Day 1

9th April 2021. Woke up without a single bit of food in the fridge. This was the day. This was the day I would be leaving my home, the town where I grew up in since the age of 5. My friends, my school… my life would be left and all of it felt too early or rushed. As for leaving the UK as a whole, I had no regrets as I has gotten fed up with the weather up to a point that my flesh and bones where feeling the lack of vitamin D. Every morning I would have a headache and my vision went when I was in Manchester. I hoped that if I left the country, these things would go away. Without a holiday last year, I felt the need for at least 2 months on a warm sunny island sunbathing in the sun.

This was a very anticipated moment. We had dreamt how it would happen: how we would find a buyer, tell our friends that we were leaving, buy a sailing yacht, set sail in the sunset. Well today was the beginning. We went and said goodbye to some friends that were also neighbours – and had breakfast there - then we gave the keys to the new owners and then we went.

We left our home in Manchester with a van full of belongings and began our journey to Hamble where our new home sat. After the 5 hour journey and a stop to eat, we reached her: a 40ft sailing boat called Mistress. She was quite a downsize from our 120sqft home in Manchester and we had never been more than a couple of hours on a sailing boat. My dad did have a smaller boat but we never stayed overnight. Now we were expected to live 24/7 on one.

When we came inside the boat, she looked like the smallest living space ever. Mistress is a sailing yacht with 2 heads (toilets), 2 bedrooms and 1 galley (kitchen) with a living space. Our old house had 2 bathrooms, 3 bedrooms, 2 living rooms, 1 loft, 1 fitness suite and a front and back garden – making the move a big shock. We couldn’t fit all our belongings in it.

But the biggest challenge of all were the heads. A couple of hours after, I was bursting for a wee. I looked at the head wondering “why isn’t there water in this toilet?”. We looked on the internet, but there weren’t any videos on manual heads. We looked at each other trying to figure out how to use it. Well it was actually pretty simple: to fill it with water you put it on flush, then you put it on dry to empty it. But we found out a few days later how to use them properly because the dry and flush were playing the old switcharoo game (ie. its on dry when it says flush and flush when it says dry). I know right!

That was the first day of living on a sailing boat but the real challenge was yet to come…