Adrian had a few days off work, so we decided to combat the cabin fever of oncoming winter with a trip to Dochgarroch for his birthday.
The canal was all pristine reflections, warm autumn colours and light, the transition from city to countryside felt miraculous. Jackie Little took a beautiful photograph
We had a hell of a party aboard Loch Ness which warmed the boat nicely. The birthday cake was not such a success; I thought a summer pudding made from the croft fruit would appeal to Adrian, but had not factored in the difficulty of making a pudding of that size and finding a plate to invert it onto. I tried to turn it out onto a similar sized plate that had a raised bowl-like rim, and the whole thing inverted and collapsed… one medic labelled it a placenta cake, and the association made it difficult to eat.
Returning home to Muirtown basin was very different in character, the seasons had sped on and the lock keepers warned of ice in the reach, the bridge at Tomnahurrich froze on its blocks and had to be opened and closed a few times to achieve a full swing. The deck was covered in ice and we had to wrap up well to survive the freezing fog
it was Aart and Amanda’s first taste of ‘cruising’ and quickly dispelled the myth of glamour and boating
Aart took to helming as a natural bargee, looking born to it.
It felt strange to be back in the city again, using the other door to the saloon, the sounds of the city seeping in through the hull and our winter ropes tying us to our mooring tightly in preparation for the strong winter winds to come.