I can spend time with them.
We don’t have a house to live in, so in 2013 we rented a holiday cottage on the Isle of Wight, in 2014 we rented a holiday barn in Hampshire, and last winter we had another rental property also in Hampshire.
We don’t have long term plans, but our current idea is to leave the boat in Greece again in winter 2016, and try to buy a very small property in Hampshire so we have a UK base to come back to and use when we like, and a home for us when I am old and decrepit. Although I think Tim would prefer to live on the boat for the rest of his life and never set foot on land again, I am now missing my home comforts and look forward to having somewhere comfortable to sit (boats are not that comfortable to sit on), and a washing machine, as I am fed up of washing my knickers in a bucket….