What’s your name and what’s your background?
I’m David Johns. I’m in my early fifties and used to work as a local TV news reporter for ITV in the south east of England. After many years of doing this and working in radio, I decided to chuck it all in and buy a narrowboat to cruise around the canals on. However, in April 2022 I moved off the boat for various reasons, see my explanation video by clicking here.
Are you married? Who’s Deborah Johns? And is Lorna your wife?
I am long ago divorced and currently single (applications for the post of girlfriend are welcome ;-). Deborah (who composed the music for the version of Cruising the Cut seen on Amazon’s Prime Video) is my sister. Lorna is not my wife, it was a little joke I made in one of the videos because we see so much of each other, and a lot of people thought I was serious.
Why do you eat so many cheese sandwiches – and what’s in them?
Because I love cheese … I use the strongest cheddar I can get (preferably Pilgrim’s Choice Extra Mature), with some tomato, maybe some cucumber slices and nothing else. To be clear, the “recipe” is buttered bread with ingredients as just described, and that’s it.
I absolutely loathe mayo or any similar gunge, and I don’t like salt, pepper or suchlike either. At a push, I will eat pickle in it as well but it’s not something I add by default.
And no, the sandwich is not grilled, that seems to be an American thing. If we toast a sandwich in the UK, it is then explicitly referred to as a “toasted sandwich” or “toastie”. The “sandwich” default is un-heated in any way.
Will you ever be visiting <location>?
People often ask if I’ll be going up a particular canal at any time. I really have very few fixed plans, so I’ll tell you now: “I don’t know”!
Can I sent you a gift, what’s your address?
That’s a very kind thought and thank you but although I did once, several years ago, accept an unsolicited gift (a hoodie), I now prefer not to receive items and politely decline such offers though I really do appreciate the sentiment. I prefer a minimalist, uncluttered, lifestyle. Also, I don’t like handing out my address for obvious reasons.
What video and filming equipment do you use?
See my “gear” page!
Why not use a drone to look ahead and around corners?
Not really feasible as a solo boater. It would not be wise to operate the boat and a drone single-handed, your attention would either be on one or the other and that would not be safe. The drone is required to be in visual range and control at all times, in the UK regulations.
If you stop the boat to operate the drone (which would also necessitate bringing it to the side of the canal so as to be out of the way in case of further boats passing) then by the time you’ve brought the drone back and landed it and set off again, the situation ahead may have changed anyway.
Plus there are so many blind corners and twisty bits on most of the canals, you’d never get anywhere for always stopping. And the drone batteries don’t last that long either so you’d be forever changing them.
Using a drone to look ahead when single handed would just be way more hassle than it’s worth since you can either just toot your horn and proceed with caution, or you’re really bothered, pull the boat in and run along to see what’s coming (which would still be quicker and easier than using a drone)
If you had crew aboard who could operate the boat while you do the drone, then it would make more sense but for me it’s not realistic.
How do you make money?
I am now a full-time YouTuber; every time someone watches the ads that occasionally play, I get a fraction of a penny. Get enough views and this will eventually add up. It’s only the ads that pay, I get nothing for views of the videos themselves unless you’re a member of YouTube Premium. In that case they divide up your monthly fee amongst every creator you watched that month according to how much of each creator’s videos you watched.
This website has ads on it so that also earns a few pounds each month. Links from my videos to Amazon with an affiliate code in them mean I get a small commission if someone buys anything (yes, anything, not just the product that was linked to) after going to the site from clicking on my link.
I also have a ‘tip jar’ page for really dedicated viewers – yes, there are some! – who want to send me money either as one-off donations or even monthly sums, typically £5 a time, to support me in making more videos.
And finally, I opened an online merchandise store selling branded mugs, hats, t-shirts and suchlike; I really should push this more but I don’t want to become one of those channels that’s always trying to flog stuff to its viewers.