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5 Years

My first husband was a sailor and always wanted to live and travel on a boat. When i fell pregnant with my daughter , we figured it was now or never while she was young enough to keep out of school.

We set sail from IOW when she was 2, having bought and done up a 34' Prout snowgoose catamaran.

Our first winter was spent in La Coruna in the north of spain. There were several other live aboards wintering there and we all hooked up in the sailing club, playing cards and learning the lingo.

The first summer saw us on the portugeese coast, tying up in the fish harbours, bar b quein on the quays drinking cheap portugease wine with live aboards from all over the world.

It was the life.

Over the next 5 years , we wintered in Gibralter,twice, Alicante, and having sailed back and forth thru the med, spent time in the balearic islands,  we finally took to the river to head back towards northern france.

Our journey up the Rhone came to a standstill in dijon where the ice prevented us from going further. So we turned south again and joined the Canal de Mide.  That journey was probably the best bit for me. I loved travelling thru the small villages that one dosnt get to see from the coast. I had to ring ahead to the lock keepers in order to have the locks opened when we arrived. Bezier has something like 9 locks. Trying to understand the local dialects as they changed was a real linguistic challenge.

We wintered that year in Carcasonne. A bit of illegal busking guaranteed us a good christmas. And having met up with some rather rich english liveabords, we were treated to cavier for christmas breakfast.

we were invited by some local ppl to a dance in a nearby village. It must have been the highlight of the locals year as they all turned out in their country finery.

Im now back on terra firma and happily so... but i am so grateful for the 5 years travelling that we did... I can say ive been there, done that and got the hat.

cornishchick cornishchick 41-45, F Aug 18, 2007

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