The Oncologist and the Pilot:

This short story is a true story I assure you. I have of course changed some of the names, well what with GDPR and all that I suppose I better.

It all started when my brother and his wife (Aidan & Sue, and yes that is their real names) joined us on the boat for an overnight. It was one of those exceptionally sunny winter days. But no wind at all, so it all looked very summery.

Sun setting as we crossed Lough Garadice.
Sun setting as we crossed Lough Garadice.

Although it was chilly whenever you were in the shade. We headed out from our moorings bound for Haughton’s Shore a quiet little hideaway on Lough Garadice.  All was very idyllic and we crossed the lake as the sun tipped the horizon behind us. Being November there weren’t a whole load of boats about; in fact we didn’t see another boat all day. Still I was hopeful of finding some company in Haughton’s Shore so you can imagine I was a little disappointed when we rounded the headland to see the mooring was empty. We tied up and

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Shannon Erne Waterway Locks – So easy to use!

This has been the most challenging video we have mad to date. It was shot over five separate days. Mainly because it has lots of short shots and even though we had a long list of shots to take we still ended up returning to take some again. Add to that, that it is shot in two separate locations, firstly on the Shannon Erne Waterway in Leitrim and then some shots on the Royal Canal in Longford. The video is about the different types of canal locks but also about how they all operate on the same principles. I have to say that we really enjoyed filming it, it was challenging at times too.

Sunset on Lough Garadice
Sunset on Lough Garadice

 

Took this pic on Lough Garadice last weekend, which is part of the Shannon Erne Waterway.

Hope you’ll enjoy the video and please share it on your social media. Ta

H&M

Enniskillen on Lough Erne, a boating viewpoint

Enniskillen is the largest town in Co Fermanagh and also the largest town on Lough Erne. It is situated at the narrows between upper and lower lakes, so it’s ideally placed to entice boaters off the river and into the pubs and restaurants. Like Blakes of the hollow where you’re sure of a good Guinness! And lest I forget they have one of those Game of Thrones doors. Ye you know the ones I’m talking about!

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Lough Erne Cruise to Lusty Beg Island (2018)

Well would you believe it? it has taken three attempts before we managed to

Rainbow over Enniskillen moorings
Rainbow over Enniskillen moorings

 

cruise to Lusty Beg Island on lovely Lough Erne. You see Marion isn’t a lover of waves. In fact even small waves upset her enormously.  So I have learned not to plead with her and for the sake of piece on board I have learned to just give in to her. This has led to a happier boat and more gentle cruising.

 

Castle Caldwell on Lough Erne

And so it was that we struggled to make the crossing to Lusty Beg Island and when we did finally manage to get there it was on the calmest day you will ever witness. I say that cos you will, I hope join us by way of the video below.

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Lough Erne Cruise

A Lough Erne cruise that has all four seasons in one cruise up the lake. We start out south of Enniskillen on upper Lough Erne then head north passing the dominating Enniskillen Castle that over looks the river right in the heart of Enniskillen town. The weather is a mixed bag and our mission is to try to get to the restaurant island of Lusty Beg. Do we make it? Well you will just have to wait to see the answer to that one.

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Crom Castle Estate adventure on Lough Erne

Crom Castle and the whole Crom estate is well known as a wonderful recreational facility. Providing facilities for boaters as well as campers, Crom Castle also have pods as well as apartments to rent. The whole thing lends itself well to a good relaxing holiday experience. We headed out from Belturbet with Marion still suffering from a bad cold and you’ll notice her voice on the video is somewhat husky!

Given that the summer of 2018 has been one of the best on record it comes as no surprise that we enjoy more lovely sunshine on this trip. Crom castle and estate has been compared with Lough Key forest park and it’s a fair comparison too.

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A visit to the White island stone figures and RAF Castle Archdale on Lough Erne

White Island should be on the top of you boating bucket list, it’s a marvel to see. Close by is the old RAF base of Castle Archdale. During the second world war Catalina and Sunderland seaplanes set out from this Lough Erne base through the Donegal Corridor and on out into the Atlantic where they hunted down German U-Boats.

Catalina & Sunderland service dock in Castlearchdale on Lough Erne
Catalina & Sunderland service dock in Castle Archdale on Lough Erne

From the pics opposite you can see how the aircraft would have fitted into the service dock like a hand fitting into a glove.

We also take a look at Boa Island and the Janus figure. This was an ancient Celtic idol. It is a two sided figure with a male and female face standing back to back. Now getting to Boa Island on lough Erne by boat is a little difficult because there is no landing jetty in the island. We were lucky enough to be able to arrange a lift from nearby Castle Archdale. Boa Island is connected to the mainland by a bridge.

Catelina & Sunderland service dock Castle Archdale
In the background you can see some of the caravans from Castle Archdale caravan park.

In the pics opposite you can see the clear out line of the aircraft that would have moored here to get repairs or general maintenance work done.

There is also a barge anchored just to the left of the service docks.  It’s a pity about the algae bloom in the water at the time. The westerly wind blew a lot of the algae into this bay which just added to it.

As far as we are aware this is the only remaining

RAF Castle Archdale Catelina & Sunderland service dock
RAF Castle Archdale Catelina & Sunderland service dock

example of such a dock in Europe. In the video we  inadvertently referred to the refuelling jetty as the last one but this is the one we should have referred to. Hope you enjoy the video.

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How to fit a Nasa BM1 Battery Monitor to assess your domestic batteries.

This is a Nasa BM1 Marine Battery monitor display (& Nasa BM2) and we’re fitting it to replace our our analogue battery monitor. After having battery problems on our trip to Belleek we decided to go ahead and fit a proper Nasa BM1 Battery monitor, there are other ones but in my opinion this one represents the best value for money.

It’s not too big a deal to fit it and I had the advantage of musing over the instructions for a week before I got down to the boat to install it. If you want to know how your batteries are behaving you would really benefit from this or a similar unit. The Nasa BM2 will take a higher amperage as is suitable if you have (or intend to install) a large inverter.

You may have difficulties getting the BM1 unit delivered to Ireland directly. If you use ParcelMotel.ie you should be able to get it delivered for the UK postage fee plus €3.95. ParcelMotel.ie almost always works out way cheaper that direct post to Ireland.

The Nasa BM2 is an identical unit with the single difference being that it can handle up to 200Amps while the BM 1 can only handle up to 100Amps. So if you have a hefty inverter onboard or if you are likely to install one in the future you may be better off using the Nasa BM2. The setup is exactly the same for both units.

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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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Places of interest on Lough Erne

There are so many places of interest on Lough Erne that it’s difficult to pick out a favourite. But Devenish Island has to be on every one’s places of interest on Lough Erne bucket list, and especially if you’re near Enniskillen.

On this boat cruise we pass Enniskillen Castle and then we pass through Portora Lough. before visiting the ancient Irish Round Tower on Devenish Island. Portora lock is the only lock on the Erne navigation and it’s unusual in that the gates at both ends are usually left open. Apparently it’s only in times of very low water levels are the gated closed.

Devenish Island is something to behold. It’s a wonderful sight as you make your approach to the east mooring in the shadow of the lofty round tower as well as all the other monastic runes. The tower is just as the monks left it they day they cut the opening ribbon. It’s a marvel to their building skills that it’s still standing nearly a thousand years after it was built.

 

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