Narrow Dog to Indian River

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Narrow Dog to Indian River

Postby Blake » Sat Oct 17, 2009 8:08 am

Has anyone read Narrow Dog to Indian River, a book about traveling the length of the Atlantic ICW in a narrowboat? I'm trying to figure out whether it's worth buying.

The Narrow Dog site indicates the book is a best-seller in the U.K.

Blake
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Re: Narrow Dog to Indian River

Postby captainwjm » Fri Oct 23, 2009 4:09 pm

this is from the public library site:

Excerpt


Excerpted from Narrow Dog to Indian River by Terry Darlington
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.


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Thier gods are not our gods


THE TROUBLE WITH YOU IS YOU ARE OBSESSED with the USA, said Monica. The GIs gave you too much gum in the war and you read too many comics and saw too many films-too much Captain Marvel, too much Tarzan, too muchTerry and the Pirates, too much Alan Ladd. But America will crush you like it always has. Remember after the New York Marathon, when that gay fireman went off with you over his shoulder? If I hadn't come along you would be Tits Magee now, the Limey Queen of Greenwich Village. I was in a bit of a state, I said. He was trying to help-he was very nice.

What about when you opened an office on Madison Avenue and lost us a fortunetwice? Now you want to sail down the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. It is eleven hundred miles long. There are sea crossings bigger than the English Channel. There are flies. There are alligators. There are winds that blow at two hundred miles an hour. Ten thousand people drowned in Galveston and look what happened to New Orleans. And you want to sail down it in a canal boat six feet ten inches wide. There's no such thing as a wind of two hundred miles an hour, I said-the air would catch fire. And Galveston and New Orleans are somewhere else-they are on the Gulf of Mexico.

But that's where you want us to go, isn't it? A narrowboat on the Gulf of Mexico, and you have conquered the US or died in the attempt. And Jim has to die with us. You and me are seventy; we've had our lives, but Jim's only five. He knows you are going boating again-the way he looks at us and shivers. This isn't the Trent and Mersey Canal, it's not the Thames at Henley, it's not the Rhône-this is a bloody wilderness, halfway round the world. You could stay at home, I said.

You would never come back. Your bloated corpse will be found in some deserted bayou, half eaten by alligators, with three times the permitted alcohol level.

We'll go over and do a recce-check out both ends of the journey:Virginia and Florida. Trust me-I would never do anything to upset my Mon. Slightest problem, we'll stay at home. How about rednecks and bikers, are they a slightest problem? How about gun nuts and gangsters? How about snakes and poison ivy and rip tides? How about hip-hop and preachers on the radio for a year? How about you have always buggered it up in America and now you are going to do it again? I knew there was something funny about you from the start- just because you went to Oxford and liked poetry I thought you were OK. In fact you are a bloody lunatic, and I don't know what I ever saw in you.

It was my pilgrim soul, I said, and my commanding presence, and my wild, careless laugh.

I could have married that Frenchman, said Monica. He looked like Yves Montand.

HALFWAY UP THE EAST COAST OF THE USA, Chesapeake Bay reaches a hundred miles towards Washington. At the mouth of Chesapeake Bay you turn south into the Elizabeth River. On the left is Norfolk, and on the right, Portsmouth. From our hotel room over Norfolk we looked down the river, a quarter of a mile wide. The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway begins here, and follows the river for seven miles, and then sets out across the Great Dismal Swamp. We didn't know much about the Great Dismal Swamp, but we were not sure we liked the sound of it.

Over the river a US Navy aircraft carrier, and nearer to us a ferry crawling between the two cities; wood and rails, its false paddle-wheel turning. The sun came up quicker than in Stone, and the river went to flame then deepest blue.

There were seventeen breakfasts in the hotel, and lots of African-American waitresses who said y'all all the time. We knew most of the breakfasts, except for the biscuits and gravy. The biscuits were scones, and the gravy was a salty white sauce. There were funny little sausages and hills of crispy bacon. So that's what happened, I said, to the crispy bacon we used to have before the war.

If


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Excerpted from Narrow Dog to Indian River by Terry Darlington
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher
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Re: Narrow Dog to Indian River

Postby Georgs » Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:19 am

Thanks, Captain WJM!

After reading the excerpt from the book, I'm not sure I want to plow through that one.

--Georgs
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Re: Narrow Dog to Indian River

Postby captainwjm » Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:01 pm

Finally got the book from the library. Not much to it, as far as cruising goes, although some intersting observations of a "limey in the states." Skim through it and its worth the look - but get it from the library!
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