James and Debbie are the wrong side of forty. They have decided to take a belated gap year cruising the inland waterways of Englarand and Wales. Will the gap year last more than a year and can you forgive James for being an estate agent?
Just us two, that’s James and Debbie Ward
First part; we are both just the wrong side of 40 with our daughter Jess settled at Winchester Uni. We have a house in Poole Dorset that we have just rented out for a year. We used to really like kayaking and walking but as jobs got busier leisure time got less. Oh, I’m a bit of a waffler as well
Second part; Wow, the $64k question. We were both really fed up of our 9-5 (8-8 in my case) sort of corporate work lifestyles and wanted the opportunity to see what life and other parts of the UK was all about. We have both worked full time since the day we left school and really needed our ‘gap year’. We moved to Poole on a whim (I’m that kind of person) we had lived in Basingstoke and enjoyed daytrips to the coast. We have no family there and no ties so why not look at other parts of the UK to live in and seeing the Uk at 3mph sounded like a good start. I guess it would be a great opportunity to live on a shoestring to retrain ourselves to live within our means rather than spend what we earned. (Did I mention that I am a bit of a waffler?)
She is called Lois Jane, don’t know why, it was all down to the previous owner as was the apples and pears paintings as well. I am sure it all means something.
No we are CC’ers. We plan to get a mooring over winter (Dec, Jan and Feb) and get some temporary work.
Picked up the keys about mid Feb 2012 and started sanding, varnishing and wandering around saying OMG what have we done.
Scrimped and saved for a couple of years of a 10 year plan before waking up one day and saying ‘we’re going to the bank to re-mortgage the house’ I didn’t want to wait another 8 years! My most recent background was Estate agency and it’s associated financing so I was able to get quite good mortgage rates that meant we would still have a good few hundred pound over from the rent we were charging our tenants to live on.
Not at the mo, Deb is hoping to do a bit of online admin and I’ve got a couple of pin money ideas, but again I want to aim to earn what I need to live not fit my lifestyle around what I earn.
Probably not having the postman knocking on the door. Being CC’ers all post goes to my mother in law. I will try out the post offices ‘Post restante’ soon. but as far as I know businesses like ebay wont send to the post office.
A different view every fortnight from my lounge window. I also like the fact that it is a bit quirky, the life style always has an opinion ‘fantastic idea’ or ‘b****y idiot’ everyone has an opinion and questions.
Gunwales 2″ higher. I know it’s only a small point but head height with the cross bed is a bit too tight!
Bike and flat-bed bike trailer with a big plastic box on the back. Deb’s bike has a front basket and back rack for quick trips.
I fitted a mini zanussi washing machine which has been fantastic
Pump out that lasts the two of us about a month, but we also use a small port-a-loo. How can I put this … one for solids and one for liquids to maximise the time we can stay in one place.
Mifi by 3. Yes it’s great. ?18 per month for 15gb and we can take it out walking or cycling to use google maps etc
Too early to tell yet but leaving Braunston and surrounding areas felt like moving home again, it’s a great area.
It was a bit of a disaster when we started. Dead batteries meant being very careful and charging via the engine for about 3.5 hours (?5ish per day) Since then new batteries and 4 x 100w solar panels have cut charging down to about an hour and a half (?2 ish) which is a massive difference. I think we use about 120 amps per day.
Not thinking about that yet….. still waiting for summer to start!
Be realistic, it is not always going to be a bed of roses. You have got to dig deep into Google to get specific answers as most sites will be quite vague with budgets and expenditure. This web site is what I used as the basis of all regular costs and I was then able to adjust accordingly like ‘my boat is newer so better insulated’ etc. I will hopefully post my budget and actual costs soon but so far we are not too far out.
You can find out more about James and Debbie’s watery gap year on their blog.
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