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

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

A penguin dominated Xmas

Poor Patrick has been a little ignored recently. He has been left as a guard penguin whilst we were going back and forth to Norfolk and he hasn't starred in this blog for a while either. Well, we didn't help his ego by forgetting to buy him a Xmas present. He had previously missed out on getting first birthday presents too (that was on the 23rd) and so he was quite sniffy all day. He turned his back on us, grabbed the remote control and watched trash TV and using the laptop as a bum warmer. Actually most Xmas TV is trash of course so that wasn't too hard for him to find :

No matter what, we will have to work hard to win him around in the next few days. Sharing a small boat with a snifffy penguin is no fun. We will keep you updated on this most important topic.

Xmas in Penarth was great. Not because June's parents decided not to join us (wind and rain) but because the weather was very kind. A nice walk in the sun to prepare for the traditional monster dinner really helped. We even had a small Xmas tree on board so it felt a little festive:

The marina held an illuminated boat contest, the winner gets a watercolour painting of their boat by a local artist. Every entrant gets a £5 electricity supply credit too. We reckon this was simply a money making scheme seeing how many fairy lights were festooned around the place and how much power they must be burning:

Stuart the marina manager asked if we were going to take part, then immediately realised it would cost a small fortune to dress a tall Nordhavn overall in lights and that fitting them would be a major health and safety challenge. Frankly, if we had a ladder tall enough to get to the top of the fibreglass stack, we would simply wash off the green goo that has accumulated on the satellite domes, not mess about with lights. Xmas; bah humbug!

The recent storms didn't have much impact on us here. The marina is very well sheltered and a few cm of water really doesn't make a difference here! Actually, thinking about it, the rain did - we went for a trip out during the week and had to lock out of the marina upwards as the water level in the bay was higher than normal - usually there is a permanent free flow and the gates just open for us. Not a huge issue to be fair.

Some very good news for regular readers of this drivel. You probably saw the pictures about the BA 747 which had a small collision with a building in South Africa whilst taxiing (not knowing the full details, we still guess the building was not to blame):

The excellent news is that Coleen, our transvestite BA 747 Captain friend was not steering the thing. That could have seriously damaged not just the plane but also his pension prospects. He looked suitably relieved:

Again, regular readers will spot that he seems to have undergone a little corrective surgery and hair colouring since we last showed a picture of him/her in September. He/she also seems rather close to the other lady (or man??) in the picture. We get more and more concerned about his behaviour now.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Storms and the "how much can you get into a VW Golf" game

Well, just before we were due to leave Caister-on-Sea (and complete on the sale of the bungalow there, a nice big storm and corresponding spring tide decided to batter the East coast. Luckily, the bungalow is on one of the high areas of the village. If it flooded, then half of Norfolk would already be underwater.

The beach too a pasting though - most of it seemed to vanish overnight as did the cafe that has been on the beach ever since the captain was a kid. Now it is more "all over the beach" than on the beach:

UK readers of this strange blog probably saw some coverage of the chaos. For people outside the BBC / ITV world, here are a couple of pictures showing how the storm surge took out houses etc a few miles up the coast:

In Great Yarmouth, there was a little car wash irony:

We had less excitement, until it came to loading up the hire car to get back to Penarth. With careful thought, you can get more into a little Golf than the baby petrol engine wishes to drag up hills. Then of course, you have to find spots inside an already full Nordhavn 47 to store it all - the rental companies get a bit sniffy if you return the car with overflow stuff inside.

Well, mission finally accomplished, bungalow emptied and sold. There will be fewer "Norfolk" posts now and most certainly nothing about "Great" Yarmouth. We can both live the rest of our lives in total contentment without ever seeing that place or the delightful imported and unemployed people again. How places change when the holidaymakers and their money vanish and guest houses turn into doss houses.....


Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Saying bye bye to Norfolk

It has been a bit quiet on the post front as we have been away from the boat, doing the last tidy up of the bungalow in Caister-on-sea before it is sold. The Captains' childhood Austin J40 pedal car has found a new good home and the little sailing dinghy is off to become an exhibit in the Museum of the Broads. Interesting place, have a look at: http://www.museumofthebroads.org.uk/

The dinghy was built in the 1950's by Herbert Woods Ltd, which in those days was a famous local wooden boatbuilder and hirer. She was used as a hirefleet dinghy, being dragged around the broads and abused behind hired cruisers and yachts until 1971 when she was damaged and sunk while moored up at the boatyard. Here is how she looks today:

One nasty shock that is relevant for other boating types who have Zodiac liferafts like us:

Apparently the new owners of the Zodiac business have hiked up the spare parts prices dramatically. A 3 year service on our 4 man canister "Open Sea" liferaft now costs about £460! Ouch. A quality replacement from another manufacturer is about £1,400 so you are a bit stuck. Zodiac owners beware....

We should be back afloat early next week and then are being invaded by an ex-detective living in the south of France. Tension and intrigue built, we will leave it at that for now.....