This morning we were awoken by ravenous ducks, nibbling away at the weeds on the bottom of the boat. They were extremely noisy about it, it sounded like someone pulling a heavy trolley over a boardwalk.
We got through six locks and then arrived at Berkhamsted and moored up. Quite a usual occurrence but this one was a bit different because somehow I slipped whilst jumping from bank to bow and fell in. I went right under backwards, which is one of my nightmares.... I HATE water, and going under is not something I can do at any time, even in the shower!
I knew what was happening as soon as I missed my footing but surprisingly the main thoughts I had were to keep my shoes on (they were flip-flops) and to keep my eyes shut (contact lens). Once upright I shouted for John but it took a while for him to respond and then he tried to pull me out, but that was never going to happen, and I told him to get the ladder. We'd bought this after my first fall in years ago, and apart from John using it to get in and out of the Thames, we've not used it. I can say here and now that EVERY boat should have one. It was brilliant.
I got straight in and had a hot shower and changed into dry clothes, while John finished the mooring process and then we went to the pub just up by the lock and I had a large rum and coke. Coke is supposed to kill any nasty germs you may swallow and the rum was to take away the taste of the coke (I hate the stuff).
Here is the bow, nicely moored, but there's quite a step up to the boat and I think I just couldn't have got high enough. I was really lucky not to bash my head on the stone edge. Of course because it was in a pound and by moorings, the sides were sheer and the stone was far too slippery to get a grip. I've been out and bought some plimsoll type shoes to wear on board in the future. The idea of bare feet on the bottom is just too much for me to handle.
After lunch we went to have a walk around the castle remains. It was huge in it's day and was built in the aftermath of 1066 as a defence from the north for London which is apparently 30 miles away.
The motte from the inner bailey. At one time in its history the castle belonged to Thomas Beckett until he fell out with Henry II when it was taken away again. Henry III bestowed it on his brother who seems to have done a lot of diplomacy on his behalf. I would imagine it was needed.
For some reason I put Paddy's short lead on him instead of his long one. It didn't stop him rolling on the ground every few minutes! John is dragging him along here, which sounds awful but Paddy doesn't seem to mind too much as he often puts himself in that position. Daft dog.
We'd been planning to move on once we'd seen the castle but to be honest I'm still a bit shaken, so we're going to stay put and move on tomorrow. John's calculated that as long as we do about four hours a day we'll be back in three weeks, so that's not a bad average.