River Shannon Boating Athlone to Shannonbridge

Ah, there’s nothing quite like some River Shannon boating and it’s lovely to see the sun come out on this lovely voyage from Athlone to Shannonbridge with a short stop off at Clonmacnoise for good measure! While a day of River Shannon boating can sometimes be a bit cold this day starts off chilly enough and a little overcast, you can see as the day progresses the heat builds and we cruise the River Shannon to Shannonbridge in glorious sunshine.  Have to say there’s a nice bit of aerial photography at the end of this video that I do hope you’ll enjoy. Thanks for watching.

 

 

 

 

River Shannon Cruise on Lough Ree

The sun shows its face for our river Shannon cruise across Lough Ree and the bit of sunshine always makes a difference. Mar gets upset when we have to go broadside to a few waves but all in all it’s a great trip. Hope you enjoy it too.

 

 

River Shannon Cruise in pretty lousy weather

This is a River Shannon cruise in pretty lousy weather. None the less we cruise south past Dromod, Rooskey, and Tarmonbarry. We get a great welcome into Dromod harbour from a flock of swans that treat us to a fly past.

The weir at Rooskey is almost covered by the high water levels. This is just because of the recent rainfall. The Shannon is a very slow flowing river and only drops a few meters between its source and Killaloe.

 

A Train going through a canal Lock?

Yes, that’s what it is! Believe it or not. This seems, to me anyway, as the greatest insult you can give to a canal that is sadly terminally ill. Well, maybe it’s passed the ill stage by now and we can probably, officially confirm its death. We all know that the railway brought about the closure of many of the canals. But to build the railway line through this canal lock chamber seems a step too far. Locks are the hart of a canal, the levels (pounds) are the arteries.

The railway has become a living beast, no longer is it just steel and noisy diesel. Now it’s alive and it has resolved to confirm its victory over the canal. A track through the lock chamber, like a blade through the very aorta of the canal.

Train in the lock
A train in the old lock chamber on the Ballinasloe Canal.

Okay I know it’s not the intercity express! It’s just a narrow gauge railway bringing turf (peat) to the nearby electricity power station in Shannon Bridge. But this sight at Kylemore Lock on the now derelict Ballinasloe Canal is a sad sight indeed. Much of the original lock chamber is still perfectly intact, in fact, the gates are still reasonably complete. Although nature is claiming them back and soon there will be very little left of them. I think they may have been made of oak, but it’s hard to tell. Let me know if you have any information on them, please.

One of the lock gates at Kylemore lock on the Ballinasloe Canal
One of the lock gates at Kylemore lock on the Ballinasloe Canal

 

 

 

 

 

 

This canal was closed to boat traffic in 1961, which isn’t that long ago really. However, since then the bog has claimed much of it back. The narrow gauge

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Cruise to River Shannon – Low Bridges & High Water

On this cruise to the River Shannon, we have to pass under some pretty low bridges. The Shannon Erne Waterway is in flood following the recent heavy rainfall. Our Cruise to the Shannon is not easy with low bridges and the River Shannon itself is also very high. The higher water level brings with it some unexpected problems, it’s not just the problems squeezing under the bridges, the likelihood of running aground is also much higher.


 

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Sacrificial Anode On Boats – Treating Rust Spots

Fitting Sacrificial Anode On Boats and treating rust with rust converters: This episode is all about maintaining below the water line. Different types of anodes, zinc, magnesium, and aluminum as how to use them to prevent corrosion.

Get AqueSteel Rust Converter on Amazon through this affiliate link: (every purchase helps support the channel at no cost to you! Amazon give us a small affiliate commission, Ta) https://amzn.to/2HZ61LG For 1 Lt
Or
https://amzn.to/2Uvie0C For 4 Lts

Another great rust converter that I use is Vactan, more about that here: http://performance-chemicals.net/vactan/

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Shake Down Cruise – First Boat Trip 2019

The annual shake down cruise is a bit of a tradition. It is usually sometime around the middle of March, St Patrick’s Day weekend if the weather is good enough or there abouts.

The idea is to flush out any problems that may get bigger over the coming boating season. And I have found over time that most boats will oblige by providing you with at least one expensive issue that will need resolving immediately, will cost twice as much as you expected and will take three times longer than expected. Such is boating. The ability to laugh at oneself and one choice of boat is a good quality to have.

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A job well done.

In the water Driftwood is alive and spirited, but on the hard she is awkward and tall. That lively gentle motion of a living boat is replaced by a temporary rigor-mortis. I feel I need to get the work done a quickly as possible and get her back into the water without any unnecessary delay.

Driftwood on the slab.
Click to enlarge.

None of what I’m getting done is going to improve her looks. This is not aesthetic maintenance. Back in the water all the work will be hidden from view. But I’ll know it was done and that’s what matters. I need to add expensive anodes beneath the waterline, like a pretty lady donning diamond earrings that will never be seen beneath her long hair. But still she feels better knowing that she is wearing them.

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How I look after my bottom!

Driftwood hanging lifeless, like a convicted felon on the gallows. Click to enlarge

Today we had Driftwood lifted out of the water to do a few jobs on her bottom. Now the first thing is that boats do not like being out of the water any more than fish do. I get real nervous when I see her balancing on some boat stand where she is putting all her weight on just a few Sq. inches instead of her weight being spread throughout all of her hull as happens when she is in the soup.

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Electric Boat Launch – On the Canal at Ballinamore

This is the electric boat launch on the Canal at Ballinamore in County Leitrim, Ireland. It’s at Ballinamore Marina and it’s a fantastic piece of kit. See how they remove this small barge off the trailer and launch it with no crane or launch trailer.

Have a look at https://www.ballinamoremarina.com if you’re looking to buy a good used boat. Gavin brings boats in from Holland every week or two and his prices are surprisingly good (no I don’t get a commission!)

Check out our shop at https://www.driftwood.tv/shop where you get your hands on our book “Driftwood from the Shannon to the Marne” the humorous account of our first ever venture into the sea, and on to the French inland waterways.

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The Irish Coast Guard & The Mummers

The Irish Coast Guard do a fantastic job and we met them when they paid a visit to Enniskillen in Northern Ireland. They have a number of helicopters stationed at various locations through out Ireland and provide cover both north and south of the border. In an unrelated incident we met the Mummers on Lough Erne and Bobby Forrest told us all about them. That’s all coming up!