Kia ora! Hi! Welcome to Barry & Sandra's stories of life on and off narrowboat AREandARE

We’ve been navigating the canals and rivers of the Inland waterways of UK since April 2009, commencing our ‘Blogspot’ blog on 17th April that year. Our inaugural six-months was spent exploring the northern waterways.

Since then we’ve shared stories, countless adventures, and met more fascinating folks than we could possibly keep count of.

In the UK spring of 2010, we returned for a further six-months to ‘do’ the south.  By late 2010, we were so ‘hooked’ on the waterways (admittedly Barry more so than Sandra!), we drafted a long-term plan to return and apply for Barry’s UK Spousal Sponsored Visa, so we could both stay longer than the maximum six-months on Barry’s ‘visitor’ visa. At the time the ‘rules’ for this were spectacularly different to our return.

After more planning than Barry dares to recall, we made it back in March 2013 to begin the tortuous visa process – and work on ways to sustain ourselves having jumped off the veritable hamster wheel of ‘normal’ working. That remains a work in progress!

In May 2014, we moved blog providers to WordPress – which is where you’ve found us.

The process for enabling Barry to stay in UK was complex and costly. It involved three separate applications. The first of which entailed Barry having to return to NZ to apply. The second was two and a half years later. Each time we had to prove we’re a legitimately married and loving couple, with £62,500 of our own money, readily available, for a minimum of six months prior to the applications – as we’ve both been self-employed since March 2013. Self-employed income isn’t taken into account.

On 18th June 2019, Barry finally received news that his Set(M) application for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK had been successful. It took almost five months from the application in late January to the decision.

Since then we applied for Barry’s British Citizenship by ‘Naturalisation’ and heard on 17th December 2019 that this was successful. 

We are what’s know as ‘Continuous Cruisers‘ on the canals in England and Wales, enjoying the parallel universe it provides. Our blog shares adventures and news of our colourful lives – both on and off NB Areandare. Read more about us here.

We’d love you to follow us, and do say hi if you pass by. Our location is always updated on The Home Brew Boat website.

Follow us on our journeys (click on the ‘follow us’ button to the right on computers, or below on Tablets/mobile) …

Barry’s Range of Photographic Greeting Cards

Featuring images from on and around the UK canals and rivers.
FREE SHIPPING IN THE UK on orders of three or more cards

As featured in …


12 thoughts on “Kia ora! Hi! Welcome to Barry & Sandra's stories of life on and off narrowboat AREandARE

  1. Hi,
    I am soon to move to a narrowboat and found your blog!
    Could you please tell me if you applied for your visa while you were living on the boat? I was wondering if a boat was considered suitable accommodation by immigration authorities. Did you have to get a property inspection report for the boat if so? I’m going through this myself and there is limited information out there when it comes to applying for a visa whilst living on a boat. I will be on a CC license.

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    • Hi Colin. Pleased you found us 😉

      Throughout the ILR visa process we lived on the boat as continuous cruisers. However … we had a land address initially at my parents until they both died, then the final application at my daughter’s house. It’s why we decided to engage an immigration lawyer at Cartwright King, and initially in NZ. Because us boaters are a little different you ‘normal’ so tick boxes often (actually mostly!) aren’t appropriate to us. But we do know of another kiwi who went through the whole process himself with only his boat as evidence.

      When our lawyer initially talked of getting a ‘property inspection’ we laughed in his face! So ridiculous. It’s a small space. But it’s enough. We didn’t need one.

      Do email via the Contact Us page if it would be helpful to chat further. It’s a minefield!!!

      Good luck and keep in touch.

  2. Great to meet you last year on Sandra’s 50th cruise. Thought I’d just stop by and say hello, it would be lovely to keep up to date with your adventures on the UK’s waterways!

    • Hi Jane! It was indeed a pleasure to meet you and Dom last year – and the Scotland blog with photos is yet to be published so you may even feature … You’re very welcome here, lots of adventures to be had, though nowhere near as intrepid as the one you’re both about to embark on 🙂

  3. Hi
    We are looking to spend more time relaxing and love the river boat concept.
    We are going to France in July to start looking
    Should we start in France or start in England?
    We won’t get to England this trip
    All I ask is a direction as to the best place to start looking, the best yard? in france.
    I am nor sure if you have spent time there b it assume with the experience you have generally you will have some ideas.

    • Hi Rod and Megan. Wow! That sounds exciting for you both.
      Unfortunately we have no idea about Boat Yards in France, or the European Canals in general really. It’s the British waterways that have appealed to Barry. There’s big differences between boating in UK and Europe. Your best bet is probably to start researching using the waterways magazines.
      We’re back in Gisborne in March, so maybe get in touch then and catch up for a coffee and chat with Barry? Send us an email and I can give you our contact details – 😉

  4. I am from Gisborne. My parents showed me that you are here. I live in warwickshire now. Where will you be over the weekend?

    • Kia ora Kerry

      How lovely to be in contact with another Gisbornite (not sure that’s a real word lol, but it sounds like it ought to be!).

      We’re currently at Merry Hill, in Brierly Hill, trading here this weekend at a Floating Market. Following that, we’ll be heading to Stourport for the weekend of 3rd/4th September. We’re remaining in the Birmingham area now until around April 2017, so not far from you. We’ve got festivals booked every weekend until early October.

      Do come and say hi when you can.
      Sandra & Barry 😉

  5. Great blog. I’m a Yorkshireman serving in NZ Army (18 years now). Actually reading this in Jakarta. Dreaming of retiring to my ski house in Ohakune AND narrowboat back in Blighty. Good luck with your travels!

    • Kia ora Andy, thank you for taking the time and trouble to comment, much appreciated. We loved our time in Yorkshire, magnificent scenery. Keep dreaming and imagining that ‘best of both worlds’, sounds pretty similar to my aspirations, though not sure if I’ll ever get Barry back to NZ! Don’t wait too long to manifest your dream life 😉

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