We were up pretty early (well for me) and decided to give Maggie a nice long walk along the lock this morning.
There were several narrow boats moored there, most being hire boats.
One stuck out though as it was adorned with flowers and greenery, the owners names being painted on the side.
We complimented them on their display and they explained they had vegetables growing in amongst the flower pots as well. Apparently they are permanent cruisers, and were exploring more of the canals this year as a change from the rivers.
Hubby looked and sounded wistful.
I’m afraid I’m a bit of a killjoy when it comes to adventure, and whilst I am happy now to go off as we did to the Festival as and when the mood takes us, I need roots and a base, hence why we have a residential mooring.
Sometimes I feel I’m restricting Hubby, but there are two of us in this relationship, and we take into account each other’s thoughts, views and feelings in everything we do, not just the way we live.
There are 2200 miles (3500km) of navigable rivers and canals in the UK.
Take our speed at 4 mph and traveling for 6 hours a day, to explore it all would take us at least three months.
That would not include stopping for more than one night to explore the local area or towns, or time taken to open and close locks (on the canals, you have to close the gates behind you, whereas on the rivers there are signs asking you to leave your exit gates open), or longer stopovers due to bad weather.
Moorings on the canals and rivers are usually just that, moorings.
Apart from a water supply (not always) and possibly an elsan empty out point for cassette loos, there are no facilities like shower blocks, electrical hook ups, a laundry, or shops nearby.
You may be lucky and get a visitors mooring in a marina for a fee and use theirs, but you cannot guarantee that, unless of course you know where you’re going and can book in advance.
We haven’t been on the canals yet.
As I said in my anniversary post, we could not afford a full year’s licence, but that doesn’t mean we won’t go out and do it in the shorter term.
The boating season finishes in October, so I guess temporary moorings for those permanently cruising are found for the winter months. Many of the boat owners here have a permanent residential property, some have their boats taken out of the water for the winter, others come and stay on their boats for the occasional weekend or few days to get away from the rat race.
For us, the boat is our permanent home and so being moored in a marina like this makes practical sense. I have my roots, but we also have the option of cruising.