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
Want to know how much it costs to get into boating?
Not as much as you may think… Boating is affordable and in this video I’ll show you how anyone can manage to get on the water the easy way.
We started off with a small plywood day boat that we took our two children on a two week holiday on, not a great idea! That boat was called The Four of Us, although we all agreed very quickly that it wasn’t the boat for us.
This is the last vlog of 2017, so I have prepared a short montage of some of the highlights of the year. Covering places such as Roosky, the Jamestown Canal, The Boyle River, then on up to the beautiful Lough Key with all its islands and magnificent scenery.