I’m Joel Sanders. I’m a comedian. I do a show called ‘The angry boater’. It’s about living on a boat with hypertension and very few practical skills, which was kind of me for the first few years.
One day I was cycling from my flat in Watford along the canal and next to it was a marina. I went and had a chat with the boaters and I really liked them and they seemed to like me. Within a week I’d bought a boat and I’d moved there.
The beauty of having a boat is if you don’t like where you are, you can untie your ropes and you can move on. 50 metres up the towpath is a completely different experience.
I always get excited when I find a new spot but I also miss London whenever I leave it. It’s not long before I start craving it again, always the east as well.
Different people come to boating for different reasons. You get a lot of eccentric types, and I’m including myself in that. And people who decide that for whatever reason they want to live off grid, they want to escape real life for a while. It’s the same as anywhere. There are good people, bad people, selfish people, selfless people. I’ve met wonderfully kind people out on the network. All of human life is here.
For me this is a richer way of living than I’ve ever had before, even though it’s far simpler. When you have to be aware of the fact that your water is going to run out, you have to put effort into managing those things. But something about that effort makes you appreciate it all a whole lot more. Things you once took for granted, you learn to appreciate.
Last date edited: 29 June 2017