The stone harbour in Lecarrow makes a welcome change from Lough Ree. The short Lecarrow Canal links the harbour with Blackbrink bay on Lough Ree.
We take Driftwood on a journey from Lecarrow across Lough Ree and we head in a northerly direction stopping off at the towns of Ballyleague and Lanesborough. Then we press on to Dromod passing through Tarmonbarry and Rooskey along the way. The weather is just okay, not great just okay. Still I always say that even a bad day on the boat is still much better than a good one in work!
Lough Ree like any large lake is prone to changeable weather. We demonstrate this in this video where we experience four seasons in one day, on one of the largest lakes in Ireland or anywhere in the British Isles. Lough Ree is one of the best cruising grounds any where in Europe and while we start off in poor weather within a few short hours the wind dropped and the sun came out and we got to see the beautiful sunny side of this great cruising and boating lake.
We untied the boat from its moorings in Athlone Town Marina and headed up river towards Lough Ree. There was a stiff breeze coming from the north east and not only did this make it quite cold but it stirred up the lake quite a bit. We turned at the Lough Ree Yacht club because the lake would have been quite rough and Marion is not a fan of big waves!
The 2018 boating season is up and running and this is Driftwood’s first boat trip of the year. Now it’s not a very long boat trip but you see it opens the doors for us. Because up until now we were moored in a spot that made getting the boat out quite difficult. Now though we will be able to take the boat out when ever we want and go exploring the rivers and lakes once again. The current has dropped from the winter flow to the very sedately summer flow. The River Shannon drops a mere six meters over more than a three hundred Klm stretch so as you can imagine there is usually very little flow on it.
We gave it a bit of a wash down too which wasn’t east in this cold weather. We
We chat to Ronnie & Mary on their Grand Canal Company Barge 72M.
Join us while we take a look at this old Grand Canal Company barge 72M. All the barges were 60 foot barges and were numbered by the Grand Canal Company. The M signified that it was a motor powered barge rather than a horse drawn barge.
Ronnie & Mary bought their barge when it was just a rusting hull,
in Ringsend Basin in Dublin. Over the next four years they set about making it into a floating home.
So what are the legal requirements for boating in Ireland?
People always ask us if you need a boat license in Ireland? And they also ask us about the law in Ireland about wearing life jackets. In Ireland there are a few common sense rules about the wearing of life jackets especially with children but the boat license thing never caught on here. Check the video for the full details.
We also have rules on holding tanks on boats. Basically it’s illegal to dump any effluent into the rivers or lakes. Which I think is fine too. Thankfully though you can either bring your boat here or rent one with very few restrictions at all.
In this episode we found ourselves out and about the river on a beautiful sunny winter’s day. So we said lets put up the drone and this is the result:
The River Shannon is an easy subject because it constantly delivers magnificent scenery even in the middle of the winter. We left Driftwood in her moorings and took to the road and went to visit some of our favourite moorings along the river. From Athlone in the midlands as far north as the southern end of the mighty Lough Allen. We dropped into Dromod, Carrick on Shannon and many other places along the way too. I see this as a easygoing almost therapeutic type of video! And I hope it will put into that “let’s get prepared for another boating season’ mood! Hope you enjoy it.
There is an old canal & Lock off Lough Key that belonged to the Rockingham Estate. It was used to transport turf (peat) from the bog near Keel lake to the Rockingham Estate. Before I stumbled upon it I never realised that there was a lock chamber on the Rockingham Canal.
In addition to that there is also a small harbour at the end of the canal at what is now the Scouts Jamboree area. The lock measured 48 feet long and 14 feet wide approximately. One thing I noted was that there was no towpath beneath the super ornate bridge.
Waterways Ireland are replacing the lock gates on this magnificent lock at Meelick on the River Shannon. And Waterways Ireland have taken the unprecedented step of allowing members of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland access to the site. This is a first and I hope the first step in the right direction, and maybe the next time they might go a step further and open a site to the general public.
After all there is not much point in preaching to the converted. I’d love to see a school tour visiting such a site, and it might ignite an appreciation of the wonderful waterways we have.
Join us as we take a look around our boat “Driftwood” by way of a short video boat tour, sort of like a boat inspection! Driftwood is a Drettmann DD Yacht. She is a German built steel cruiser and she was constructed in 1981.
She is a six berth boat with two singles in the bow in what they call a V-berth. Then the galley table can fold down to form a double berth and finally there is a small double cabin in the aft that we use ourselves. However I always feel