Getting Lighter

Yesterday was a mixture of mist, drizzle and rain.  We arrived in Nantwich mid-morning.  Clare had various shopping missions.  I also went and bought some provisions.  After lunch we headed out of town.  Before we’d left, I saw a flash of blue as a kingfisher shot by at gunwale height.  A moment later it was followed by another.

Later on I called Clare to see another.  It was perched on a branch just above head height, and sat there as we drifted past a couple of metres away.  I stopped staring at it just in time to avoid crashing in to the opposite bank.

By the time we got to Barbridge Junction the rain was starting to get heavier, so we moored up for the night.  I noticed that this was the earliest sunset we will encounter this winter.  This is despite us moving east and north, both of which bring sunset earlier, and the days getting shorter.  We toasted the lengthening cruising time with a glass of Pimms.

There is no promise of brighter mornings yet, we set off on to the Middlewich Branch in heavy mist.  The mist gradually cleared, but not before we saw another kingfisher watching us pass from a high branch.

Perched Kingfisher
Kingfisher Sitting as We Drift Past

There are a small number of well-spaced but quite deep locks on this branch.  I remember noticing the massive shock absorbers when we were going the other way.  I got a much closer look in this direction, as they are right behind me while I’m waiting for the gates to open.

Lock Shock Absorber
Shock Absorber with Head Gate Above

As the day progressed, the mist cleared and the sun came out.  There was no wind and it felt almost like a summer day – except that I was wearing hat, scarf, gloves and many layers.

We reached a lock on the edge of Middlewich at lunch time.  I nipped in to the galley to get the rolls out of the oven while we were descending in the lock.  We moored up just beyond and had lunch.  We are now a day ahead of our schedule, so we decided to stop here for the night.  We used our longer afternoon for a shopping trip, and got back to the boat before sunset.

Sunset over Canal
Sunset from Outside Middlewich
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