|'Easter spot' the Kennet and Avon Canal|
|Ruby at Dundas Aquaduct K&A canal|
|Seth still fairly disheveled stocking up for winter|
Duncan has owned "Star Shell" his 1959 Stella since 1999 which currently rests at St Winnow on the river Fowey in Cornwall awaiting a little tlc before she can next go on a soujourn possibly to Scotland.
How did we end up here?
I have always loved the sea and bought my narrowboat as a way of ameliorating the shock of moving from Scarborough; where I walked down the cliff side to the beach every day I was there, to Leeds. I never knew that it was a reasonable proposition to own a sailing boat but that changed when I met Duncan.
Duncan has been around boats his whole life. His parents have cruised together to many places in their holidays and at weekends and didn't feel that having a family should stop them.
Do we know what we're doing?
We have an idea but we don't 'know'. I have now lived on a narrowboat almost ten years, Duncan built his over five years before selling it and gave Starshell a complete refit including knees, refastening and engine reconditioning together with all the maintenance a wooden boat requires. Duncan is a qualified RYA sailing instructor and can teach up to yachtmaster level.
However, we have no formal training and certainly no qualifications in boat building. We are learning as we go along and trying our best. We do not have all the answers but try to keep the minutiae pondering within reason so that we can get on with it. There is no doubt that Duncan is much better at this than me. It's so easy for a potentially simple job to get extremely complicated and over think the problem. This said, we would hope to do a better job if we did many of our tasks again, having learnt the first time. Certainly the whole project would go faster knowing what we now know. Neither of us begrudge this time spent on getting Impetuous ready. It's been a great learning curve; not only increasing our skills and confidence massively but also we feel that knowing your boat well is imperative. Sure it's been fun too but maybe not ALL that sanding!
What's the plan?
The plan is to get Impetuous in the water here in Kemah (where Nasa control is, near Houston) around the beginning of March. Once we're in the water we've got some rigging, testing and finishing off jobs to do before we leave for good, perhaps mid April.
First port of call, all being well with rig and engine will be Cuba. We plan to stay a while to congratulate ourselves and fix anything that breaks before we head off towards wherever next feels right. The most likely contenders are Mexico or Belize in order to get to Guatemala around the end of June.
These plans are far from cast and as always we are flexible as to how things turn out. In July, wherever we are, we'll get Impetuous all safely tucked up and leave her whilst we go back to our Narrowboat in England to do some building of that and go to work to earn some money!
Our plan for our life to come is to roughly divide our time between 'Seth' in England and 'Impetuous' wherever she is. We'd like to go to the Pacific in 2014 and we'd like to see some more of the English canals if we can make time.
How do we do it?
We're not exactly sure except that we chose to, so we do. I'm a qualified Nurse and Duncan is a qualified school teacher, as well as sailing instructor. Living in England neither of us have yet struggled to find work when we've wanted it. We know we are lucky that what we like to do can be so flexible and it certainly makes us appreciate our jobs all the more. Seth, Impetuous and Star shell all need moorings while we are away, so in the future we would hope to rent out Seth, our narrowboat when we are on Impetuous.
We do not live like most people; ask anyone who knows us and they will agree. We are very happy to exist in situations others would not dream of for long periods of time in order to achieve our goals and work towards what we want. We are extremely frugal and have mostly simple wants. We are willing to sacrifice what others would consider essential comforts in order to live the lives we choose.