Floating free in London Published May 30, 2015 1:41 am by Claire One man’s floating life on the waterways of England. Published in Mind and Spirit, Money, Off-Grid and Practical Freedom Previous Post Friday links Next Post Monday links
Too close to civilization for me. But I’d love to put a houseboat on Lake Chelan (central Washington) and travel and trade up and down it the rest of my life. Beautiful country.
Ah living the life afloat… There are a lot of things about this lifestyle that are appealing. It is living with no fixed address once you have a place to tie up. Your fellow boaters are generally a good bunch to be around and if someone bugs you, well you can simply move away.
The only issues that are a bother and these are things not talked about in this story, are the cold damp environment and if you are in a location where the water freezes you need a bubbler. This is simply an air pump to a hose along side the boat that below the water line that pumps air causing bubbles which prevent ice from crushing the hull. Something to think about is the need for backup power in the winter to keep the bubbler bubbling. The only reason that I know this is that a few of my friends live on boats. For them winter is no fun at all.
Living somewhat unconventionally as I do, I can sympathize with this guy’s joys and troubles.
Having lived for some time within a community of houseboaters, I can sympathize with the shoredwellers’ desire that the houseboats move elsewhere or quietly sink and drown their inhabitants.
But my first thought on reading was, “He just bought the thing, started the engine and unmoored, without a minute of training? What a moron.” As he swiftly learned, boat-handling isn’t that easy at first. He was lucky to keep afloat and unsued for as long as a day.
Joel, have to say that the UKs canal system is pretty mundane with weirs being the biggest danger. It is quite mad though that a driving test requires botha theory and practical test but a boat can be piloted on our inland waterways with no qualifications at all!
On a side note I am involved in a lively exchange on International Survival and Bushcraft on facebook. Some dimwit from my country and one of your chaps fellow citizens think that compulsory gun insurance is a must and comparable in legal standing to car insurance. Doh!
Not long ago I got bitten by the sailing bug and bought an old 18-footer. I spent some time working on it, then took it down to Siletz Bay and put it in the water. The trolling motor chose that point in time to fail. Between the river current going one way, the tidal flow going another, and the wind blowing in a third direction I could just see myself ending up – at best – back in the weeds somewhere, calling somebody (who?) to drag me out. I just barely managed to get it back to dock with some vigorous paddling, and put it back on the trailer. I decided that kind of adventure was for a 30-year-old, not a 60-year-old. Anyway there is a lot to sailing and I don’t learn as quickly as I used to. So now I have gone down a step or two into rowboats. Those I can handle, I think.
BTW I built one of these:
The building time was much greater than their estimate, in my case. But I got it done…
OT, good for some chuckles: