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hearts. We earmarked some money for a moped to explore this island which rounded off the experience. One of the downsides to cruising on a shoestring is not being able to afford to hire bikes very often. Saying that, we enjoy walking (a free activity) although striding out in the scorching heat in July and August is not recommended. One of the benefits of travelling


by yacht is being able to dive into the sea whenever the heat becomes unbearable and having the privacy to lounge around in a swimsuit (or less) on sultry days. I’ve always loved swimming and snorkeling in the sea and the warmth of the Med makes this even more attractive. The wildlife we see at sea always gives us a thrill (dolphins, turtles, seals, flying fish, terns and shearwater seabirds to name just a few). The beauty of long term cruising is being free of a timetable. Weather permitting, of course, you can go where you want, whenever you want. Admittedly in a small yacht with only a 20hp engine it can take forever to reach the next island (for example, it would take us seven-hours to travel a distance of 35 nautical miles compared to a car which would lick it in 30-minutes). To this end cruising does sometimes become a bit repetitive and routine, and finding things to do during long passages can be challenging. Reading is a major pastime and our Kindles’ are necessities. There are lots of times when the conditions are perfect


A marble church on Tinos


Greek Islands is idyllic...just not all the time. Boredom does creep in but then I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been bored commuting or sat behind a desk at work. At least this way if we are bored it’s on our terms. There’s no doubt Leonie is beau- tiful (this is remarked on absolutely everywhere we go) and she is the provider of our treasured home and freedom, but she is small and sometimes feels claustrophobic. I do sometimes yearn for a bigger yacht with plenty of room to invite new friends round for drinks or to sit in comfort and share a meal. It’s also pretty impossible to find my own space when Carl is doing my head in, and vice-versa. Once after an argument I was so mad (for reasons beyond me now) I jumped in the ten- der and rowed twice round a huge


bay before I felt calm enough to return. In total so far, we have spent 40 months (three years


Donkeys take delivery of the goods delivered by boat on Hydra


and three months) living on and sailing in Leonie since leaving Dartmouth in 2013, travelling to countless anchorages, ports, islands, towns and sites. Making this trip by any other means (except perhaps a motorised home) would be beyond our financial means. We want to contin- ue living our sailing life as long as we can. We are not sure what


for an exhilarating sail. On these days Carl tinkers with the set of the sails to make Leonie fly while I steer the course and try to catch the best winds at the tiller. The fastest sailing we have achieved was through the Alderney Races where Leonie reached the thrilling speed of 10knots. Spending seven months a year cruising the beautiful


Leonie at Karavostasi, Folegrandos.


effect, if any, Brexit will have on our freedom to cruise in Europe or the cost implications. If the UK is no longer part of the EU it may mean we can only stay in EU waters for limited periods, or we may have to buy visas if we want to stay longer. Our plans for next year include


leaving Greece for Turkey and sail- ing up the Bosphorus to Istanbul, the only city in the world that crosses two continents.•


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