We have had some wonderful times on Coot. Mooring up in the middle of nowhere, so close to nature and no other humans to be seen for miles. In the late Spring it was lovely to watch new mothers with their offspring, lambs, chicks, cygnets, ducklings, goslings. In summer, flocks of swallows feeding above the water, and geese flying over in such numbers, what a noise they make! I adopted a moorhen, Ditzy. Every day she swam to our boat to collect bits of bread to take back to her chicks. I watched these chicks grow up, and now they swim to the boat themselves. Astra adopted a duckling, Petsy. She too is now grown, and indistinguishable from the many ducks that visit us.
We haven’t done as much cruising as originally planned, but plans are made to be changed. We moored up next to our friends’ boat for a few days, probably my favourite experience aboard Coot. A handful of boats all moored one behind the other, four of them with children on board.
The children played from the moment they were up until bedtime, disappearing off into the fields on their bikes, exploring a ruined church, pushing each other on a makeshift hammock, swimming in a river, watching a Studio Ghibli film together when they were worn out. In the evenings a fire was lit and we all sat around it sharing stories, philosophies, wine and on one occasion a super hot chilli sauce. It was a blissful few days.
Day cruises have been fun too, cruising to show a friend or relative the joys of ever changing scenery, the families of water fowl living at the edges of the canal, crossing over aqueducts and cruising through the city centre. And now as the nights are drawing in, and the temperature is starting to drop, the smell of woodsmoke fills the marina and we light our fire too, and toast marshmallows and, in all honesty, feel slightly relieved that we will not know what it is like when the temperature drops below freezing. When that happens, we will be on a beach, no doubt complaining about the heat!