1. The other boats disappear while we’re having breakfast so we can take our time to practise again and again. We both have hard skills to learn.
1b. A family of ducks swims by in our path. A swan plays chicken with us then turns and follows in our wake. Swifts dive and swirl all around us.
1c. A pretty village and decrepit mills.
2. We pull up at How Hill for lunch. I make friends with a pair of sweet ducks and a swan barges into the conversation too.
2b. We pass under our first bridge without incident.
2c. A watchful heron, geese and a gosling, a lake that’s not on the maps.
3. We miss the last place at Ranworth by a couple of minutes, so we head back to the Bure and pull up at an unserviced mooring down from St Benedict’s Church in Horning. We reason that we’re free to stay overnight and settle in – a swan swims over for a tithe and geese nosey around too.
3b. Reading on the stern just before sunset.
3c. Home-cooked pasta sauce, hundreds of miles from home.
3d. As sunset falls, the river grows increasingly silent. Fish splash about and geese fly over towards their roosts.
3e. The party boat is ridiculously big, loud and garish – but on its return (when we hear its music for an unfeasibly long time), its colourful lights makes pretty streaks in the black water.
3f. The Martian is the perfect book for this holiday.