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Life On The Water

13 Aug

With the majority of people living on land, it may seem strange to know that there are many who prefer life on the water. It is a lifestyle that isn’t so strange for many, but so normal for others. For example; south east asia is dotted with entire villages floating on the water in places like Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Seattle has harbors full of floating homes, which have the same amenities as land based homes, and many boast views no house in the hills can ever offer. A location minutes from downtown, with window filled bedrooms overlooking the water and an unobstructed view of the Seattle Skyline is a reality for some.


While other popular houseboat locations include Amsterdam, and New Jersey, one of the more unique locations to houseboat is Yellowknife, Canada. In Yellowknife, as you look out onto the great slave lake, you’ll notice a handful of floating houses dotted across the bay. Having been through Yellowknife countless times these last 5 years for work, Ive had the pleasure of viewing these barge style houseboats first hand. With no marina to tie up in, these houses must have sturdy anchors that prevent them from being pushed out to the dangerous open waters of the big lake. Amenities are slim, electricity comes from solar panels, windmills and generators, while many boast wood furnaces and stoves for heat in the extreme winter. Transportation is another interesting factor, in the dead of winter many residents can drive across the frozen waters right up to their houses, in summertime boats are the more feasible option. The real tricky part comes in the freeze-thaw periods in spring and fall, where a combination of paddling and walking couple with dragging your canoe with one leg always inside the canoe incase the ice gives way. One of the many challenges associated with life on the water.


Houseboats come in a variety of types and sizes, some more navigable than others, some with hot tubs and waterslides, others with rooftop terraces, and floor to ceiling windows. It’s a unique way to live, but its not for everyone.

But for many there is no other life, living on the water can be a lifestyle full of adventure and picturesque views, of self sufficiency and a feeling of pride. It’s the houseboat life.