On Monday 13th August 2018, we sailed out of Port Solent Marina in Portsmouth, UK, on our biggest adventure yet.  An adventure to explore the world using a sailing boat as our base and home.   Read More

“Of course you don’t need a new mast.  Nobody has ever replaced a mast on an Oyster!”

That’s what we were told over and over again, by rigger after rigger and surveyor after surveyor.  But here we are, many months later, with our brand new mast gleaming in the sunlight.  Over in Sweden, a slab of corrosion-free aluminium was lovingly moulded into an 18m long tube, almost exactly the same as the one we already had, and lowered into the deck of our 1990 Oyster 435 sailing boat.   Read More

Renaming a boat is something that seems to strike fear into the hearts of superstitious sailors everywhere. Apparently it’s really bad luck to change the name of a boat, even if the current name is a bit rubbish. If you are brave enough to anger the gods by changing a boat name, then there are boat renaming ceremonies that have to be performed, rules that have to followed, and alcohol that has to be drunk (ok, so it’s not all bad) before any changes can take place. Neptune or Poseidon or some other god of the seas or the winds has to be stroked, caressed and plied with alcohol. Luckily, I’m not even slightly superstitious. Read More

What are our must have boat gadgets for living aboard and travelling on our sailing boat??  After travelling overland around the world, we were pretty good at knowing what travel gear worked in our backpacks, and what didn’t.  We had our favourite travel accessories that are invaluable to us while on the road.  Since buying a sailing boat and setting off around the world, we have found essential boat  and sailing gadgets for entertainment, safety, fun, relaxation and convenience.  Can our favourite backpacking travel gear really turn into must have boat gadgets for our sailing adventure around the world?  Sometimes, yes.  But there are so many more boat gadgets too. Read More

I’d been looking forward to “hauling out day” for about a month. It marked the official end of our first sailing season and would be the start of a new chapter in the book that I’m going to write about all of this when I get around to it (although I said that about the ‘Backpacking Around the World with Kids’ book too). I was full of optimism about all the jobs we’d be able to get done, but also slightly fearful about what we’d find lurking below the waterline when the boat was taken out of the water for the winter.  I was also completely naive about the reality of working on a boat over the winter in the UK.  The steep learning curve and the unforeseen boat projects continue! Read More

The learning curve of an inexperienced, new boat owner has been a lot steeper than I expected.  Owning and fixing up an older sailing boat for cruising the world has been much more of an emotional roller coaster ride that I was prepared for.  During the first five months, we have had many boat maintenance wins and fails and I’m sure there are many more to come.  I’m hoping we’ve found most of the broken bits, but I fear we haven’t even scratched the surface.  Read on for a quick summary of our wins and fails so far. Read More

The RYA Diesel Engine Course doesn’t sound like the most exciting way to spend a Sunday, does it?  Well, it isn’t.  But if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to learn all about that diesel engine on your boat and save loads of money in the long term, this is it!  Read this review to find out all about it… Read More

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