Narrowboat AREandARE

From the 2009 & 2010 tantalising tales, traumas and stunning photographs of Barry (photographer) and Sandra (writer) from New Zealand aboard NB 'Northern Pride', to the stories of their 2013 return journey, purchase of 'AREandARE', progress on sustaining their live aboard continuous cruiser lifestyle, and Barry's quest to gain residency and 'Indefinite Leave to Remain' in UK ...

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Countdown to our return to Northern Pride

As the snow continues to envelop Britain, we're sitting smugly in our sunny Gisborne paradise, and I for one am thankful that we're not freezing our butts off aboard Northern Pride! 


Self-timer shot on our honeymoon at Anaura Bay (if you look closely at the photos on this link you'll see Sandra sat at the table outside, taken November 2008)

Barry, on the other hand, drools over the photos of narrowboats sitting prettily in the arctic conditions and amazingly longs to experience a Northern Hemisphere winter on the canals - I suspect he'd only last through the one.  Maybe someday I'll relent, but only if we had a log-burner aboard methinks!

In the meantime, we've taken the plunge and booked our return flights for mid-May til end of October 2010, via Sydney so we can visit Barry's brother and I get my first taste of Australia.  All being well, we should be back aboard by 27th May ready to continue our travels, heading south.

For Barry's xmas present, I purchased a DVD on the Caldon canal from Paul Balmer of Waterways Routes, and we watched it a few nights ago.  I have to admit that it was really heartening to see the canals again, and Northern Pride Pride featured briefly as we passed their boat on our way back to the potteries of Stoke in September.


Watching us watching them!  Paul from Waterways Routes passing us by ...

One of the challenges we encountered towards the end of our trip last year, was with the alternator not charging our batteries.  The penultimate problem was when we discovered that if we'd only saved our power the previous evening we would've been able to start the boat the day after - luckily our guardian angels were watching over us and we managed to get a jump start from two wonderful fellow narrowboaters.  I wrote a story about our serendipitous experience which is being published in the Australia and New Zealand Reader's Digest next month in 'The Kindness of strangers' pages.  What would've been useful are more LED lights on the boat to conserve precious power - we had two small ones available from Ikea, but they didn't really give enough light.  Sarah, aka, Baddie the Pirate, emailed us recently about her business selling LED lighting for narrowboats and asked us for a plug - so here it is!  We'll definitely check them out prior to our return so that we're better prepared should there be any similar concerns in the future.

So the countdown is on once again, but there's lots of hard work to be done beforehand to a) earn enough money to see us through, and b) get everything here ready to leave, such as renting our house and packing away our belongings.  I love the contrast of living on land in the southern hemisphere half the year and then living on the canals and rivers of Britain the remainder of the year (and of course achieving a perpetual summer!).  Realistically though, it's a very expensive lifestyle that it's unlikely we'll be able to continue after this year and will have to sell Northern Pride at the end of our journey this time :-( unless a miracle happens!

Friday, 1 January 2010

Wainui wedding and welcome 2010

Happy New Year to everyone reading the blog - we hope you had a wicked xmas and that 2010 brings you all oodles of love and happiness.

Sunset Hospital Hill

An amazing sunset over Gisborne, just before xmas , seen from the hill where we live

Talking of love and happiness, Barry and I are now legally married - yaay!  We had another perfect day on 22nd December, this time on the beach at Wainui in Gisborne, New Zealand.  Although Barry had convinced himself that the weather would be awful as we'd had such a glorious day in England at the end of September (and was ready to laugh because I'm always harping on about the wonderful weather here!), it luckily (for him!) turned out to be beautiful. 

The roof of Northern Pride was a magical wedding setting in September, but for me Wainui Beach was truly a wedding in paradise ...


Ceremony on the beach (there were lots of guests, honest!) - the theme for this wedding was paua shells and sunflowers - two of Sandra's passions, Barry of course being the main one!

DSC_3820  Meandering to the Surf Club, a 10 minute walk from the wedding setting


 A barefoot affair, typical kiwi style!


A few more guests than the first wedding!

My youngest daughter Kim and her partner Joe are still with us in New Zealand, as is my friend Arlene.  Unfortunately they return to England and the cold next week. 

We're now on a countdown to saving madly to return to England around May time, but the wedding was certainly a lot more expensive this time so we have a way to go!  We're determined to get back to the canals and Northern Pride for 4 to 6 months though, and we will find a way ...