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POSTCARD BY GINNY WARE Leonie at Nisos Xero anchorage


AFTER LIVING ABOARD ON THE RIVER DART FOR EIGHT YEARS, GINNY WARE AND HER HUSBAND CARL SET SAIL IN 2013 FOR FRANCE AND BEYOND. NOW BACK IN DARTMOUTH TO REPLENISH FUNDS GINNY LOOKS BACK ON THEIR ADVENTURES SO FAR.


We totally misjudged how far Carl’s monthly service pension would stretch (not far enough) and were too op- timistic about finding work in the winter months. We have travelled thousands of miles away from Dartmouth since setting sail in Leonie one fine May morning in 2013 but have also flown back to her familiar shores four times in that same period with empty wallets and fingers crossed that we would find employment to fund our cruising life. It has been a relief in some ways to leave Leonie’s


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cramped quarters for the luxuries of a never-ending water supply, showers as often as we like, flopping into comfy squishy sofas, and not having to worry about whether our anchor is holding during stormy nights (in fact, not even being aware of storms raging outside our bedroom window). But after a few weeks of the easy life we start to miss our little yacht. We yearn for our other simpler life where nearly every day is a sunny day, where we can choose to


UR dream of sailing off into the sunset never to return (well, not for a few years anyway) hasn’t quite worked out the way we hoped it would.


cast ourselves adrift whenever we want to explore new shores, where we are out in the world and our daily routines keep us fit and healthy. We love our vagrant gypsy life, visiting new places, soaking up new cultures and meeting different people. This time we have come back to Dartmouth for 18


months as we are penniless and must find another £2,000 for Leonie’s marina fees. Once that’s done we need to put some money into our savings account (the Premium Bonds which one day are going to win us £1 million). We are extremely lucky to have struck up a good deal with generous friends who let us stay with them rent free in return for house-sitting when they go off travelling. Touch wood, so far we have also been fortunate enough to find work each time we have come back to Dartmouth, slotting back into old familiar routines like we had never been away. But away we have been, to dozens of new places in


France, Italy and Greece. Among the most memorable was Honfleur at the mouth of the River Seine. Our arrival in the lock outside the medieval town was emotional for two reasons; firstly we had survived a petrifying (for me anyway) three hour passage in a force 7 storm to get there and secondly Carl’s postcard from Honfleur, sent during a boat delivery, promised he would get us there too, in Leonie. Motoring through Paris a couple of weeks later stands out; it was a beautiful spring day and people on the bridges waved as we floated by in our funny old blue boat. Memories of our time in the French waterways often flash into my head: the


Ginny on passage to Gaeta, Italy from Leonie Ginny and Carl on Porquerolles


Canal Champagne et Bourgogne


Grapevines carpet the Champagne region of France


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