This is or blog or Video Blog. It’s the new format we have moved to instead of the written word we’re now bringing you video. After all a picture says a thousand words. Hope you enjoy them and keep watching for new ones.
Boating Ireland – Winter on the water is a short video showing you how it can be when you go boating in Ireland in the winter. It’s actually surprisingly comfortable and still very enjoyable. Just make sure you’re dressed in the right cloths (which means all your cloths!) and you have a source of heat in the boat. You can enjoy Boating Ireland almost all year round. But people normally lock up their boats for the winter. Normal people that is! We like to go boating in Ireland for as much of the winter as is possible. Okay so it’s not the best boating Ireland and most of the winter time boating is just not possible, but there are days when you can get out and enjoy a fine winter day boating in Ireland. Come along and join us.
We’re heading for the Shannon Erne Waterway and today is our last day on Lough Erne. We have been on Lough Erne all season (and what a season it was too) but now were on route for the lovely Shannon Erne Waterway with its mix of lakes rivers and canals.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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