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Our First Narrowboat

I wonder if we can tell you all the tale of how we began life on our very first boat, Katoomba?

If we rewind the clock just a little to August 2017, imagine me, Mollie, with a very full tum, & Jason, a sweet expectant daddy to be having just returned from our travels in Australia and on the search for a floating home to call our own. 

Time was certainly ticking. I was 32 weeks with babe and we were combing the usual places searching for a beautiful boat. We were heading to appointments in St Mary’s, Paddington, often and on one of these occasions I spied a boat for sale called Katoomba. It piqued my interest and felt curiously serendipitous…


Perhaps some of you may know that, Katoomba, is a beautiful little town in the Blue Mountains, Australia.

We’d just recently had an absolutely magical day visiting, literally just a few days before we flew out and here was a boat looking at me called Katoomba, and when I enquired they said it was available! In that moment I felt like all the stars had aligned and she was meant to be ours. 

Upon viewing her we got ‘the feel’ that she should be ours. She was a 1984 French & Peel build with a mammoth marine offshore Lister FR3 engine which we WHOLLY naively thought every boat had. How very, very, very little we knew in those early days!!

Our First Cruise

We cruised her down to London from Ellesmere which took 3 and a half weeks (yes, you read that right). J cruised and I did all the locks, around 150, at one point I did wonder whether the baby would be born on the side of the canal!

We had a LOT of hairy moments on that first cruise. We learnt a lot, it felt like a baptism of fire into the boating world, but, we fell in love with our very first home. 

Cruising along many hundreds of miles of canal with the sunshine glistening and dancing on the water, seeing turquoise flashes of Kingfisher’s playfully following our boat flitting from tree to tree, meeting many friendly, open faces with a tale to tell, a pot of tea to share and a helping hand when needed.

Our First Babe

Little Etta excitedly arrived a day earlier than expected in September.

With no way of heating our new home J called in the help of a friend who swiftly arrived to install a woodburner onboard so that babe & I could return to a snug boat, albeit with most of the jobs still to be done.

Our Little Haven

Katoomba was an absolute haven for us. She was old, she was beat up, she was flaky, she was rusty, she had a wild, wild engine that should probably have been in a museum! but, she was ours.

Our First Family Home

She was our first family home and she wrapped us up in her embrace so we could feel happy and confident to grow as new parents and ultimately the confidence to embark onto our new adventures into renovating 11 more secondhand narrows. All the while traversing the waterways with our little one(s) in tow, moving every couple of weeks. 

We loved it this way, the freedom of movement, so we never had a mooring.

They are fond, fond memories of a time we can never bring back, but a time we fully embraced and were able to spend together as a family all because of a boat, Katoomba.

Hope you enjoyed our first Tuesday Tale, I’ll be popping on here each week to bring you a tale or two of our boating adventures and an insight into who we are, what we do and most importantly, why we do it!

See you soon!

Mollie x

You could WIN a brand new widebeam boat!

Here’s a quick reminder about our exciting “Win a Boat” competition! We’re offering the chance for you to win a brand new, custom-designed stunning widebeam boat of your very own, worth £180,000!

The prize comes with 1 year’s continuous cruising licence, insurance and certificates to get you all started. We’ll be giving the winner tailored advice about boating, and will be on hand to offer realtime support & guidance.

If you’re up for a new adventure, check out the competition to see the amazing life-changing prize!

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