About us and the boat

About us and the boat:

We were lucky enough to retire early at the start of 2013 so we could head off and "live the dream" on board our Nordhavn 47 Trawler Yacht. The idea is to see some of the planet, at a slow 6 - 7 knots pace. There are no fixed goals or timings, we just had a plan to visit Scotland and then probably the Baltic before heading south.

The Baltic has been postponed as we didn't manage to see everything we wanted to in Scotland during our first year owing to family issues. The idea is to visit the nicer areas in these latitudes before heading south for warmer weather. If we like somewhere, we will stay for a while. If not, we will just move on. So, for the people who love forward planning and targets, this might seem a little relaxed!

If anyone else is contemplating a trawler yacht life, maybe our experiences will be enough to make you think again, or maybe do it sooner then you intended!

The boat is called Rockland and she is built for long distance cruising and a comfortable life on board too. If you want to see more about trawler yachts and the Nordhavn 47 in particular, there is a link to the manufacturers website in our "useful stuff" section. For the technically minded, there is a little info and pictures of the boat and equipment in the same section


Richard and June

Friday, 10 November 2017

Dogdate County Durham continued

The travelling around thing continued with Tynemouth and a visit to the Priory and Castle ruins:

Fascinating site with real atmosphere. A priory come castle come World War 1 fortification come WWII fortification. Well worth a visit with a few relics of the more recent past still in place:

Another excellent walk was from Bellingham to the waterfall at Hareshaw:

Of course, with all this activity some down time was needed. Archie enjoyed his by licking the crew most fastidiously:

Linda on the other hand proved that the ride quality of a Defender isn't that bad by managing to sleep in the back of it underway:

Publishing this less than flattering image might seriously damage our already limited popularity but if you can't live dangerously from time to time......

Back in Corbridge again, the two dogs were desperately keen to get to a tiny little mouse that was on the pavement:

They both tested out their harnesses and leashes to the maximum but the mouse survived. It came close to a sticky end when someone walking by, glued to their mobile phone, nearly trod on it. Andrew rescued it and put it into the nearby churchyard. The Vicar is probably so pleased about this.

On the survival note, this print on the kitchen window of John and Irene's house was worrying:

There was no sign of a dead / stunned owl outside though so we reckon that it survived with perhaps a bit of a headache.

On Whitley Bay beach, Archie and Izzy met Boris the schnauzer:

Then the fun kicked off - working as a team, then pinned him down rather effectively:

Archie looked rather pleased with the way things worked out:

There were plenty of good local eating and cake establishments. After a good walk or beach fun with the hounds, you feel as though you deserve cake somehow. Two miles from the house was The Kitchen Cafe with the most wonderful home made offerings. Go there for the blueberry and mango cake, backchat form Garry the owner and to meet all the local elderly ladies who frequent the place. You get life histories fast and often....

For those who understand Geordie, here is a Whitley Bay restaurant frontage:

For those who don't and who think that a Hinny is a cross between a male horse and female donkey, we are pretty sure that was not on the menu,

Monday, 6 November 2017

Being responsible for Archie - no pressure at all

You have met John and Irene on here before. You have also met their rather important Lakeland Terrier, Archie (he came over to Guernsey with us earlier this year for example). Well, the poor lad was abandoned to our care by his strangely trusting owners who went off for a family wedding on the other side of the world. What do you do to amuse a typical nearly 9 years old terrier? Well, first of all, you give him a 2 year old girl to play with:

Yes, Anne came along for a few days and then left Izzy the spoodle with us. Somehow having a younger woman around seemed to put a spring in Archie's step. No comment.

Then we tried to offer lots of stimulation - John and Irene live in Hamsterley Mill (Google it!) near Newcastle and there are many great walks in the area. Also nearby lives Colin the BA Captain who owns another Nordhavn 47 (Albatross) and who let us see his splendid riverside flat at North Shields.

Plenty of dog walking followed. One wander near Wylam along the river was particularly good, taking in an impressive disused railway bridge  :

The Boathouse pub at the end of the walk was interesting. The lunch menu was a toasted sandwich or Pie and mushy peas (no potato involved). The choice was a no brainer - and a good decision too as the pie was stuffed full of meat. As were we afterwards.

Both dogs love the beach of course and there are some excellent ones on the local coastline. Izzy enjoyed digging at South Shields:

although Archie treated her efforts as a toilet afterwards:

We didn't know the area at all well and so we felt the need to explore a little. Durham is such a lovely city and the cathedral is quite something - although with two dogs in tow it has to be admired from the outside:

Corbridge suffers from having a must visit spot - the Bike cafe that we were introduced to a couple of years ago by John and Irene. A repeat visit with Anne and then Andrew and Linda (who also came "up north" to see us) was a must do. Why? Well, here is the cranberry, white chocolate and pumpkin seed scone:

No more proof needed - although the savoury stuff is excellent too. What else, well, the poor Defender had a moment - starting became hit and miss so he was recovered by the Land Rover Assistance service and taken to the best local dealer, Team Valley Land Rover.  We had a loan car from Land Rover:

A Range Rover sport autobiography at about £83K. Frankly, no! Typical example of a modern "sports" suspension SUV with huge low profile tyres and an unnecessarily harsh ride. Much prefer the normal Range Rover - perhaps age is something to do with the desire for a better ride quality on our crowded and poorly maintained roads. Mind you, we own a Defender......

Archie liked the back of the Range Rover though:

However, he also loves his nest in the back of the Defender:

which the good guys at Team Valley fixed. What was wrong?  The wiring for the Tracker system that was put in by the Edinburgh dealer at purchase time had caused the ignition switch to have burnt contacts. Thanks Pentland Land Rover. Thanks a lot.

As part of the "keeping the dogs stimulated" approach, the river walk at Hexham was fun too.  Someone with a Tonka Toy Japanese truck seemed to have either a sense of humour or was very sick indeed:

We did wonder why they hadn't claimed any mobility scooters - they would be a prime target for us.

A trip to Newcastle and walk along the river showed the Tyne bridges at their best:

and the rather futuristic Sage building:

On the river, we saw one white ensigned craft that we doubt is a member of the Royal Yacht Squadron or the Royal Navy:

Wonder where they got the ensign from. Might look impressive, if slightly illegal, on our Nordhavn.