Cruising along the River Shannon

On Ireland’s river Shannon we don’t always get weather like this, so when the sun does comes out we have a tendency to panic and try to make up for lost time. This explains why in Ireland on a sunny day you will see snowy white bodies glowing in the sun and soaking up as much cancerous radiation as their bodies will accept. Today was an exceptional day for a spin on the river so I made the trip up

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Driftwood Drettmann DD Yacht 10.5Mtr

Drettmann DD Yacht

It was Marion who first set her eye on “Driftwood” a 10.5Mtr Drettmann DD yacht that had just been brought into Ireland on a truck to be sold into a growing boat market. She was called Staris at the time and at first I didn’t really like the look of her (the boat that is, not Marion.) I was very happy with our current boat and didn’t want to change. But those women folk know how to weave their magic on us men…

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Bringing Driftwood home to Ireland

Driftwood Ireland

I’ve mixed emotions about bringing Driftwood home to Ireland, but we had to make a decision one way or another. We’re both in Ireland full time and only getting out to the boat for two weeks twice a year if we’re lucky. Driftwood was becoming very neglected. Looking after a boat is expensive at the best of times but when it’s hundreds of miles away in another country it becomes even more difficult.

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Monsieur and my bicycle trailer.

bicycle trailer

Monsieur and my bicycle trailer.

We have been in Meaux for over a week now waiting for a bicycle trailer! That is very out of character for us as we are normally randomly ambling around the canals & rivers. However there is a reason for this, because all French filling stations are strategically situated away from waterways boaters have to walk for miles with jerrycans of diesel. This forces them to buy the overpriced diesel from marinas where the diesel has been stored in a damp underground tank since last season. I’m

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The barge men’s strike and Marion’s birthday

Barge strike blocks the river

What a busy week, the barge men have gone on strike and Marion will be 50 this week.

Certainly a lot has been happening even with the strike aside. Firstly the locks keep growing in size. On the southern end of the Nivernais the locks were just 30 meters long. From the summit level north they were 38 meters long. Then when we reached Auxerre they grew to 108 meters.

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Summit level on the Nivernais Canal

Nivernais summit

We have arrived at the Nivernais summit level. Well what a trip this Nivernais canal is turning out to be. It is just beautiful with it’s winding course following the l’Aron and l’Yonne rivers. With over 150 locks the Nivernais is a bit of work too. The V.N.F. (Voies Navigable de France) lock keepers are superb and take all the hard work out of it. Because this canal is shallow we

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