As we approached the middle of the final decade of the last century – my God that makes us feel old! – we decided that now the family had left home and were setting up a future of their own, it was time to plan our future. There were so many things we wanted to do in our lives before it was too late. So in 1999, Pete took early retirement to start the preparations.
We had owned boats for a few years and with Pete’s background being a Navigating Officer in the Merchant Navy, our retirement adventures surely lay somehow, on the water. We already owned a fabulous sailing boat, “Wandering Star”, a Nicholson 32 but so it was that in the middle of Pete’s retirement year, we placed an order also for the building of a narrow boat steel shell.
N/B “Free Spirit”, as she was named, was delivered in December that year and Pete made it his full time job to work fitting her out as our home, whilst Margaret continued teaching in a nearby school. By the end of January 2001 she was completed and launched, and on the 1st February we moved aboard.
Our bungalow was rented out, and after one last wonderful eight week cruise aboard our Nicholson 32 S/Y “Wandering Star”, she was put on the market. N/B “Free Spirit was now our permanent home and the adventure had begun.
For the next three years we lived full time aboard her as we cruised 90% of the English canal system, a truly relaxing way to start our full time retirement. By the end of 2003 however, the sea and our continued dream were calling as “Free Spirit” was put on the market. She was remarkably sold within just three weeks at full asking price, somewhat of a shock as we thought we would be spending the winter aboard whilst she was sold. The new owners wanted to move aboard her within two weeks, so with our house still being rented out, we found ourselves virtually homeless!
A caravan was hurriedly purchased and this became our new home, as we toured the country looking for the ideal sailing boat to commence our next adventure.
By the end of January we had found her. S/Y “Market Lady”, a Vancouver 32, lay forlornly in Northshore’s Boat Yard near Chichester. By the end of March we had taken delivery of her and after working on her to restore her to her original glory, nobody could have been more proud than Margaret or Pete as she was launched at the beginning of May.
The caravan was sold, we moved aboard and spent a fantastic year cruising the English south coast, Isles of Scilly and the Brittany coast whilst getting to know her. Winter of that year was spent aboard her berthed in Falmouth, which we thoroughly enjoyed whilst carrying out various modifications in preparation for our adventure.
The months ticked by until we were finally as ready as we would ever be. At 1200 on the 1st June 2005, we slipped the lines from our mooring on the Town quay, destination …. three years cruising to the Med.
The rest is history, here we are now in 2013 and we are still there. We are enjoying a most amazing time cruising and living aboard a most fantastic yacht, home and magic carpet. Only difference now to when we first left in 2005, is that in March 2012, we became also, the proud owners of Motor Home “Te Papa” with which we complement our cruising.
At present, both “Market Lady” and “Te Papa” are out here in Aktio Boat Yard, Preveza, Greece where we are carrying out an extensive refit to “Market Lady” enjoying the luxury of living in “Te Papa” whilst we do.
If we have the fortune for our health to continue, despite Pete fast approaching his 70th birthday and Margaret not that far behind, we are not yet ready for our rocking chairs. Our adventuring will continue for as long as we are able in one form or another.
We like to believe we are “Living The Dream”, have we both always held the same dream? a very interesting question, why not read, also on this site, our individual understanding of “The Dream” (Pete’s Page & Margaret’s Page) as we initially set off from Falmouth back in 2005. Meanwhile, why not bookmark our site in your favourites, we would love you to join us on our travels by following us on our web pages, as we continue to live up to our motto:-
Living Life dot com …. until all life dot gone.