I’m not going to go on and on about the hardships and annoyances during this weird time. I also don’t want to minimize them, but we’ve all heard so much about it. I’m just writing to keep busy. Now, that implies that I have nothing to do…nothing could be further from the truth! I’ve got lots of cleaning waiting, I need to wax and put my skis away, I should get some exercise, the list actually is quite long. But I am getting way too used to not <having> to do anything! It’s quite freeing. Perhaps it’s not all that useful or productive, but there it is. I’m just too busy doing nothing.

I also understand that many people are still working, often putting themselves in danger in order to help the rest of us or to simply pay the bills. I honour them all, particularly those on the ‘front lines’, in the health care system, in the grocery stores, and many other places that are considered essential. Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart. I know we’ve all been saying that, but it’s a very important thing to keep saying and to keep in the front of our minds.

Now, since this is a narrowboat blog, I’ll talk a bit about narrowboating. The situation in the UK is a bit dire but fortunately they have an amazing health care system. I’m hopeful that this will help balance the slow start they got to help produce better outcomes. On the canals it’s a strange situation. The Canal & River Trust, the charity that administers the majority of the system, has issued instructions for boats to remain in place if possible. Only ‘essential’ movement is allowed. This is primarily moving to get water, dispose of waste, and get groceries. People that live full-time on their boats but don’t have a ‘home mooring’ are called continuous cruisers. Normally they are allowed to stay at most mooring locations for up to 14 days before moving on but under the present circumstances that limit has been lifted.

The biggest issue being discussed is use of the towpath. Over the last couple of years the CRT has been promoting the use of the towpaths by non-boaters as a healthy place to be (“Life Is Better By Water”). Walkers and bicyclists are encouraged to make use of such a beautiful resource. At this time however, they’re being discouraged from doing so in an attempt to reduce the crowding on a narrow pathway, to try to keep the boaters and themselves safer. It’s causing a lot of controversy and some heated exchanges. 

I know of a similar situation in North America, mostly concerning travel to holiday locations (such as ski hills). I hope this doesn’t turn into a ‘them and us’ situation, we’re all in this together no matter where we live (hear that Donald Trump?).

One of the things I have been doing is going through video that I’ve taken along the canals. I have no intention of trying to compete with the ‘boat tubers’ out there, many of them are very talented and work hard at creating high quality videos. I am, however, putting some crappy videos up on YouTube. It’s been fun and interesting and I thought others might get a laugh out of the attempts. My YouTube channel is, of course, called “Canuck on the Cut“. Please don’t expect much, but there is the occasional nice scenery shot.


Awaiting my return…


As always, thank you for reading, keep in touch, and take very good care.


Cool Change Vinyl Wrap2

10 Replies to “Posting about (and because of) boredom”

  1. Well done Doug. The cut has been here for a few hundred years and had it’s fair share of trials but I think it will be here ready to welcome you back.

    1. Thanks Mark. I’ll be back as soon as it’s safe, I’m missing it a lot! See you then I hope.

  2. I haven’t seen any of your videos but if they’re as nice as your last photo, they’ll be worth looking at 😊. That’s a beautiful shot!!

  3. Hi Doug,
    It’s interesting reading all the comments on the various narrowboat websites. Everyone on the Continuous Cruising one is complaining about the towpaths and how boaters should be given preference to use them because of the licence fees we pay, and that they should restrict cyclists etc etc.

    Our boat at Sawley Marina can’t have any of the upgrades we have mostly paid for because the fellow doing them isn’t able to move the boat down to his marina. The weather and consequent flooding there was so horrendous that his work was delayed in January/February, and now this. We haven’t cancelled our plane tickets yet upon advice of the travel agent, saying that if they cancel it there will be no penalty to postpone.

    We’re at least living on our boat in a fabulous location in front of the Empress, at the end of the dock facing out to the Inner Harbour – strangely quiet because there are no sea planes or little ferries or the Clipper or the Coho running. But the bird and the river otters and sea lions are still around.

    The Harbour Authorities have offered to extend our winter moorage another month as there will be no Swiftsure or Wooden Boat Festival in May. We have booked to leave our boat at the marina next to the ferry dock in Brentwood, so will see. It’s closer to cruising waters but where to cruise to? With everything closed, just a change of scenery. Lucky us to have the choice.
    All best,

    1. Hi Hilary… Yes, they’re having some issues on the canals over that. I’m not sure how I feel about it all, everyone pays taxes etc. Only about 1/4 of the funding for the CRT comes from licence fees apparently, plus they’ve spent the last couple of years heavily promoting use of the towpath by walkers and bikers. Perhaps they didn’t think that through completely. I’m hoping to get some work done on my boat too but it’ll be done right in that marina (it’s still out of the water). I hope you can get it moved soon, it’s such a perfect time for the work to get done without impacting your cruising time.
      Sounds like you’re living in a nearly as perfect a spot as me, especially with the Inner Harbour so quiet. I used to have my boat in Brentwood, which side of the ferry are you moving to? Have you done much cruising around the Gulf Islands? I have some great little hidey-holes if you’re interested…
      Take good care

      1. Hi Doug, we’re staying Victoria side (left going out) of the ferry. We just heard from our guy doing the work at Sawley, and he might have to go out of business as no work is being done etc etc. But the parts we have paid for belong to us and he has promised to do the work, regardless. If things are shut down everywhere we probably won’t be going for more than three weeks out of Brentwood. Staying in a cute little bay with no services doesn’t appeal much to me, but I love the Gulf Islands for sure!. We may go over to Tsawwassen to visit relatives and then head up the Fraser. I’d like to poke around in the area of Granville Island too.
        Talk later! I didn’t get a notification that you had answered, BTW.

        1. I’ve always wondered if you get notification of replies, I guess that answers the question. I’ll look into it… I used to keep my boat there but moved it when the Brentwood Inn sold and the new owners didn’t live up to any of their promises. I heard (much later) that they finally did sort it out. It’s a nice location. I sure hope you can get the work done on your boat, sounds to me like the fellow should just go get the boat and move it. From what I’ve seen on YouTube, lots of people are still moving, they just say “it’s essential, I need water!”. Nobody is patrolling or checking anyway. The CRT has no enforcement ability.
          Take care…


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