Narrowboat dating uk

Gazing ahead as we entered the Thames estuary, I made out the dorsal fin of a porpoise, gently rolling through silver waves.

Quite a contrast from my first arrival, 10 years earlier, as an impressionable year-old, deposited off the Glasgow bus to the thrilling, screaming capital at night. This time, I had come on my boat, the 47ft wooden motorsailer that had been home to my partner Phil and me for a couple of years.

It was our first voyage on her, and though neither of us had a clue what we were doing we were relying on an experienced friend , it felt good. Boats are meant to move. North Foreland , sleepily familiar from the Shipping Forecast , made real. I had no sailing background.

Canal Narrowboat Holidays

I noticed people lived on boats in Brighton marina and was immediately gripped. It was also cramped I realised during one blazing argument that I had no door to slam. The novelty made up for that. I had a childlike sense of wonder.

8 celebrities you may spot on British waterways

Chores were no longer chores — they were looking after the boat; sweeping teak floors with light streaming through the wooden hatch above was genuinely enjoyable. I was taken with Paranormal, a steel motorboat in Rochester that the owner, gesturing to a bent spoon framed on the wall, said had previously belonged to Uri Geller.

It was a while before I could laugh. Shortly afterwards, my dad phoned with news of a beautiful boat, Pamela Jeanne, in the river in Dumbarton, at almost half our budget. I waited as the painfully slow dial-up connection revealed the pictures line by blurry line: She had two masts. My desire to own her was immediate and overwhelming. Before long, PJ was on a lorry headed for Brighton cost: A couple of years later, I had retrained as a journalist, got a job in London and realised we could move, home and all, to the Thames.

What's it like living on a boat? Share your photos and experiences

I had regrets about leaving the ocean, but what I loved most — PJ — was coming, and we could always return. Besides, what an epic journey to plan. Something extraordinary happens when you arrive in London by boat.

My life in London's houseboat slums

The city is changed for ever. They called it "Sanity", which is something of an in-joke as Bruce used to be a clinical psychologist.

The two now chronicle their travels on Britain's inland waterways on a blog called Living in Sanity http: The Napiers are not alone. Growing numbers of people are opting to live on narrowboats, which brings a simpler, more natural way of life. Currently, there are around 15, "liveaboards", as they are known — a community the size of a small town. Living on a narrowboat has an almost Zen-like minimalism about it — and this is where the inherent eco-friendliness comes in.

As Bruce puts it: You can't take water, power, washing [body and clothing] or even toilet arrangements for granted. Waterway wildlife sightings down. Nick Corble, a waterways enthusiast, who co-authored "Living Aboard" with Allan Ford, echoes this point: Everything you need to stay alive and be comfortable is on the boat.

So you need to know how much electricity you've got — you can't just plug something in and expect it to work. You also have to know how much fuel, gas, wood and water you've got on board. The Napiers haven't moved to biofuels yet, simply because the availability is still patchy, and so fill up with standard red diesel.

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But despite burning around 1, litres a year, their carbon footprint remains negligible compared to the average home-owner and car driver. Depending on the vehicle, the average car driver who clocks up 15, miles a year will consume around 2, litres of fuel — pumping out nearly 4,kg of C02 in the process. All this does is get them from A to B; it doesn't heat their home or provide hot water. Many people living on narrowboats have a permanent mooring. They're genuine river gipsies who have opted for a "continuous cruiser" license from British Waterways. Keira Knightley Getty Images.

With reported sightings of celebrities on the British waterways ever growing, here is a line-up of famous faces just as passionate about canal boating as we are….

Canal boat living: Rise of the eco river gipsy - Telegraph

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