It was July when a friend, Glen Le Santo sent me a link to a boat for sale. I'd been looking for months and had almost given up hope. Then during a day of travelling and looking at boats, I had a feeling this was the one.
I had to wait to have the survey done in October to be sure.
And while it was in the dry dock I spent my first ever night aboard a canal boat.
The survey was good and after parting with a massive amount of cash I invited the family to come and have a look at our new home from home.
It was surprisingly mild for the time of year and we enjoyed a couple of days living in the marina. I still needed to sort insurance and a licence before I could actually move it.
Lots of people asked me why I'd bought a boat.
Due to a trip to America it was mid November by the time we had the paperwork sorted. The licence cost around £1000 and Insurance £250. I would soon learn what B-O-A-T stands for. (Bring out another thousand.)
The plan was to get the closer to home. Winter stoppages on the canals would make it hard to get it any closer than Leicestershire. But that was a lot closer than Cheshire and there were a few places I could moor the boat for winter.
The old branding came off and I renamed the boat from Thompson's Brewery to Story Maker.
I had the controls pointed out to me and then I was off!
It was a steep learning curve as I slid through the sights and sounds of the Trent and Mersey canal.
I spent my first night moored outside a pub. This is where I first discovered the hospitality of boaters.
Full of ale and pub food I retired for a peacefull sleep.