My adventure on the British canal system, aboard a ‘narrowboat’ will be almost entirely new to me. I’ve been boating most of my life, including having lived aboard my 12m sailboat for a year. My whole career as an oceanographer has, obviously, been focused on the ocean. Now, I’m embarking on a different type of ‘sailing’. A narrowboat is a very specific design for use on the canals of Great Britain. As the name implies, they’re very narrow (under 7 feet wide) to allow access to the locks and waterways built throughout the country in the 18th and 19th centuries. I’ll discuss the history of the canals and locks in upcoming blogs as I encounter them.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. The next few months or so will be focused on researching this adventure. I need to investigate the immigration rules (as a Canadian in Britain), the purchasing and tax rules, find a boat and buy it, and actually retire. Not necessarily in that order! It’s a whole new direction for me so there will be a learning curve like no other. I’m excited about it and looking forward to sharing the experience.

Stay tuned!

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