... ... ... Seven years in an unassuming narrowboat on the waters of the "longest, friendliest village in England"  


Sometimes people question what I do and why ... 
Sometimes I question what I do but never why ...

My Pentargon Springer was built between 1973 and 1976. She was an unsaleable piece of junk when I picked her up for a few verses of a shanty at a time when I had but little and asked for less. Snooty snobs reckoned she was as ugly a boat as they'd ever seen but I've never worried about image.

At Staines in Nov.'18, I cleaned out the debris of seven years and left the best of it boxed on the quay ready to go into storage.Over the winter of 2017/18 and during a six month period on land between Jan and July of 2018, the boat was fettled after seven years of inconstant cruising in all seasons: on canals, rivers, lakes and sea estuaries.

I cleaned away her battle scars and embalmed her wounds and refloated her for another six months wending my way from Shepperton library through London's libraries to Hackney's libraries gathering the missing pieces of my personal jigsaw through the inland waterways of England. 

I am now almost at the end of a project to transform Pentargon into a sailor's home from home, a floating country cottage without an address that can go anywhere or nowhere .... that is how she was shaped during my tenure.  I may even polish some brass; if I can't be trusted to care for the little I've been given how could I be trusted with more? The mission is to furbish and burnish; to ready her for her next forty years with other helms. This is what makes me tick. I can't change my short-comings and frankly I have never tried but I can work within my shortcomings ... on a mission to rebuild ... just one wee boat that has served me well, one boat that has carried me through seven years and a tenth of my life and which repeatedly did what others said was impossible. The boat came onto her hard-standing under her own power and she deserves go back out comfortable and looking good ... for just another last few months

I take whatever opportunity is put before me and do the best I can with it.
I'll be sailing off into the sunset ... without Pentargon ...

Someone else will sail her away from their sunrise. The past seven years has been an amazing journey, living in the now ... How could I complain about where I am or where I have been. 2020 and 21 beckon, new challenges, new languages, new cultures, new people. I've had some people put in my path to help me along and I'm going to do the best I can with what I am given or find. What would any sailor do? Leave a boat to sink? Leave a boat beat up? I know there is a power greater than myself pulling the strings and pulling me onwards. I just need to do my part. Be grateful for life's voyage to date and look forward at whatever the future holds beyond the next horizon.

One foot in front of the other, enjoying every step. If in a few of those steps, I stumble ... what matter ... I've stumbled before; I've fallen, I've grazed my knees, I've got up again, but now the years are calling and telling me I've been on the planet more than three quarters of a century and the aches are more noticeable, the grazes take a little longer to mend. 

 I value what is given to me and make the best of it. So if you're ready for a ride of your life welcome aboard. We set sail every morning no matter what wind, waves, tides, or compass bearing bears upon us. We have a distant horizon in mind somewhere under the rainbow. But no matter what, we hoist sail and take what wind or tide we're given. We never know where we will end up but we have good times along the way ... living an unpredictable but adventurous life ...

Rispex to Mark Reinhart and Trevor Pearse