I have to close my eyes, cross the iron footbridge to the tow-path, take the barge through the short black tunnel and there I stand in Eden again.
(Horde Canonicae V- Vespers W H Auden)
The waterways are charged with magic, but nothing about them is more magical than the difference made by the few feet of water which separates the boat from the land. Those few feet instantly set the boatman in a world of his own , and his vision of the outer world through which he glides, becomes magically calmer and clearer. Again, this may sound whimsical and improbable: the degree to which it is true can be confirmed by experience.
(Know your waterways Robert Aickman)