Firstly, thank you to everyone who sent messages about yesterday's events.
We slept very well last night, and by the time we woke up the sunlight was streaming in. It had clearly been a cold night: there was heavy frost on the towpath, and the roof was well covered in frost, which means our insulation must be good. We also continue to be impressed by the Squirrel stove, which is so much better than the Villager Puffin we had on Debdale. The Squirrel is more controllable than you'd expect a solid fuel stove to be, and stays in easily overnight.
We had porridge for breakfast, and set off at around 9.30, passing a couple of boats coming the other way. There were a few patches of ice, but nothing serious. But as we got nearer to Braunston, there was more and more ice, although it had already been broken by other boats. The worst sections were between Bridges 85 and 89, where it's much more open and the ridge and furrow fields come right down to the water on the offside.
There weren't many moored boats around. Some of the places which are normally packed, such as near Bridge 80, were empty; presumably the normal moorers have gone to places like Rugby or Braunston where they're nearer services. Even the moorings immediately before Braunston Turn were almost empty, with only Oakfield tied there.
At Braunston, we did a three point turn at the junction, something I've wanted to try since seeing all the parade boats doing it at the working boat rally. So we turned right under the first bridge, then stopped and reversed under the second one, and were soon facing the way we'd come. I'm pleased to say I managed it without touching the side even once.
Retracing our steps, the countryside looked completely different. On the way into Braunston, with the sun low in the sky, the surroundings had looked distinctly cold. Heading back out, with the sun behind us and a blue sky above, the photos look as though it was a summer's day. Only if you were there would you know the truth of how cold it was.
Our mooring at Bridge 75 was still free, so we've tied up here again (although facing the other way). We'd taken around three and a half hours to go absolutely nowhere -- and enjoyed it immensely. We had lunch of yesterday's leftover chili, and I've already started tonight's dinner: lamb shanks, which are slow cooking on top of the Squirrel stove.
I've also turned a couple of frosty photos into Christmas cards, ordered from Moo (which might just arrive before the final posting date), and Adrian has put up a few strings of battery powered LED Christmas lights.
10 miles, 0 locks (17 miles, 3 locks)