On ‘Top ‘O The Roof’ is the most sociable outdoor space on the boat. With the back deck pretty much dominated by the sweep of the elum (rudder), the roof of the back cabin is a safe gathering point, an outdoors space used for chatting, eating, looking, sharing, messing, wrestling, staring and dozing.

And, importantly it’s a point of connection between the steerer and the rest of the boat. The steerer can feel isolated, given that they’re pretty much ‘attached’ to the elum whilst the boat is in motion, so being able to have a conversation with the rest of the ‘crew’ is vital, and enjoyable.

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Fin in charge of steering, the roof is rarely this quiet. I’m stood next to him taking the photo, oh, and worry not, he’s not really heading for a collision with the bank but concentrating hard on straightening the boat up to travel mid-channel.
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Claire and Joe enjoy the detail of a drawing of a meal on the paper plate. Mol and Fin had been quiet ‘below decks’ drawing. A warm afternoon. Perfectly Summer.
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We feel the canal is a precious resource for ‘city-kids’ like ours. It provides space enough for them to slow down a little, to savour stillness, silence and the countryside. Here’s Joe in a quiet moment of contemplation.
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Joe steering, he and Fin are listening for bird-calls in the woodland adjacent to Kings Sutton.
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Claire pointing out butterflies perhaps, whilst Joe muses on the boats as we pass…
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Wiped out, it’s the fresh air and the huge adventure of it all that get’s ’em!
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Mol, on top of the boat, quietly enjoying a great place to watch the world pass by…

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