238: Channel Update for 2021

A fireside chat where I update you on what my plans are for 2021 – which starts with taking a break for a couple of months.

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89 Comments

  1. I absolutely love your episodes on Amazon. My three year old and I have been watching an episode of “boat show” before bed. He usually asks me to rewind a few times at the beginning to “play boat show song again!”

    I completely understand feeling like a sailboat becalmed on endless clear days. Watching your interviews and a bit if Vandemonium, I’m quite confident in your ability to pivot and find a new wind. For me, it was woodworking (specifically with handtools to start). After a windstorm dropped a large branch near the house, I bought a cheap pair of chisels and decided to make a stool. Watching Paul Sellers and Matt Estlea (his older videos), I did just that and got hooked.

    Whatever muse you find, I hope you continue to share. The canals are what brought many of us, but your wit and presenting are why we watch more.

    Cheers from Seattle!

  2. Just found your videos on Prime. I lived in Rugby the last 15 years while my daughter attended the eponymous school. I spent happy hours walking the Oxford canal (gongoozeler) and its rich wildlife. The handsome viaduct you filmed on Rugby’s outskirts at Hillmoreton used to carry a railway line, long gone, now much used by bikers, walkers and horse riders. Now settled in Portsmouth so swapped canals for seaside walks. Enjoyed your informative and sometimes witty scripts and your video quality is excellent. Just for the record, I once tried to find a book shop in Nuneaton (none) it is not only the canal full of crap!

    • Hello! Thanks for watching and the info about the viaduct. I worked briefly for a time at IBM in Havant many years ago so I vaguely know the Portsmouth area :-)

  3. Hello David from Houston TX.
    As a future narrowboater I must say your vlogs have been extremely helpful. Our earlier travels with younger family peaked our interest but your vlog pushed us to jump in.
    We now own a boat in the Midlands but Covid19 prevents us from using it properly due to quarantine, etc. Even aground, however, the local resources and people help out at distance. Took time to develop these resources but find the boating community there outstanding.
    Should this cruising season open up for us, it would be great to see you on the canal again. If you have any tips for beached boaters be sure and pass them on.
    Bruce Martin

    • Hello Bruce. Really pleased the vlogs have been useful. So frustrating for you to have a boat and be unable even to visit! Cheers

      • Hi David, not sure how to add an independent comment so jumping off your response. Absolutely loved your videos on Amazon.wondering if the European canals and rivers is in your future

        • It’s always been a vague dream although hindered now by the pandemic of course. I wouldn’t take my own boat over though, I’m more likely to hire one. I’d love to do some of the French canals though.

  4. Hi David
    Just found “cruising The Cut” on Amazon this weekend, what a breath of fresh air your commentary is along with the history of the canals. I had to laugh at your comment about being a dab hand at removing a bra one handed when going through Birmingham and getting one stuck in your prop. Looking forward to watching more. Seeing your posts I hope whatever you have a go at you can enjoy it with the same passion.

  5. I have never visited your part of the world and had no idea that cruising the canals was taking place. I just watched season 3 today. Bravo! I loved every minute. I hope you enjoy your next project, whatever it might be!

    • Thank you! I have recently started work on Season Four for Prime (which comprises footage from 2019). Cheers

      • Thank you for a lovely gentle series of programmes.

        My wife has just asked me for a divorce and your series has provided some diversion from the misery and loneliness.

  6. I only recently discovered you on Prime and now currently working my way through your YouTube videos. I’d just like to thank you for all your efforts. They’ve been a absolute joy to watch. Living in N.Ireland we used to visit my granny over in England and the absolute highlight for me every year was a visit to Foxton Locks. I was totally amazed by the funny long boats and would imagine their lives travelling the waterways. Now 30 odd years later you’ve given me a fascinating insight.
    Good luck with your endeavours in the future , on the waterways or not!

  7. Will miss your travels. You have a unique talent that will be greatly missed on the West side of the pond. Although there are others that do what you do……you’re the best.

    Fair Winds and Following Seas

  8. Hi David, and if not somewhat belated i wish for you a very Happy , interesting and evocative new year sir. May the very best of your past turn out to be the worse of your future.
    A change is in the wind then.. To be honest, I cant fault you and it DOES make perfect sense. . The novelty has won off now after 5years maybe. Certainly your out of that so-called ‘Honeymoon period’.. and to take a break from any aspects of our daily lives, especially when it is all starting to feel like forced attrition, i think noone could, would or should begrudge you David..
    Come back when a fresh wind carries with it some new found enchantment.
    It isnt as if you dont have options to rejuvenate that emphatic character and spirit..
    None the less, whatever direction you do endup taking, stopping the videos, new boat, new location etc etc, i wish for you nothing but the very best and thank you for the dedication you have had to your channel, for sharing your travels and life aboard your boat. .
    So thank you kindly for that.
    I am sure i carry the sentiment of all of your viewers and subscribers when i say i hope to see you again, creating new content after your well deserved break..
    You take care David & thank you.
    Kindest regards
    Daz

  9. Beth Alison Kleparek

    David,

    Thank you for taking the time and effort, in making hours and hours of videos for “Cruising the Cut”. I have to say, they were the sunshine of my day, the sugar in my tea and such a welcome break, here in Seattle. Thank you and again! I will look forward to any other up and coming projects, excursions or hobbies you choose to do and film. OH! I also enjoyed the cheerful ditty, in the beginning of each episode! Very peaceful and pleasant. A musical equivalent of a kind smile and a cruise, in the sunny British countryside.

    Cheers and hopefully not a forever farewell….

    your fan, Beth

    • Ah, thank you! I suspect you may be referring to the tune on the “Prime Video” episodes. Rest assured there are at least two more seasons for Prime still to come before they catch up with where I am on YouTube :-)

  10. Hello David,

    I grew up along side the Birminham & Worcester near Hopwood; the brightly paintled narrowboats always caught my attention & instilled a calming sense of freedom when they chugged by. Now I live in France, your vlogs have opened once again the window onto this “get away from it” world, to which point, I’m really considereing buying a boat.
    Thank you for your dedication over the years, and as you are the Grandfarther of this media, we’ll be counting the days until you find your mojo and publish again. Looking forward to seeing the revised format!
    One life….. live it!
    Damian

  11. Dear David,
    Don’t give up! We have loved following you since we made something of a random discovery on the telly a few months back. We love the insight into your amazing lifestyle – please give us something to look forward to!

    Kind regards

    Peter and Heather Reynolds

  12. Hello David. I understand completely your reasons for cutting back on vlogs. I must admit I do enjoy your interview vlogs and hope that you can carry on with that side of boating. Anyway, all the very best for which ever path, or should I say canal, you decide to take. You’ll be missed. Take care.

  13. P.S. from Tony Garden. Also enjoy yor VAN videos

  14. Hi David, I am in Johannesburg, South Africa. I really enjoyed your travels after my daughters found you and gave me a pointer. I have only done one canal trip, on the Brec, after a life-time of wanting to cruise. Your trips filled my gap. Thank you again and I hope you will be able to make a few more cruise videos again in time to come. Have a good rest and come back again, Tony Garden

  15. I will miss your cruising blogs. There are others but not a patch on yours. To start with due to my advancing years I do not hear as well as I did but I can hear every word you say and you do not drown out your remarks with inappropriate “music”. After cruising the cut since 1975, starting with hire boats, then owned boats and shared boats I have since my widowhood enjoyed hotel boats. At first I was able to help with the locks etc . My 2020 trip was, of course, cancelled and am sorry to say due to advancing years (94) I shall not be able to cruise any more and will look forward to reading anything you write about. Don’t be afraid of covering the same ground time and time again. It looks different each time because of direction, season of the year and time of day. There is always something you will have missed previously. Do continue to enjoy your boat.

    • Thank you Iris. I enjoy living on the boat but alas the joy of cruising is gone so I shall likely not cover any ground again. That said, there may be some cruising on other boats or other waters that could I might film, depending on the pandemic of course. Regards, David

  16. Dear David, as much as I dislike the message I do understand! In all honesty, pretty as the canals may be, for me it will always be the human interest and your personal touch that attract me to your channels. Take a break, fill up your tank to the brim and we’ll see your happy face again! I love your work and admire the quality of it, so I will wait patiently for your return.
    Meanwhile: best wishes for the new year, stay healthy and safe!
    Cheerio, Jobim

  17. David,
    I just wanted to say thanks for these videos. I recently discovered you on Amazon Prime over Christmas and your series has been a great help to me. If I’m honest I have been struggling a bit lately. I work for the emergency services and have been flat out since this pandemic started, and frankly I’m exhausted. Then, two days before Christmas both my parents who are in their late 60s fell ill with Covid-19. I have been working all through the Christmas period, obviously without being able to see my family, worrying about them and every day worrying about what I might be picking up at work and bringing home to my wife and two young children. I have never suffered with anxiety, but just lately I really started to have some difficulty.

    And then, I found your series. My goodness, what a tonic. The calmness! The simplicity in the way they’re edited and narrated. Amongst the constant roar of noise and urgency that is my life, as I watch your episodes for 30 odd minutes there is silence.

    I’m pleased to say my parents are recovering well, and your series has really genuinely helped me to find some calm and re-centre. I hope that taking a break can rejuvenate you as well, in these difficult times it is easy to forget to breathe.
    My best wishes.

    • Hi Tom. First of all may I say what a relief it must be that your parents are feeling better; that kind of worry is the last thing you need on top of that stemming from your job, a degree of stress that I cannot even begin to imagine. I am not surprised you are struggling. I hope you know how much appreciated your and your colleagues are – and I really do hope you begin to get some relief soon. Best wishes.

  18. Well, thanks for the excellent vlogs so far, thoroughly enjoyable and you need to enjoy the knowledge the “hordes” of other narrowboat vlogs now out there were highly likely inspired by yours. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, as the saying goes.

    I have to say I loved the Coalfinger vlog and watched it more than once.

    Your planned break is well earned and a change of direction will no doubt be beneficial and a refresh for you ( I wouldn’t mind being able to do something of the sort myself ).

    But do keep in touch with us all………….

    Best wishes and Happy New Year!

    Tracy

    • Thank you Tracy; I shall post the occasional update until my proper (albeit reduced) schedule returns! Happy new year.

  19. Hi David, I shall miss your humour and lovely take on the world of cruising, but, take the time you need to fall back in love with it. I hope 2021 is less dreary for you and that wonderful things inspire you. Take care and I look forward to seeing more about the canals – and your book! Lots of Love Tracey

  20. Hi
    Fully understand your reasoning. Love the vlogs as we see places where we would like to go….then maybe try them. But you must be happy in doing them. One a month would work I think, you have quality so do not worry about quantity.
    Really find them very informative. Rest and see how you feel.
    Wish you a very happy New Year.
    David and Chris
    Highland Dreamer

  21. I found your comments about not enjoying the cruising so much anymore. I, too, went through a similar mental encounter when I went out one day with my motorcycle. After about three kilometers I realized I knew every bump and curve on the road to my goal and that the ride had become boring. I turned around, headed home and told my wife I was going to sell the bike, and it was gone in two weeks. Do I regret my decision? Occasionally when the weather is nice but mostly no. And I can honestly say, my wife is very pleased with my decision as she was always worried when I was on the road. Cheers, mate.

    • Oh, I can imagine just how your wife is pleased! I rather like the idea of a motorcycle despite never having ridden one but it does seem to me that there are too many dangers (on the British roads, at least) from other drivers.

  22. Well I think you are really bold vloger that has the courage to admit that as you lost your “spark” you rather stop doing it. I see a lot o vlogers that their routine is so boring so you can see that they don’t have any more interesting things to show or tell apart from the every day coffee making (in US) or tea sipping (in GB). They have lost their commitment and become the prisoners of their camera, patrons and schedule. I think that you are the very first one that have a balls to say that what you did. I am big fan of your vids but I believe you that 5 years doing almost the same things may be a little boring. I wish you that your new subject for videos gained even a bigger audience. If you are selling your boat let me know about it ;-)

    • Haha thank you. If the boat ever goes up for sale, it will be through a broker and yes, I would announce it on the channel. No plans for that at present though. Cheers

  23. How about putting up some links to what you consider your ‘best of’ videos?

    • Actually your coal boat video is one of my favourites, though I haven’t gone back through the back catalog much. You know, it’s beginning to sound like you’re missing your TV reporting days. I’m all up to seeing more documentary type videos.

      By the way, there may be a shed load of boat tubers out there, but none of them have the professionalism (and dulcet tone!) of yourself.

      I have a similar situation with composing music – it gets too much after a while, but having a break is a great way of coming back to it, fresh and with more motivation (and a different sound).

    • Hello Fred, I have a YouTube “best of” playlist here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6_nZYR2nK4&list=PLa9px3O5n5hADgtrnNwa5jTzO7uaWC8-e

      And thank you for your kind comments. Cheers!

  24. It is not exactly what I would like to see happen but I get it fully.
    When something you once loved to do becomes a chore it is indeed time to step back.
    So while I shall look forward to seeing you down the road, thank you ever so much for making my life better. I came to love the canals when I was 73 and if it were not for the fact that I live on the west coast of Canada and now too long of tooth to try an international relocation to live on the canals, you have provided me with hours and hours of vicarious pleasure for which I am most grateful.
    Again, thank you so much David.

  25. Bev Bushman Jennings

    Since that original video – we enjoyed binge watching all your videos (starting with #1) this past year. It was rest for the mind in this crazy 2020 year. We hope to someday cruise the narrowboat canals for holiday in UK – as we are from Washington State. Life is better when it goes by slow and you can enjoy it – worts and all.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  26. David,
    Thanks for your videos. They gave me the most wonderful sense of calm watching the scenery, hearing the water lapping, and enjoying your commentary. I grew up on a lake in Iowa and miss the water here in California. I used to paddle a canoe. This has been such a lonely, odd year. Best wishes on your break. May you find your way back to joy.

    • Hello Elizabeth. I agree entirely: a lonely, odd year it most certainly was. Unfortunately, 2021 doesn’t look much better. Here’s to 2022! Cheers

  27. David, I totally support the decisions and conclusions you have made in regard to your personal life and how it intertwines with your Youtube Channel. I believe you truly “Shine” in your documentary videos, they are of excellent quality, super-interesting, and most informative. Your background in Broadcasting I’m sure, has much to do with just how successful these videos have been, and I look forward to viewing what you choose to produce in the future. As an American, I am astonished at just how much history England has to offer in terms of beautiful things such as a flight of locks, or a Steam Engine Works museum. And . . . to see a film which not only showcases the hardware involved, but the very interesting people who run the show, makes for a highly interesting endeavor. I wish you every success in 2021 and much good health to be sure. Cheers from the U.S., may all be well with you.

  28. David, your VLOGs have been so wonderfully informative and enjoyable that it is no surprise there have been so many positive comments following your video yesterday. You have brought our canals to life with your beautifully produced videos. Your narration lulls us viewers into thinking that we are listening to an old friend telling stories over an amiable pint, even though many of us, myself included, have never met you. We will, I am sure, gird our loins to deal with the ‘vlog void’ while you take a break and look forward to you being back behind the camera in due course.

  29. Hi David, Happy new year to you! First of all thanks for all the very nice and enjoyable video’s up to now ( Cruising the Cut, Vandemonium and lately also you story telling)
    If you start doing mini documentaries about the channels, and perhaps some history, about the building of the channels, and interesting places along the channels I am sure it will be nice
    The main important thing is: It is YOUR life, you must enjoy what you are doing and ENJOY whatever you do! If you share it via YOUTUBE, nice and if I don’t like the video I can move on to something else (don’t think it will happen with your videos however!)
    So keep well, stay safe and enjoy 2021!
    Regards from South Africa
    Danie Pretorius

  30. Hi David…I must be psychic. I knew what this vlog was going to be about before I watched it; I had the feeling you were feeling a bit dejected. This last year has been a pain for us all and must be even more lonely when you’re a single handler. A break will do you good and you can decide on the way forward. I’m sure I speak for lots of us in that we will miss your happy face and funny escapades. I still smile about the vlog where you let that other boat overtake and do the hard work for you! Anyway, look after yourself and have a better new year!

  31. I just found your videos a couple of months ago. I started watching the series on amazon and was really interested. You make great stuff. I’ve watched all the youtube stuff now. It’s a great idea about focusing on more human interest topics. Don’t let the past year get you down. I joke with my friends about this interest phenomenon and call it “A big bad case of the low Ts.” (male and female alike) Extremely funny! Also, I’m out of Kentucky, and was recently out with my wife buying furniture and we met a young saleswoman from the UK. It was all I could do to not ask her about narrowboating. My wife was very glad that I hadn’t brought up the topic. I’m sure the young saleswoman would have loved talking about the subject. Anyway, take a break and maybe you’ll find the passion again after a few of the more in-depth videos you plan to make. As Dory says, “Keep on swimming.”

    • Oh, how amusing that you wanted to chat with the saleswoman about narrowboats! Haha, I can imagine your wife’s relief too. Very funny.

  32. Disappointed that you’re backing off with the videos, but I quite understand. I’ve really enjoyed your videos over time.

    We are in the sad situation of having our own boat, which we normally spent 6 months a year on, but are no longer able to do so due to the virus. We live in Australia, I’m Australian and my wife is English, and we’ve had our boat sitting on hard standing there for the last 16 months (Australians are banned from leaving the country).

    My suspicion, like you, is that this virus situation isn’t going away any time soon so next season is looking unlikely. Fingers crossed but realistically….

    So for the last 16 months narrowboat videos, yours and others, have been our only link to narrowboating. So a huge thanks for your wonderful videos, you’ve been a link to the canals for us.

    • Hi Peter. Oh, how galling for you yet of course it’s entirely appropriate to have to do it. Not good to have a boat you totally can’t use. I had heard you were banned from leaving (quite extreme, I thought, I’d have imagined coming back was more of the problem…). Hopefully 2021 will bring some good news, let’s cross our fingers and wait.

  33. Passion is everything! Love your minidocus! Have fun & take us with you.

  34. Well put and totally understood. Be well and keep in touch.

  35. I have wathced some other videos but they are not as good as yours. You can tell they are not expert camera operators. I will still watch yours because I haven’t seen them all yet. Sorry to see you go but you have to do what you have to do.
    Good luck to you wherever this takes you.
    Thanks.

  36. Grab the chance to break away for a spell
    Have breather and keep safe ok?

  37. Best of luck to you regardless of how you spend this coming year. The comments you’ve made here speak volumes to why so many of us enjoy so much watching these presentations and, in some strange, electronic way, have come to consider you a wonderfully fascinating acquaintance if not a friend. Of course many, many of us will miss getting our regular fix of your take on canal life and on life in general, but your passion means everything to these presentations and it’s clear your passion has shifted. Fair winds and following waters from California. Best always.

  38. Bravo! I look forward to your “long format” in depth videos. You are very good at it. This year has been crazy and next will be more of same for a while. Finding joy in these times is important and should not be depreciated. I’m sure you have your own interests, but when you’ve got some of your joie de vivre back I’d like to put in a vote for a video about the Worsley mines, the equipment used and the people that worked them.
    Thanks and have a great new year!
    David

    • Hello David. Thanks for the support. I’m not sure what I’ll be able to do yet, the pandemic is quite restrictive but hopefully that will start to clear later in the year maybe? Cheers

  39. Sandra Griefenstine

    Oh David, going to miss you, but I certainly can understand. I loved your interviews and the film on the canal restoration. GO FOR IT. Take the time off and do whatever your heart (and the world will let you) desires. Would definitely find it so interesting on the restoration of the canals and anything else you wish to get into. You take care of yourself, stay safe and stay healthy and enjoy getting away and doing something interesting FOR YOU. Have a good New Year and hope we hear from you when your ready. Take care.

    • Hi Sandra. The good thing is that there are several canals under restoration, at various stages, so no shortage of material there! Plus lots of other topics I could cover, I hope. Best wishes.

  40. I have enjoyed immensely those videos I have seen, but understand your need to recharge. A history of canals was something I was going to suggest as a diversion, pleased to learn you are already on it. I enthusiastically support any direction you intend to pursue. Please stay healthy, and I look forward to your reemergence whenever and in whatever form best suits you. Best wishes for the coming year.

    Your American cousin

    Ian

    • Hi Ian; to be honest, history per se is not really my thing so I doubt I’ll do much on that (other than by virtue of the canals being historic in their very nature) but I hope to come up with some stuff of interest, we’ll have to see! Cheers

  41. The new direction sounds great!

  42. David, just watched your 2021 “things to come” video. Totally understandable, and while I enjoy your cruisin vids, can sure understand how what you do in life has got to have some fun in it and some, can’t think of the word, but you have to enjoy what you do. The videos the last 5 years you can see and hear that in your videos. However, time has come, you need to change up some stuff to bring the adventure and fun back into what you do. And you do the documentary well. Enjoy the down time, and the new ideas and new adventures and look forward to seeing your first vid in new series. Jill

  43. Hi, David:
    I’ve been deactivated from facebook, so will be going to this site to see your latest vlogs and videos. Hope your down time is great, and I know I can’t wait to see your spring first cruise. :-) Take care and enjoy your winter.
    Jill

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