I certainly appreciated the slowness of the pace. The boat moves at about 3 mph, a steady but not fast walking pace. If you’re steering, you don’t necessarily have a lot of time to look about – you can to an extent, but you have to watch the water all the time. Although it’s so slow, it’s not unlike driving a car in that respect. You can be aware of your surroundings but you still need to concentrate on the job in hand.
You have 50 feet of boat in front of you and you have to understand how the boat steers. It’s responsive but not immediate and, every time you steer one way, you have to correct it as soon as the boat responds rather than wait until you’re heading the wrong way.
You must be as aware of the back of the boat as the front, otherwise you might rear-end another boat unintentionally.
You must remember to slow down as you pass a moored boat.
There are no brakes. Reverse thrust takes a while to respond and then has to be corrected once it takes effect.
Patient people get on best at this sort of boating.
There’s a great friendliness in canal boating. This is lovely. It’s not unlike blogging in that respect.