August 16th: We awoke at Netham Lock, my hand and both our heads throbbing. The Lock keeper was surprised to see us surface as he’d noticed the two large barrels of cider and the box of wine from the launch lying in the stern. He told us the river was so high that he’d only open the lock once today, and that was in 20 minutes. We groggily checked our phones for messages. Turns out we’d left a few loose ends on shore, chiefly several hard drives had to go to their rightful owner, but not before I grabbed some files from them. Isobel, who had them is also an experienced nurse so I bundled myself off the boat and waited forlornly by Feeder Road until she picked me up. She told me it could probably do with stitches but it wasn’t essential if I didn’t mind a scar, and I got on with transferring video files.
Meanwhile Sam forged ahead into the seething waters of the Avon.
To Keynsham! (The adventure of it all…)
We met there later, moored by Dra’Azon- the houseboat where our old friends Lucy and Dave live. Dave kept up a stream of coffee and conversation while we pottered about, fixing up some of the things we hadn’t had time for. I crawled upside down into the deepest places of the hull, feeding wires through tiny holes for the solar panel rig, while Sam inflated and attached our ‘extension’. This little orange number will double as the roof and rollcage to our lifeboat in the event we ever need to use it.
In the evening Lucy arrived with fresh veg from the community gardens she works in and cooked us stew, potatoes and crumble from the bounty. Boat life is good so far.