Below the waterline
True story. At three am one winter morning, I was woken by the sound of water swirling beneath the boat. Thinking Weybourne was taking on water, I raced to the stern deck with a torch to peer over the side.
It was eerily quite with a thick mist floating over the canal and yet the water along the side of the boat was definitely unsettled. Then the worst thing I could imagine happened; bubbles started streaming up from beneath the boat.
Weybourne had sprung a leak below the waterline and was sinking, but a heartbeat later, I froze as a face followed the bubbles to emerge from the water, just inches from mine. It was studying the beam of torchlight and then its eyes flicked up to meet my stare. Shocked, we both screamed and recoiled in fright.
And that's how I met my first wild otter.