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Tour 2007

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April 2007

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3 - Tarmonbarry to Shannon Bridge - Shannon Navigation Inc Lough Ree.

Monday 2nd April 2007

It was a reasonably early start from Tarmonbarry down the river section of the Shannon to Lanesborough. Lanesborough announced its presence by the two large turf burning power stations, the old twin chimney one is redundant and being dismantled. We stopped off on the off chance at Hanley's Marina and got topped up with diesel, ready for the Grand Canal (09:15-09:35, rather expensive at 88c/l 60p/l) After the marina (which was one that could have accommodated Earnest) is some new housing, flanking the small town Harbour, then comes Lanesborough Bridge. Beyond here the massive Lough Ree starts, we had been monitoring the wind forecast and it was OK for a passage across this small inland sea.
The main visitor moorings for Lanesborough are at the head of the lake. Beyond here the set of four markers heralds the start of the lake proper. Lough Ree is divided into two basic sections, the Upper and Lower lake. Once past the markers protecting the rocks off Blackwood Point to the east the basic route is to the east side of the lake, passing the islands of Inc McDermot, Inchenaugh, Clawinch, Muckinch and Inchcleraugh then the navigation course swings to the centre of the lake, between red red buoys 6 and 7. At this point there are two courses off to the right to the harbour at Portrunny and the Leacarrow Canal to the harbour at Leacarrow. From here on, once in the Lower Lake, the course follows the red buoys to the west side of the lough. To the west there is a course off to Inny Bay, between the islands of Inchbofin and Inch Turk and near the bottom of the lake a course off through the narrow passage by Killinure Point into Killinure Lough. Killinure Lough contains a few marinas and moorings associated with restaurants.
The course out of Lough Ree is fairly convoluted, after the fist large red Buoy No 1 you have to keep your wits about you. From this point the many cranes that were marking the redevelopment of the centre of Athlone, mark out where the town is. The next item of navigational significance is the large wide Athlone by-pass bridge, just beyond this on the west bank is the silted up entrance to the old Athlone Canal, that used to by-pass the weir at Athlone. Athlone Cruisers are at Jolly Mariner Marina, on the approaches to the dominating Athlone railway bridge. This large structure, used to have a swinging section in the middle, but this does not now work. The navigation arch is now to the right hand (west) side to protect the large town mooring pontoons (these are chargeable).
The navigation arch for Athlone Bridge is also on the west side, once through this Athlone Lock loomed up on the left hand side, the large weir drawing us towards the lock. The lock moorings on the right hand side were all occupied and we wanted to stop in Athlone to pick up Peter Wright, we did not know the state of the moorings below the lock so swung round and pulled in against the flow, finding a spot just long enough on the east bank quay. Our arrival cause some consternation to the GRP cruiser moored below, but once balanced against the flow we did a nice ferry glide into the spot.
Arrival was at 13:30 and homing in on Peter's progress we found out that he would arrive at Athlone station at 16:05. During the waiting we dropped our Shannon Navigation Registration form off at the inspectors office (he was not in, so the office lady said we could pick it up on the way back), did some shopping and checked out the town. Neil managed to get a 12v charger for his phones, seeing as the new one he bought with him did not work! Martin waited at the station for Peter and showed him the way back to our mooring, so we managed a quick departure at 16:20 into a waiting Athlone Lock, just getting in with a hire boat. It was just as well we had moored above the lock, as the fixed moorings below were still a couple of feet below the water level.
The next section of the river was fairly fast flowing, so we made good progress. Just below Three Counties Pile we were surprised when a float plane buzzed us and neatly landed between the markers behind us! The hillocks around Clonmacnois marked the approaches to this fascinating old religious settlement, supplemented by a ruined Norman Castle. There was only one hire boat moored at the extensive visitor moorings, but we fancied the delights of Killeen's at Shannon Bridge, so carried on.
There is quite a dog leg manoeuvre to do to keep within the markers and line up for the far east navigation arch of Shannon Bridge, made more difficult by a fair flow. There were no moorings above the bridge, but fortunately the end of the wharf was free. After winding we glided onto the wharf, keeping up close to the narrowboat in front, to allow, room for any other craft, just as well, as ex Grand Canal Co barge 66M arrived soon after. After the short walk into town we found out that Kileen's was not doing any substantial food (I think that this is normally the case), so we went back to the "Supermac's" fast food establishment, then back to Kileen's. This traditional pub is a classic, attached to the village general store, which sells just about everything!


Leaving Tarmonbarry. Shannon Navigation.


Shannon Navigation.


The narrow channel above the Bord Na Mona Railway Bridge. Shannon Navigation.


Bord Na Mona Railway Bridge. Shannon Navigation.


Bord Na Mona Railway Bridge. Shannon Navigation.


Lanesborough in the distance. Shannon Navigation.


Lanesborough Power Stations. The old double chimney one is being demolished. Shannon Navigation.


Leaving Hanley's Marina after filling with diesel. Lanesborough. Shannon Navigation.


New development around Lanesborough public harbour. Shannon Navigation.


Approaching Lanesborough Bridge, visitor moorings on the right. Shannon Navigation.


Lanesborough Bridge. Shannon Navigation.


Looking back at Lanesborough Bridge. Shannon Navigation.


Entering the headwaters of Lough Ree. Lanesborough. Shannon Navigation.


Lanesborough visitor moorings. Shannon Navigation.


Lough Ree. Shannon Navigation.


Lough Ree. Shannon Navigation.


Lough Ree. Shannon Navigation.


Lough Ree. Shannon Navigation.


Lough Ree. Shannon Navigation.


Lough Ree. Shannon Navigation.


Exiting Lough Ree. Shannon Navigation.


Exiting Lough Ree. Shannon Navigation.


Exiting Lough Ree. Athlone in the distance. Shannon Navigation.


Athlone By-Pass Bridge. Shannon Navigation.


Looking back at Athlone By-Pass Bridge and the entrance to the old lock cut. Shannon Navigation.


The boatyard and narrows before Athlone. Shannon Navigation.


 Athlone, the Railway Bridge. Shannon Navigation.


Athlone, the Railway Bridge. Shannon Navigation.


Athlone, the Railway Bridge. Shannon Navigation.


Athlone. Looking back at the Railway Bridge and the town moorings. Shannon Navigation.


Athlone Bridge. Shannon Navigation.


Athlone Bridge. Shannon Navigation.


Athlone Lock. Shannon Navigation.


Athlone. Earnest moored on the old town wharf. Shannon Navigation.


Athlone. Earnest moored on the old town wharf. Shannon Navigation.


Athlone. Shannon Navigation.


Athlone. Earnest moored on the old town wharf. Shannon Navigation.


Athlone. Looking down at the Lock and weir from the bridge. Shannon Navigation.


Athlone. Looking down at the Lock and weir from the bridge. Shannon Navigation.


Athlone. Shannon Navigation.


Athlone. Shannon Navigation.


Waiting in Athlone Lock. Shannon Navigation.


Leaving in Athlone Lock. The river is still up, the landing to the left is a foot under water. Shannon Navigation.


Looking back at Athlone Lock and weir. Shannon Navigation.


Looking back at Athlone. Shannon Navigation.


Shannon Navigation.


Shannon Navigation.


A float plane land just behind us just below Three Counties Pile. Shannon Navigation.


Shannon Navigation.


Shannon Navigation.


Approaching Clonmacnois. Shannon Navigation.


Clonmacnois. Shannon Navigation.


Clonmacnois. Shannon Navigation.


Clonmacnois visitor moorings. Shannon Navigation.


Shannon Navigation.


Approaching Shannon Bridge. Shannon Navigation.


Shannon Bridge. Shannon Navigation.


GCCo Barge 40M at Shannon Bridge. Shannon Navigation.


Lining up for the navigation arch Shannon Bridge. Shannon Navigation.


The wharf at Shannon Bridge. Shannon Navigation.


The visitor moorings from Shannon Bridge. Shannon Navigation.


The Old Fort restaurant at Shannon Bridge. Shannon Navigation.


Shannon Bridge, looking into town. Shannon Navigation.


Shannon Bridge. Shannon Navigation.


Kileen's - The Village Tavern and shop. Shannon Bridge. Shannon Navigation.

The Tour Continues...


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