Thursday, 15 September 2016

There's Something About Mary.......

"Mary" is a 1982 purpose built 40 foot canal boat

There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. 
Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. 
On such a full sea are we now afloat. 
And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.

The storm had been brewing for a number of years.  When it finally erupted in August 2016 it was immensely destructive and cost me more than I bargained for.

Disillusioned with the state of my work-life balance, I threw caution to the wind and embarked on a voyage of discovery and adventure.

Having spent a number of weeks in Hebden Bridge at the start of September, over the last few years, I fell for the charm of the town and especially the canal-side community.

Following a chance meeting with some boat owners in a pub one Friday night, I heard of a local canal boat for sale, complete with a permanent mooring - and so the first step of the journey was to buy a canal boat: "Mary".

Within 12 hours I had paid a deposit and Mary was mine.

Mary is a work in progress - to convert a not very efficient diesel powered narrowboat to a solar electric propelled smart-boat.  A biomass fuelled combined heat and power system and woodstove provide all the energy for living and working when the sun is low in winter. 

Over the next few posts, I will explain how I have planned my exit from the rat-race - and found calm and solace amongst the canals and mills of West Yorkshire, living and working on a floating laboratory for appropriate technology and renewable engineering.


  1. Ken - hope that you're managing to find some equilibrium and inner peace. Admire your bravery for doing something that many of us consider but few have the nerve to try.

    (PS I have emailed your old gmail address. Not sure if this is still current.)

  2. Steve - thanks for your comment.

    Yes old gmail address is still valid.

  3. All the best, Ken. Your doing something we thought hard about, but I don't think I could be so compact. And with all the modern tech, a good data link is still a challenge. If you find one you might recall this: