FAQs

Float by Boat is a one-of-a-kind, so it’s not surprising that you have a few questions…

 

ESSENTIALS

What should I bring?
  • A towel
  • Slippers or flip-flops for wearing indoors
  • Walking boots or wellies as the towpath can get quite boggy in places all year round
  • Warm/weatherproof gear and, if you’ve done a little sun dance, sun cream, sun glasses and insect spray. Check the weather forecast beforehand, it’s definitely easier to love the outdoors when you’re well-prepared for it.
  • Torch for walking outside at dusk or moving around the boat after others have gone to sleep
  • Earplugs in case of snoring
  • If you have them, natural or organic wash-kit products are recommended.  Narrowboats’ grey water goes back into the canal.
  • In colder months, ‘Hot botties’, aka hot water bottles, are another good way to snuggle up and get cosy in bed.
  • You’re welcome to bring a favourite poem or reading for sharing before meditation.

 

Is bedding provided?
Yes, each bed has bed linen, pillows and a duvet. You’ll just need your own towel.
How much luggage can I bring?

It’s worth packing relatively light; a typical backpacking rucksack or hold-all each fits just perfectly.  Please be mindful of this when you’re packing.

How are cabins/beds allocated?

There are 3 cabins:

  • a double at the front of the boat
  • a double/twin in the middle
  • a bunk bed cabin that sleeps 4

There is a dividing door between the double and bunk cabins.  And there are privacy curtains on each bunk bed, so you can read late or just enjoy being hidden away in your own den.

For solo travellers, we allocate cabins so that cabins are only shared with the same gender. Occasionally, the numbers don’t work out neatly. In this circumstance we check with all involved to make sure everyone’s comfortable with the arrangements before taking a booking. And we also offer a double for sole occupancy rate.

If you have specific needs or preferences, please state these at the time of booking.

Can you cater for special diets?

Yes, we enjoy cooking vegan food and for lactose, sugar, gluten and wheat-free diets. If there is something that you’re allergic to or simply dislike, please just let us know and we’ll do our best to cater for your needs.

FACILITIES

Where does electricity come from on Spirited Away?

A 12v supply is generated by the engine and stored in batteries. It easily powers a fridge and LED lighting throughout. However, it is worthwhile making sure your phone’s fully charged before you arrive. An inverter and two 240v sockets can recharge electrical items when necessary but best kept to a minimum. That means it’s not ideal for hairdryers and straighteners either, though there is a shaving socket in both of the bathrooms

Where does drinking water come from on Spirited Away?

There is a huge drinking water tank at the front of the boat, which supplies all the taps on-board and we fill up regularly throughout each trip.

What are the showers like?

The showers run with good pressure and hot water, which is also generated when we run the engine.  One tank of hot water supplies two showers and we’re cruising along the canals twice a day.  That means that there’s a good supply of hot water.

FAMILIES & PETS

Do you take bookings from families?

We’ve done some wonderful holidays for families. Being around water, it’s important that children are under the careful supervision of a parent or guardian. Children’s life-jackets are kept on-board.

In general our meditative canal breaks are adult orientated and best suited to over 16s. Should you wish to bring a child with you, please contact us to discuss it further

Can I bring my dog?

Float by Boat breaks do come with canine company; we have a small lurcher called Taz. (See About Us for more info)  If you Book the Whole Boat and have a sociable, well-behaved dog that you’d like to bring, just let us know and we’ll see what we can do.

MEDITATION & RETREATS

What kind of meditation do you do?

We both discovered meditation through the Triratna Buddhist Community and have built personal practices around the Mindfulness of Breathing and Metta Bhavana, or loving kindness meditation.

On Float by Boat retreats, we create an atmosphere where people from different backgrounds, spiritual communities and levels of experience can meditate together. If there are beginners amongst the group, we tend to do guided meditations using a simple practice following the breath, usually with a poem and body awareness beforehand.

Are you guys meditation teachers?

No, we’re just passionate about meditation.  Both of us have been meditating between 5 and 10 years.  We’ve never undergone any meditation teacher training but are open and happy to share our experiences with you.

I've never meditated before, can I come along?

Yes, you’re very welcome to come. Our ‘you time‘ and ‘discover meditation‘ retreats are particularly good, gentle introductions.  If you want to learn a specific practice, there are lots of introductory resources – such as groups, books, podcasts and websites – that we can recommend and, as said above, we’re more than happy to share our personal experiences.  You might just want to enjoy the quiet whilst sitting together, that’s fine too

Can I opt out of meditation?

Yes, everything is optional on FbB breaks. We work on the premise that it’s your holiday and you’re entirely free to do what makes you most happy.  Stay in bed, read a book or go off for a walk and no-one will think anything of it.

Why do you recommend that phones and laptops are turned off?

These days it’s quite rare to have the opportunity to be without phones and laptops. It means that we’re constantly surrounded by digital technology, which can be a noisy distraction, stimulating our minds in a stressful way. A space without ringing phones, beeping text messages and tapping emails means that everyone can enjoy the peace and be present in the experience. We understand that some people might want to use their phones, that’s OK, just wander a little way down the towpath.

What about smoking and drinking?

In creating an air of tranquillity where people can fully relax, we encourage you not to bring alcohol on board*.  On FbB retreats, we also don’t stop at pubs on route.  Smoking is not permitted on Spirited Away, though smokers can walk a little way down the towpath for a cigarette if they want.

*If you Book the Whole Boat, you’re welcome to bring a bottle of wine or a few beers, just let us know in advance that’s what you’re planning to do

Not answered your question….

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