Welcome to Maverick's Big Adventure
in England

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Maverick's Big Adventure

The inland waterways beckon

I've got this itch that needs scratching. I've got this idea about living the Nomad life on a canal boat, a narrowboat, on the English canals, for a year or two.

When I was at university my first wife and I lodged with a disabled lady who lived in Staines on the River Thames, just outside of London.

She rented a morning to a couple of young lads who we're renovating an old narrowboat. Something about it sort of stuck with me all these years. I've had this idea at the back of my mind about giving it a try.

So I've packed up my camper van and taken the car ferry from Santander, in the north of Spain, to Portsmouth in the south of England. From there I have driven up to Burton on Trent, in the Midlands.

There's an organisation that looks after boaters' rights called the Inland Waterways Association, and they have a rally here this weekend on the Trent and Mersey Canal at Burton on Trent.

I'm not decided yet. I just want to look at some of the boats and talk to some of the people and see how I feel.

My last wife Julia and I spent a week on a hire boat the year before we spit up and I loved it. But is it really how I want to live for the next few years?

It would be a great nomad lifestyle, bumming around the canal system moving on every couple of weeks.

If I do this I want to do it on a budget. Well to be honest I have to do it on a budget because I don't have a lot of money left after the divorce. I've been told that the definition of divorce is buying a house for somebody you don't like and that seems about right to me .

One of the stands here is run by a boat brokerage firm based at Whilton Marina near Northampton.

They've got a really tatty old boat for sale called Red October for just 12,000 pounds. I can afford that and still have cash left over to fix her up.

I want to go and have a look so I'm off to Northampton after the show.

I'll get back to you.

The Liveaboard Guide:
Living Afloat on the Inland Waterways
by Tony Jones

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