Six years ago, the adventure began…


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.


In the canal

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!


Canal boats, France

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….


13 thoughts on “Six years ago, the adventure began…

  1. I am to follow in your footsteps soon. So am finding this interesting. It is not for a sense of adventure (though it might be for my husband) but because it is cheaper to live that way. I am slowing selling-off and giving away my home comforts. I will really miss my washing machine and my book-binding.


  2. I am a pretty new follower and so this update post was great!
    You really have us so much in between the lines with updates and what a great 6 years –
    I had a Friend who lived on a boat and she said it was damp all the time – but also fun!
    And your fandancer is truly beautiful – your husband did a great job!
    Also – the photo with the grandkids – ahhhh – life is good!
    Have a great week.


  3. Are there washing machines in the marina’s in Greece? Thankfully many have them in Finland! In Estonia at Haapsalu, there was even a laundry lady who seemed to live in the laundry room.


  4. Loved that one, how it all happened etc. I could have got used to that sort of life at one time, but now things have caught up on me and Mr. Swiss is not getting younger, so I will probably spend the rest of my days in a small village in Switzerland where the cows and hedgehogs wave good night to each other. you have really made the most out of life, and I do envy you a little bit. Thanks for that summary, I now know how the boat people live – and a good life it is.


    • Thanks for reading and for your nice comments. At least we can say we’ve had a go. I’d hate to look back in ten years time and say to myself – “if only I’d done that while I had the chance”….


  5. Well done as usual. Perhaps you can buy a place near a canal so that TH can live on a long boat and you can have your house. Entertaining reading. I always make time to read your blogs, never make time to write mine.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Only five more sleeps in Greece…a list of what I’ve missed. | Third Time Lucky!

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