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is not merely an aesthetic consideration, it could mean the difference between life and death. Our savings are meagre and we cannot survive on Carl’s service pension alone. I have been lucky enough to have been paid to write about our sailing life in yachting magazines and we have returned to Dartmouth twice since starting our voyage in 2013 so we can work to top up our funds. But we love Leonie and our simple way of life. In our


eyes she is an absolute corker of a yacht, bijou inside yes but beautiful, cosy and comfortable. She provides everything we need to function – a bed, a loo, a cooker, a table to eat at, somewhere to sit, a sink to wash in and a cupboard each for our clothes/bags/shoes/assorted sundries. The majority of people we have met on our travels


are retired. They sail in the summer and go back to their homes ashore in the winter. We skipped the bit about buying a house first to secure our future and, rashly some may say, are enjoying a care- free sailing life instead. But we wanted to live our dream while we could as who knows what’s around the corner. House prices today are


out of reach of many people, specially the young and specially in Devon. Had either of us bought into the housing market in our early twenties we may have found ourselves in the


enviable position of owning a mortgage-free property by now. But back then we were too busy exploring the big wide world and trying to find our place in it to put down roots in any one place. Instead we decided to buy our first home when I


was in my mid-thirties and Carl in his early-forties. The whole renting scenario felt like pouring money down the drain and we thought it would make more sense to pay out for something we would eventually own. We both had good full-time jobs, I was a journalist at the Herald Express and Carl worked as an environmental advisor for the Groundwork charity. We chose a two-bed maisonette off Victoria Road in


Ginny hands out her home-made biscuits


Dartmouth with a big lounge and a decent view across to the fields and down to the river. We were really excited and felt properly grown-up. Two years later we were at breaking point, we had saddled ourselves with a mortgage that would take 30 years of relentless nine-to-five work to pay off. It was a bleak prospect. Surely there had to be more to life than this? Carl had three lovely girls from his first marriage and the youngest two stayed with us every other weekend and for holidays. I felt incredibly privileged to have them in my life but had no desire to have children of my own. I’m not a ‘career girl’ either so although there were aspects of my job I enjoyed, there was always something missing. I had met a man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with and I wanted that life to be exciting and adventurous not predictable, safe and boring. The trouble is we didn’t


Dolphins swimming alongside Leonie


know what to do instead. With his practical and logical head on Carl suggested we both write down, without conferring, a list of the top ten things we wanted to achieve in life and then compare


Leonie competing in the Corfu Classic Yacht Race


Ginny walking up the 5,400-feet high


Carl at


Port Leone, Kalamos, Greece


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