Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sunny Summertime Cruising & Future Plans

We actually got up quite early this morning, but rather than move straight away we took the doggies up the village for a walk and to get some milk, when we got back to the boat we then decided to give the interior a good clean and vac, so once again we didn't get moving till 11.00am.

Before we set off this boat (Dove Valley) passed us - we hired this boat back in 2011 for my mother's 80th Birthday!

The first lock we encountered was Colwich lock ... there was a jam of 4 boats going down and 3 coming up.  Never mind - no need to hurry, plus it's a good time for a bit of a chat with fellow boaters and passers-by. I did find it strange that the boat behind us didn't help with any of the locking going on even though they had a crew of 5 and there were a couple of single handers going up and down :(

Now I have seen mobile car cleaning, car repairs, dog wash etc. but I have never seen mobile sheep sheering! The hedge got in the way of a good pic of  the 2 guys in action ...

Nice reno job on NB Dexta ...

Very high out of the water, presumably no motor fitted yet -

Passing over the River Trent ...

Quick top up with water at Brereton ...

Spode House ...

We passed this great looking pub (Spode Cottage) - a sign outside read 'dogs welcome to dine with their owners' - amazing!

Unfortunately we didnt go in for a drink or food because we are 5/2 diet, and today is the day for fasting and, in particular, no booze.  I haven't gone a day without a beer for years, any spelling mitakes are beclause I can't slop shaking....

Loads of Armitage dunnies awaiting shipment ...

The canal is really narrow at Handsacre ...

And the meaning of life is................

Tonight's mooring in the middle of nowhere at Ravenshaw wood ...

Magic view from the sidehatch ...

We took the doggies for a walk down to Wood End Lock.  Check out the blue sky, it's been with us all day, 'tis rather special.

- and here is what the doggies are up to tonight ... (it's a hard life!)


We have been trying to work out what we want to do after our narrowboat adventure finishes.  It was always a 2 year plan so that would make the finish March 2014 however we intend to winter in a marina again from approx 1st November, so we thought that the end of this cruising season would be a good time to put her up for sale :-(

The next thing is that neither of us are in a hurry to return to Australia just yet but we will definitely go back there some time.  To that end we have been trying to buy an investment property back in Oz that we can rent out and move into whenever we go back. The Australian market is very different to here in that good places sell very very quickly and we are very worried that we could be left behind if the Australian market takes off again.  The next thing on the list is that although we both love everything about England the weather really is crap.  We knew winter was going to be cold, no probs, loved the snow etc., but it was cold wet and crappy for nearly 8 months!!!

So here is the (current) grand plan.....

1. Put Caxton on the market in November and hopefully sell her quickly (Offers Welcome!)

2. Buy a good, second-hand Autotrail motorhome

3. Escape the English winter and tour southern Europe.

4. Return to England/Scotland/Ireland in the summertime to tour around the rest of the UK. (We have to own the motorhome for at least a year to be able to take it back to Oz and pay only 5% duty, plus 10% GST)

5. Ship the motorhome back to Oz along with ourselves and whatever animals remain alive and kicking.

6. If we haven't yet bought a place in Oz we will use the motorhome to live in whilst travelling around looking for the perfect place!  If we have already bought a place we will move into it and sell the motorhome at hopefully a decent profit. Autotrail motorhomes are sold in Australia for 70% more than the UK price!

Sounds quite easy really!!  The whole plan will be cancelled if climate change happens in the next few months and England has summer temps in the high 20s for 9 months and in the low 20s for 3 months ... actually it probably will happen but the temps will be Fahrenheit not Celsius.

 The new, hopefully not-so-narrow motorhome ...


  1. Can't fault your choice of mooring spot tonight....one of our favourites. Will you be heading towards Derby over the next couple of days ??

    1. Lovely spot, we are heading south towards Coventry.

  2. Hi, Mobile sheep shearing is very common in NZ especially for people who buy "lifestyle blocks" about 4 -10 acres put on sheep but don't have the facilities to crutch & shear them...... Been There done that, Some people call the "blocks" a Life Sentence after 12 months,,,,,,

  3. Hi folks
    Well best of luck with your plans, I am sure we will meet before you escape our shores.....again.
    Best wishes to Geoffrey poor old soul.
    X Lesley

    1. Really hope we do meet, which way are you heading?

    2. Currently we are heading south towards Oxford and then maybe, along the Thames to Lechlade. Depending how we feel we might trundle along to London or we might head back to the GU and go south to London that way. The long and short of it is we are heading south...for now.

    3. well we will be heading down the GU towards London so we should hook up somewhere.

  4. Paul,
    Have you researched buying a new mobilehome. I think you can purchase one VAT exempt if you export it within 12 months of the purchase date. I thought the Oz duty was based on the value of the vehicle less an initial 5% plus a further 1% for every month since purchased?

    1. Hi Guys
      You must own it for at least 12 months before you can apply for an permission to import, it must be insured, rego'd and used, as in not locked away in a garage for 12 months. They use the uk purchase price then devalue it for however long you have owned, it, then charge 5% duty on top of that, then.....charge GST on landed cost! Cant afford a new one!

  5. Oh that's sad, looks like we won't even meet up on the cut then! Good luck with your plans :-)
    Sandra & Barry

    1. I'm sure we will meet somewhere, which way are you heading?