Narrowboat AREandARE

From the 2009 & 2010 tantalising tales, traumas and stunning photographs of Barry (photographer) and Sandra (writer) from New Zealand aboard NB 'Northern Pride', to the stories of their 2013 return journey, purchase of 'AREandARE', progress on sustaining their live aboard continuous cruiser lifestyle, and Barry's quest to gain residency and 'Indefinite Leave to Remain' in UK ...

Friday 5 April 2013

Boat bought at last!

Things are beginning to fall into place now after two weeks and two days in the UK.  It was a bit of a mad rush arriving on the Wednesday then going away for a week on the Saturday.  Needless to say we didn't manage to get a lot sorted out until this week.

We did, however, have an amazing and magical time with my three sisters, their respective partners, and my parents (who celebrated 80 and 93 years of age that week), in the awe inspiring Lake District. Many people in the party were concerned about travelling in the wintry conditions, but all was well with clear roads all the way - and the scenery was spectacularly beautiful.  Barry was well pleased - he'd been asking for snow!  It's been mostly sunny, and we've not had a drop of rain since we arrived, though admittedly it's cold outside - especially compared to the temperatures we'd been used to in Gisborne over the past six months!  However, they're now coming into autumn, as we approach spring (I know, I know, it should be here already - but the daffodils and crocuses are beginning to bloom) ...

My mum's 80th birthday celebration - left to right Kath, Sandra, Don, Irene, Linda and Viv
At the top of 'Brantfell', overlooking Lake Windermere - with the scenery looking remarkably similar to Queenstown in the South Island of New Zealand
This week we've managed to get UK phones and internet access sorted out, and with our two mobile phones and a dongle, we now have coverage for Three, T-Mobile (which we're told includes Vodafone), and TalkTalk (which we're told includes Orange).  So hopefully we'll have some sort of signal for most of the waterways network!  It's amazing how cut off we felt for just under two weeks without good internet access - whatever was life like without it?  For us both though, it's crucial to how we earn a living now, so it's imperative to have.

On Wednesday we went to have a trial run of 'AREandARE'.  The 'in-water' survey had been carried out while we were away, and the surveyor had highlighted to us a possible challenge with the current engine configuration.  I'm not going to bore you with the details, mainly because I don't really understand them (it's a blue job as my dear friend Rivka would say!), but Barry wanted to see how she performed.  After much deliberation, and advice from many engine 'experts', and fellow bloggers (many thanks for your input Tom and Doug & James), we've negotiated a slight price reduction which will enable us to get the engine configured differently.  We do realise there are hundreds of boats 'out there' for sale, but this boat is the only one Barry's found which ticks the majority of the specific boxes of our requirements.

So today, we've agreed the purchase, with a take over date of Thursday 11th April.  We'll probably then be travelling up the Grand Union to Loughborough, take a left turn onto the Trent and Mersey, moving towards Fradley Junction in time for our boxes to arrive from NZ at my sister's house in Lichfield.  Well that's the tentative plan so far ...

Barry back on the waterways and in his element!
Barry and 'AREandARE"
Thank you to Tom, John and Sue for your comments on our recent post regarding suggestions for the blog.  We've yet to decide what we'll do, but your thoughts and advice have been most helpful.

So not long now and we'll be back 'on the cut'!  How exciting is that?!


  1. Brilliant! That's tomorrow you will be on your new boat. Bet you're not excited? Your blog is now bookmarked on my all new Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, which I am desperately trying to get used to for blogging when away with the Narrow Boat Trust, which I joined two yrs ago. Been promoted too, from cabin boy to captain in that time - they must be desperate!

    Just back from a trip up the Basingstoke with my local boat club. You can read about it here:-
    if you have a spare minute!
    Understood the message about the propgen - that's an impressive amount of leccy to produce!
    I WILL see you on the cut soon.
    Ray The Tug

  2. Hi Ray, good to hear from you.
    Yes it's tomorrow, very exciting!
    Barry has a new Galaxy too, first smart phone he's ever had, so he's also learning!
    Congrats on the promotion and we will definitely see you soon.
    Sandra & Barry