Canal Lateral Loire, north of Decize, France. October 20, 2013. We pointed our canal boat north and were sipping coffee as we made the only ripples on the still silent canal. The rain clouds hung low on the east, curtaining off the sun and casting our canal, lined by tall oak, willow and locust, into a glomming of grays, browns and silver. We were alone without another boat or person in sight. Suddenly there were competing ripples ahead in mid-canal, ruffling the smooth waters. “A duck,” I predicted….