The next day it snowed - hard! It was big snow, and it fell fast. Grace said, "Oh, it won't settle", but twenty minutes later it was well and truly settling.
We began to get a bit concerned about our trip to Debdale, to get the hull blacked, but by the middle of the afternoon it had thawed, and the sun was showing through the clouds.
Monday morning saw much better weather, though frosty enough to leave the ducks walking across the marina pound, and we set off up the canal at 2:00pm, after the ice had gone. Two hours later, the engine coughed and stopped - mid-channel. Grace steered her to the bank and we moored. Checking all that we could think of, we found nothing amiss, but the engine simply would not start. I called River & Canal Rescue. Luckily for us, an engineer was able to get to us within half an hour. It was surely the easiest job he had ever been called out to do! Within five minutes of checking, he found that the main fuel stopcock was turned off! We could not remember doing it, but we much have closed it when we were winterising the boat. How silly did we feel? It's just as well the man had a sense of humour, and was far too nice to make us feel worse than we already felt! How we travelled for two hours with the fuel valve closed, we have no idea. The engineer was a bit mystified, too, though he muttered something about diesel possibly being sucked up the return pipe. I'll have to read up on this!
We moved on to a more suitable spot for overnight mooring, and spent the night there in silent seclusion. One boat passed us in the 14 hours we were there.
Back on the move at around 8:00 the next morning, we made fast progress to Foxton Locks, and finally on to Debdale. We've seen very few moving boats, and most of those we have seen have been hire boats with people enjoying an off-peak holiday. It's a good time to be on the cut!