Wednesday, 7 June 2017

One Month Aboard

We have now owned our boat for 6 weeks, and have been living aboard for just under a month.

How to describe that month? Busy, exhausting, educational, frustrating, expensive but above all wonderful!

I thought that, once aboard, I would have time to make videos as well as blog, but I quickly found that other things were taking up my time, and this is the first opportunity I have had to sit down and put my thoughts on "paper". And it's not just cruising that has been talking up our time, although we have done a lot of that. The boat has required a fair bit of work, and that has required a fair bit of research.

We have been on the move more than we intended to be. We only bought a week's licence for the River Wey, and that meant that we were cruising every day to ensure we got all the way to the end of the Navigation at Godalming. We have been moving slightly slower on the Basingstoke -- as our movements have been partly dictated by the lock opening times -- but what with a dash up to the Crick Boat Show, visits from family and friends, and more little jobs to do on the boat, we are finding that we have no free time at all. Just the Thames to go, which is licensed by the Environment Agency, and then we will be on CRT waters and will hopefully find a nice two week mooring and finally slow down.

These first few weeks on the move have had many magical moments, as well as the odd frustrating one, and when the bilge pump comes on at 6am because the engine bay is filling with rain water, or the transmission cable breaks while you are in the middle of a flight of 17 locks, you have to question your luck. But then you realise that the cable from the broken transmission is to hand to clear out the blockage causing the water to flood, and then the guy on the boat travelling through the 17 locks offers you a tow to the bottom of the flight; you eventually realise that you actually have incredibly good luck.

And that is another thing. We are meeting such lovely people everyday and it is wonderful. It seems everyone wants to stop and speak to you when you have a boat, and it is so nice to just stop and chat to perfect strangers who would no doubt just pass by with barely a nod or smile if you weren't on a boat. There are the like-minded boaters in all walks of life to pass the time of day -- or even share a drink or meal -- with. And then, on top of that, there are the people who have been watching and commenting such lovely things on our videos and the other 'boat tubers' that have welcomed us into their online community.

The moments that really make us sure we have done the right thing are when we are almost hypnotised as we chug along by the beauty of the Cut, an oasis in the urban sprawl. And we are excited to explore it all. We do love our boat life, and we are trying to love our boat, although it sometimes appears that it's trying equally hard to stop us.