I hadn’t planned on doing another blog post until I was closer to returning to the boat, but here is short one. I’m presently still on the mountain, skiing each day and looking forward to returning to the canals in the UK. Cool Change has been blacked and serviced and will be back in the water and ready to go when I return in early May. More on my plans later…


What I’m writing about today is concerning an interview that I did with the lovely and talented Annamarie and Kath, vloggers who are known as The Narrowboat Experience on YouTube. It’s a fantastic channel, with informative and interesting videos about life on a narrowboat and many other subjects. In this case, they have a series where they talk to various people about what life on the canal is like and how they began their journey. They called me and asked if I’d like to participate as my story was a bit unusual. I was quite willing since I never really mind talking, as many of my friends will attest to.

The resulting interview has now been published on YouTube. I think they did a great job of editing and producing it, it’s not as embarrassing as I thought it might be (not because of them, but because I hate seeing myself on camera).

Having said all of that, I’m writing now to thank everyone that has recently read, subscribed, and commented on my blog and the interview video. There are so many nice people out there, I’ve been a bit overwhelmed. And thanks to Kath and Annamarie for making it fun and easy. Sorry about the lousy tea.

In addition to making great videos (with Kath) and being an awesome cat mom, Annamarie is also a watercolour artist. They have the website ArtbyAnnamarie.com and I highly suggest you check out her beautiful paintings and their other items.

As for my 2020 cruising plans, that’ll have to wait. There have been some major storms throughout the UK this winter, causing considerable wind and flood damage. At least one major canal is completely blocked, likely for a year or more while it is repaired. As I had hoped to go through that area, a rewrite of the plan is underway!


(photo credit: David Thompson)

As always, I try to answer all the comments I receive here on the blog so please keep in touch and give me feedback whenever you like. I also post occasionally on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I hope you continue to enjoy my meandering writings…

Stay tuned…

Cool Change Vinyl Wrap2

13 Replies to “Winter continues, with some canal news”

  1. Hi Doug,
    Following our last concert, my husband Sandy and I are booked to go over June 14, returning Sept 13. Our boat is in Sawley Marina in Nottinghamshire, and upgrades and blacking will be done before we arrive.That marina and the Trent River have had serious flooding, but we have been assured that the boats in the marina are being watched and lines slackened or tightened as needed.
    The name of our boat is now CORNI DUO, which musicians will recognize as “two horn players.” We will have our two horns over there and will meet up with a band with whom I have travelled extensively. They will be playing a couple of concerts in the walled city of Chester sometime in early August, and we will join them to have a toot! They are bringing a concert band, but no horn players are accompanying them, so we will fill in the gaps nicely, and a good time will be had by all.
    All best,

    1. Sounds like a blast! I love Chester, such a beautiful and historic city. We’ll have to stay in close touch, if you’re going from Sawley westward on the Trent & Mersey we might be able to connect. I might be too far north by then but you never know!

      1. Yes, we’ll play it by ear. Just had an email from the guy doing our upgrade and he said they have had a horrendous couple of months. He wants to move our boat to his marina (Stenson) to do the work as his work shed at Sawley got blown away. They have basically lost the last two months. Apparently two boats were lost at the marina and a couple got blown up onto the towpath. He kept check on ours, however and she’s ok. Yes, I love Chester too. I’ve been there a couple of times with the Vancouver band I have played with.

        1. Wow, scary stuff. I’m so glad mine’s been out of the water! Hope he gets it done in time…

          1. Well he’s got a bigger crew down there and can work under cover so fingers crossed! He knows when we are arriving.

  2. Enjoyed your interview with AnnaMarie and Kath. You mentioned you spent 6 months a year on the canals and 6 months back home in Canada. As an American I think we can also stay up to 6 months with out a Visa. Was wondering if Commonwealth countries were allowed to stay longer or received any other visiting privileges in the UK?


    Another Doug

    1. Hi Doug, thanks for commenting. I don’t think Commonweath countries are much different than the US. The only way I’ve found to stay longer in the UK is through an ‘Ancestry Visa’. This is available to me since my grandparents (3 of them) were born in the UK. I suspect that would be available to anyone else too? I don’t qualify for anything else. I haven’t applied for this, 6 months works for me (I feel the need to ski!). Also there are implications to my health care in Canada if I’m gone more than 6 months.

      1. Yes you are correct Doug. I’m British by birth and have duel Citizenship so could stay as long as I wanted but would lose Canadian medical if out of this country for more than 6 months. Anyway, my husband is a Canuck so that’s that.

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