Solar voyage to Pewsey saves energy
1:00pm Thursday 26th September 2013 in News
Boater Gary Marsland received a warm reception when he arrived at Pewsey Wharf on Saturday after completing a 1,000-mile journey on his solar-powered narrowboat.
The 51-year-old set out on his voyage to cruise the inland waterways of England, leaving no carbon footprint, in February 2012 from Brinklow, near Rugby.
His 32-foot narrowboat, Merganser, was refitted with solar panels over the cabin roof which provided power to the electric outboard, a laptop, mobile phone, slow cooker and travel kettle.
Mr Marsland, who is now moored in Pewsey, said: “I wanted to spread the word about low-impact living and get more people to run their boats by solar power rather than diesel.
“I had no other source of power and I travelled at about two miles an hour.
“It was quite a journey, all the people I met had a really positive reaction and the words I was hearing were ‘amazing’, ‘wow’ and ‘really cool’, which was nice.
“Waking up in the morning and knowing that someone might say what I was doing was brilliant was a tremendous feeling.
“It was trying at times but very enjoyable.”
Mr Marsland, a low- impact living adviser, originally from Steven-age, travelled on the Coventry Canal, Trent and Mersey, River Trent, the Grand Union, Oxford Canal, the Thames and the Kennet and Avon on his 19-month trip.
He said: “Originally I’d planned to do it in a year but I had a few technical glitches on the way.
“I’ll definitely be keeping the solar panels and I might try to do 1,000 miles in a year next year and maybe get some sponsorship.”
He arrived at Pewsey Warf at 2pm on Saturday to friends, family and members of Pewsey Environmental Action Team (PEAT).
He said: “There was a banner and Iona Hassan and Ffinlo Costain played Bring Me Sunshine on the guitar and violin.”
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