I have always loved writing, and now that I am retired I thought I would be able to find time to write, but it seems that I still manage to fill my days with activities. I have however found that while I travel, I enjoy writing about some of the interesting things we do. I hope you enjoy reading of our adventures as much as I like writing about them.
Friday, October 5, 2012
Now I have written a couple of blog
entries about piloting the houseboat for Regis and the girls, and I
hope you have enjoyed them, but it really was an interesting
vacation, and for anyone interested, I will tell you something about
it, in case you might want to give it a try.
Lots of Room for Everyone
The houseboat itself is large,
comfortable, and easy to maneuver. I have never really driven a bpat
before and I really did not have any problem. You can pilot it from
inside if the weather is less than perfect, but if it is sunny and
warm, there is a second bridge up on the 'hottub' deck. Although the
boat is like a big RV on the water, it is outfitted with a real
household refrigerator, stove and microwave. The kitchen is large and
easy to work in with lots of cupboards. The bathroom is a real
bathroom with an RV style toilet, but a full size shower and sink
complete with vanity. There is a couch and a large dining table that
both convert to LARGE beds, and as you read, the girls really did
have room to line dance in the living room. There were two bedrooms
and a sleeping loft, so with the beds in the living area this boat
slept 10 with no problem, and sitting nine at the table worked well.
We saw another boat that slept 14 that had four bedrooms and two
bathrooms (Only one shower however). There was a hottob on the top
deck, as well as lots of room to sit around and talk or heaven
forbid, square dance. There is a large flatscreen TV and excellent
sound system in the living room, and a car type stereo up stairs so
your collection of music on the Ipod or Phone is easy to play. There
is a slide from the top deck into the water that would have been used
if the water was warmer – it looked like fun. And there is a full
size barbecue on the front deck.
Come on board . . .
The boat worked well. It has a 3.0
litre inboard engine that started easily with little fuss, and pushed
us along at houseboat speed. This means that nothing shifted, you
could put your coffee or glass of wine on the counter and even turns
did not move it. It is a dual hull pontoon boat so is amazingly
stable. Even one morning steaming up river at full speed with a
strong wind and whitecaps, we lost water out of the hot tob but not
out of the wine glasses inside. The slow speed and stability means
that even those susceptible to motion sickness forget they are on
the water. The boat uses a battery and generator system and is
completely automatic. Regular electric appliances work just fine, and
you do not have to worry about using lights or power. When needed the
generator comes on and recharges the batteries. They pull water from
the river and treat it internally for cooking and showers, and it is
then put back into the river so you have no holding tank filling up
even with a crowd, and the septic held enough so that even with nine
people for almost a week we had no problem.
Underway up the River
The Saint John River, above the
Mactaquac dam is your highway, and you can go as far up river as
Woodstock. There are some activities to do along the river such as
Kings Landing and Trees to Go, but the main activity is the houseboat
itself. The scenery up and down the river is beautiful, especially in
October with the leaves changing colour when I went, but I suspect
any season would have it's own unique benefits. The relaxing speed
of the boat and the comfortable setting with good friends make the
voyage the best part of the experience.
It is not an inexpensive vacation if
you were going on your own, but probably compatible to renting an RV,
but put together a group of family or good friends to share the cost
and you can have a really reasonable adventure.
Writing the Blog
As I write this, I am sitting on the
back deck of the boat in October. I am sitting in a lawn chair typing
on my Macbook with a cold beer beside me. I pulled into a little cove
at about 4:00 pm , tied up to two sturdy trees and it is now almost
7:00 pm, the sun is going down and I'm watching the river flow gently
past. Life is good.