By the time my maternity leave came round in early March 2019, it was time to leave our life behind and move onto Crystal Clear. When Ed purchased her, she was moored at Pyrford Marina, near Wisley in Surrey and the kind team at the marina allowed us to stay on her for a short time while we gathered ourselves and prepared for our little one to arrive.
Pyrford Marina is in a lovely location, within walking distance of The Anchor, a bustling friendly pub on the banks of the River Wey. (Needless to say, we made the most of the hospitality of the place while we were there!) It was a perfect opportunity for us to base ourselves somewhere with all the facilities (mains, water, rubbish and Elsan disposal etc) while we made the necessary changes and preparations to the boat which would enable us to be comfortable and happy on our constant cruising adventure.
As with any new property, there were changes we wanted to make to the boat, and with only a month to go before my due date, we got going with the most important ones.
The entrance to the boat through the back deck leads into the kitchen (which actually had more surface space than Ed had in the previous house – which pleased him) and then into a small living room area. In the centre of the back wall was a beautiful solid fuel burner which accompanied the diesel central heating to keep us all warm. However, it was in such an awkward place that it meant the space could not in any way be used as a living area and it made us wonder how anyone used the space previously! So Ed, being the I can turn my hands to anything man he is, set to work. He knocked it out of the space and moved it to the side of the room which opened the space up completely (for more info on the process and before-and-afters, see Ed’s post Hot Stuff where he will tell of the trails, tribulations and trips to B&Q!)
Living in a building site for a few days wasn’t fun but I could not get over the speed and and efficiency in which he moved it all across. He did such a good job, and the room was completely transformed into a liveable space. I then painted the room with Farrow and Ball’s ‘All White’ paint to open up the space and we ventured to Ikea to purchase our sofa. We wanted a sofa that was a good quality sofa bed too and we went for a fun orange colour to warm things up.
With the living room done a big weight was lifted from our shoulders because let’s face it, the baby could arrive any day now and we needed to be prepared. So I turned my attention to my other (fur) babies; Mittens, a ten-year-old moggy and Loki, a six-year-old Miniature Schnauzer. They had both lived in small flats with me before so I wasn’t worried about that, but moving around constantly was bound to be a big change for them. Another reason why being stationary at the marina to begin with was a good idea! They both seemed absolutely fine, apart from Loki’s strange and dramatic fear of a very small squeaking sound coming from the pontoon outside. Still, lots of nice walks along the canal eased his worry and he thoroughly enjoyed being by the river.
Then, the spare bedroom. For us, a second bedroom was non-negotiable with a baby on the way and Crystal Clear had one. In the middle of the boat it is a perfect placement for baby, but until she came along I am afraid to say it served as a bit of a dumping ground! Ed did, however amend some unnecessary plumbing that was jutting out of the wall and making the space a funny shape so we could get some furniture in. We made sure we had all the supplies we had and checked that off the list (I am planning on writing a few bits about preparing for her arrival and life on the boat with a baby too so look out for those).
We then had a few essential bits to sort such as having the tiller fixed so we could actually steer the boat, and fixing some annoying drawer fronts (that kept coming off when you opened them) and we were ready to leave Pyrford when baby was born. Sure, there are still bits and bobs to be done and we will keep you up to date with these as we do them, but at least we knew we would be ok and could happily live aboard when we were on the move. We were ready.
“Adventure Is Out There!”