Having navigated the Covid restrictions and post Brexit we managed to arrive back on Rangali in mid-June 2021. She was looking ok other than the coating of Sahara dust and we soon had all systems up and running.
Over our first glass of wine, we remembered that the boat was 10 years old on the 9th of March 2021. It certainly does not seem like we have been boating with her that long. Our first boat holiday was in 2007, a hire boat on the Midi, which was repeated again on the Midi in 2008. We were hooked! After the holiday we started looking for second-hand barges with a large outside seating area, which we considered a must-have.
Quite by chance, I found the Piper new boat website and after then speaking with Simon we went to a boat show near Nottingham where he was showing a new 65ft model Kathe II. The very next day we met Simon Appleyard on the Thames and he took us for a trip on his new Piper 55Ft boat called Josephine. That was it, we placed an order for a 60ft model the next week. Work started in Sept 2010 and launched on the River Thames the following March.
We really had no idea what to expect and virtually no boating experience, we did not take her out for a month until we had some lessons. Really funny when we look back.
Our dream was to come to France and go to the Midi. We retired in 2013 and sailed across the channel in July. That first year we got to mid-France and we have been here ever since, we love the area, food and people and there are lots of canals and rivers to cruise.
Rangali is everything we wished for, wherever we go people always say what a lovely boat, she turns heads, partially the French lock keepers who must see 1000’s of boats and have no need to comment.
Over the last 10 years, we have met so many wonderful people and made friends from all over the world, many of who will be friends now for life. What a great time we have had and hope we will continue to do so, for many years to come.
So, with our second glass of wine that night, we toasted all at Piper boats for helping us make our retirement dream a reality.
Cheers to you all,
Kev & Debs