I’ve now got just over seven months of early morning train action under my belt, commuting from Portsmouth on the 06:34 to London, it’s high time for a bit of reflective writing.  I’m looking back on the highs and lows of the commute, boat ownership and our first summer of sailing.  Things have definitely moved on since my first ‘Thoughts on a Train’ postRead More

After buying our Oyster 435 sailing boat in Ipswich, absolutely nowhere near our home, we needed to get the boat back to Portsmouth so we could start preparing her for our sailing adventure.  Getting her from Ipswich to Portsmouth involved crossing the terrifying Thames Estuary, riddled with sand banks, wind farms and massive ships, and sailing down the English Channel, the busiest shipping channel in the world ever, probably.  This was going to be an adventure, especially as we barely know the blunt end from the pointy end.  We’d better hire some help then.  Let’s hope we get enough wind to sail and don’t sink, eh?   Read More

Every sailing boat needs cool boat stuff!   People planning to sail the world, sailboat cruisers and liveabord families definitely need cool gadgets and fun stuff on their boat.   There are things you need for your boat and there are things you WANT for your boat.  Most of the lists of cool boating gadgets are actually just things you need.  Like life jackets, EPIRBS, waterproofs jackets and other stuff that you should have anyway.  Or dull stuff like gloves, LED lights and battery monitors.  Yawn.  

So here’s our list of cool boat stuff that we really, really want on our boat before we head off on our world sailing adventure.  Most of the list seems to be made up of fun watersports or diving stuff.  In fact most of it involves being underwater!  We’ll definitely get some of this stuff eventually, and I’m hoping we get all of it on our boat by the time we leave to sail the world.   But right now it seems the fun stuff for our boat will have to wait for us…. we need a new mast!   Read More

I first saw a Water-to-Go filter bottle at the Adventure Travel Show in London a few years ago. A man was filling up a chunky black plastic bottle from a fish tank full of muddy water, and then pouring out clear water into a glass and drinking it. In fact, he was passing it round for us to drink too. Impressive, I thought.  He claimed these Water-to-Go bottles had a unique water filtration system which filtered out 99.9% of the contaminants in water. “We don’t need those”, I thought, but I’d been hypnotised by his cheap selling trick, so I bought two bottles anyway. Our Water-to-Go bottles were tested thoroughly for a year while backpacking across Asia and Australia, Water-to-Go filter bottles are now an essential item for travelling. Read More

This is the story of how we negotiated and renegotiated the price of our boat, after getting a marine survey.  It’s a summary of how we searched for a boat, found a boat, made an offer on a boat, had a boat survey done, haggled, negotiated, whinged, cried and eventually, handed over a huge amount of money.  We are now skint and the proud owners of a 43 foot floating money pit.  Yay!  Read on…. Read More

We love Asia and so do our kids.  Asia is different to our home in the UK.  The culture, the food, the people, the transport, the climate, the language.  So much for your kids to learn and experience.  Travelling or holidaying in Asia with kids is a fantastic adventure, one that will stay with them for a long time, no matter what their age.  

Since we returned from our year-long backpacking adventure around Asia with our children, the question that we’re asked the most has to be “Where was your favourite place?”.  It’s a tricky question with no right answer.  It depends on you.  It depends on your family and your kids.  It depends on what sort of travelling you like, what sort of adventures you are looking for as a family.   

If this is your first travel adventure in this part of the world with your kids, this is our list of top travel destinations in Asia with kids.   Read More

After backpacking around the world, both with and without our kids, we’re pretty good at knowing what travel gear works in our backpacks, and what doesn’t.  We have our favourite travel accessories that are invaluable to us while on the road.  Some of them save space, some of them protect stuff, some of them organise stuff and some of them stop the kids getting bored and therefore annoying.  Can our favourite backpacking travel gear really turn into must have boat gadgets for our sailing trip around the world?   Read More

Buying your first boat is a crazy, terrifying, exciting, frustrating and above all, expensive business.  Buying a used sailing boat is even worse.  There are so many traps to fall into, so many untruths to uncover, so many complicated procedures to follow.  We’ve just about managed to stumble our way through to boat ownership.  It’s the first step in our plan to sail around the world with our kids, and it has been an exhausting process.  Looking back, we’ve made lots of boat buying mistakes, but here are the details of the biggest ones.  Hopefully you can avoid making the same ones.  Read More