When things go wrong on Lough Erne

Join us on a cruise across Lough Erne the broad lough all the way to Belleek. See what happens when things go wrong and how helpful we found people to be and of course how we got out of trouble on the lake. We negotiate changeable weather on Lough Erne and enjoy a cruise on an overcast day across lower Lough Erne (also called The Broad Lough) and safely into a superb mooring in the Town of Belleek. It’s here that we confirm our suspicions, that the alternator isn’t charging our domestic batteries. Now our fridge runs off these same batteries and without them getting a charge we run the onerous risk of drinking warm beer. A fate I would not like to face.

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River cruise to Ballyconnell in lovely sunshine

We are loving our cruise on the Shannon Erne Waterway, the scenery as well as the wildlife is just captivating us. One of the thinks that makes this waterway for us is that it’s a great mix of canals, river as well and so many intertwining lakes. Waterways Ireland have a wonderful amenity here and they have created some lovely moorings as well as great facilities. Most moorings have full stone-built service blocks.

This is also a very popular waterway with fishermen, in fact they seem to come from all over Europe and beyond to fish here. There are plenty fishing stands dotted along the waterway and there is a reasonably large local cottage industry providing accommodation, meals and boats to the visiting fishermen.

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Cruising through a Storm on the River Shannon

The river Shannon has many faces, and occasionally she has a tendency to show her angry face. The trick is to get to know her and to know when she is feeling moody, and when it’s wise to keep out of her way.

We exit Dromod and out onto lough Boffin in a good strong southerly wind. I’m aware that the wind isn’t strong enough to cause an issue on it’s own, but if you were unlucky enough to have some engine trouble or to foul your propeller the odds would quickly start to stack up against you.

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River Shannon cruise, Lecarrow to Dromod aboard Driftwood.

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!

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Changeable Weather on Lough Ree

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.

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A short Cruise on the River Shannon, Athlone to Lough Ree

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!

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First boat trip of the season, Driftwood on the River.

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

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Pumping up boat fenders and getting ready for a new boating season. #40

Yep there’s a new boating season just round the corner so it’s time to get the boat fenders pumped up, and we take off the name plates to repaint them and renew the vinyl boat lettering.

Marion shows off our nice new boat BBQ that we bought on ebay. It’s a stainless steel one so at least today it looks nice and clean! Not sure how long that will last.

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Grand Canal Company Barge 72M

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.

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Do you need a boat license in Ireland?

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.

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Drone video of the River Shannon

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.