The Dream ... Moet Chandon

Home - The dream

Our dream was born several years ago after a canal and river boating holiday.

Our first hire boat Baby BlueOur first hire boat "Baby Blue"

We dreamed of owning our own boat; we came home, bought some property, worked hard night and day doing them up after our day jobs... We then rented each one out and started setting up a way in which we could retire early.

The boat appeared in a dream to me in April 2001, the "Moet" found us and brought new friends and a different way of life to enjoy and discover...

We bought the boat in 2001 and started winding down and spent each weekend traveling up and down the canals, every moment we could grab we were off on the boat... more leisure time, less work and it got to the point where we were most happy on the boat.

moet's front cabin

We ended our working careers on December 19th 2003 and what a momentous decision it was too. It wasn't easy leaving a lifestyle lived for thirty years. Leaving our beloved home was not easy, it was very sad as we packed up and sold our home, choosing to move from a very hectic working and social life. It's a decision we don't regret, though there have been times when I have been know to shout "I want to go home and go back to work". Those feelings didn't last.

Being a water gypsy must be in us both. John hasn't missed work for a second, especially the stress!! We want to travel around England and Europe and do all the canal and river systems in France. They have better weather in the south, they also have thousands more miles of canal and river to explore.


The culture and language could be a big challenge but we have always loved challenges in the past. We never know what is around the next bend (not too many supertankers we hope!!)... Traveling around the world is also on our list of things to do soon. Perhaps learn to fly, who knows!!! We know life can change in the blink of an eye so we want to enjoy the moments we have been given.

The start of the journey ...

Since retiring we have been on a roller coaster ride of work rest and play.

We have traveled to Canada and spent a wonderful Christmas with Louise and Martijn and their friends and family. We have visited France to see friends and to experience the locks in the bad weather (which nearly put me off!). We also went to a ball in Portugal and had a surprise retirement presentation, it was wonderful with our friends Mick and Pam.

Irene and Louise

We have traveled many miles to boating festivals, up and down the north of England, gathering our research for taking the boat to France. We have been lucky to have so many people join us on the boat from around the country for trips when they had the time, for cups of tea or help us do the locks! We have been helped in many different ways on our journey. Some angels appeared at times when we needed them, help came in many different forms... giving moral support and giving tons of love and encouragement when we needed it most, bless you all.

Michael came home in January and just turned up unannounced after 10 months travel around the world. Once the hundreds of pictures had been gasped at we set him to work packing up the house! Louise joined us in June for two weeks from Canada... and enjoyed it so much she stayed an extra week. All the family on the boat traveling down the river.

There was some fab weather and we had lots of fun. Traveling the Leeds and Liverpool was an experience and a half, I would not have missed it for the world... our story was even on local radio in Liverpool thanks to my brother Frank.

The Rochdale Canal Summit

the Rochdale Canal Summit

Reaching the Rochdale Canal Summit was a golden moment for us all, being only the third wide beam to travel on the Rochdale Canal since it re-opened in 2001, it had been closed since 1952. Again we appeared in the local papers, our boat is so well known now. Traveling through Manchester city centre was also a huge highlight for me too.

I am writing this from Leeds where we are helping our son Michael re-paint a boat he's living on. The weather's not being too kind and we are waiting for a few dry days to finish it off... at which time we'll be ready to set off again.