Topsham couple return after four-year honeymoon

PUBLISHED: 16:01 08 October 2009 | UPDATED: 12:04 10 June 2010

A FORMER Topsham ferryman has returned to the town after a four-year honeymoon spent sailing abroad and with a new crewmember – a two-year-old daughter. Dave McCabe, 42, and his wife Hazel, 37, returned in their 50ft Ros Ailtither vessel earlier this mo

A FORMER Topsham ferryman has returned to the town after a four-year honeymoon spent sailing abroad and with a new crewmember - a two-year-old daughter.

Dave McCabe, 42, and his wife Hazel, 37, returned in their 50ft Ros Ailtither vessel earlier this month after a marathon boating trip.

Places they visited included France, Portugal, Spain, Gibraltar, the Isles of Scilly, Canary Islands, the Caribbean and Trinidad and Grenada.

The couple made a brief return during their journey because Dave's mum was ill and to make sure their daughter, Katie, 2, was born in Topsham.

Dave said: "We were in the Caribbean when Hazel was due to give birth. We flew to Paris and then made our way back to Topsham where Katie was born in a friend's house."

The keen sailor finished working as ferryman in 2005, a job he carried out for more than 15 years, to marry Hazel in May that year.

Fittingly, Dave first met his wife when she visited Topsham on a ferry.

He said: "She was not a boater at first but is very good now. She enjoys it and we still have fun together travelling.

"It is a novel and romantic thing to do as a honeymoon but its hard work. You're not just drinking gin and tonic in the sun. You can often hit storms and bad weather."

But he joked: "If you don't get along, you will break up very quickly on a boat. If you want to get married but are not sure about some things, live out at sea for six months!

Dave, who always dreamed of travelling when he was younger, said he particularly enjoyed visiting Maine and Morpion.

"Everywhere outside England is lovely due to the fact you don't have people chasing you because it's pretty much anchor-free. It's a loss less bureaucratic abroad.

"In the last four years of travelling we've probably paid for about 20 days - that's it. This is compared with when you come back to Topsham and you're told 'that's so much for a night'.

"Everyone believes it must be horrendous living on a boat and that it's really expensive and you think 'well, no".

"If you have a week's holiday in Cornwall, we can have a year anywhere else for the same money. It's about £20 for a bottle of gas and that will last us about three months for cooking.

"It is very cost effective. I would recommend it for anybody else to do. It's great fun if you know what you're doing.

"We make all our own electric and we convert salt water from the sea into fresh drinking water. We can stay out at sea for months without thinking about going to shore.


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