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Tour 2013

Tour 2013 Index

Barge Maurice A Ireland, March.

Saturday 23rd March 2013

Arrived at Riversdale at 00:30 in the morning after the journey from hell! We left a couple of hours early from home, due to bad snow forecast for North Wales. This proved to not be too bad when we went over the Clwydian Hill section of the A55, only down to a single lane and just re-opened after a pile up. Arrived early at Holyhead to total confusion, the ferry before had not yet left, so being a Stena Gold card holder we got on. This was the smaller Nordica ferry...with no stern thruster. Due to the rare strong easterly we were pinned to the jetty for 7 hours, before the captain eventually managed to push off around 17:30, during a lull in the wind. The larger Adventurer, (with stern thruster!), had to mill around outside the Holyhead approach for the same amount of time. Stena was most apologetic, with much free food. (but we had to go out of the Stena Plus lounge for this). Any road, when we got on Maurice A we managed to get all sorted out and to bed by 01:30. In the afternoon we went to Enniskillen in the car for a Sterling shop at ASDA and fill up with petrol. Trialled the stove that evening with max blast, to burn off paint and dry out boat. Worked very well on the Taybrite I bought over last time.

Sunday 24th March 2013.

Left Riversdale at 09:10 heading north. Held up at Ballyconnell  Lock No 2 due to electrics tripping out. WI did not answer the fone, so foned Graham at Riversdale....he soon got WI patroller down there! The fault was due to the hydraulic fluid being too viscous, due to the unseasonably cold weather (below zero) We were advised to only operate sluices / gates for max 30 seconds at a time, with a break in between. Tied up for the night at Crom visitor moorings (empty) at 16:30. Cold all day, heating left on, with stove lit an hour before we  stopped.

Monday 25th March 2013

Departed Crom at 09:40. Amble through Upper Lough Erne (pretty squally), stopping at Tully Inishmore for lunch, 12:20 to 13:40. Onwards to Enniskillen, stopping on virtually deserted Broad Meadow visitor moorings 15:00. Flurries of show after we arrived. Franco's early bird menu that night Yummm!

Tuesday 26th March 2013

Left Enniskillen at 10:05, after top up ASDA shop. Camagh Bay visitor mooring for lunch 11:50 to 13:25. Depth gauge showed rather shallow approach, took it easy  turning in. Wandered about the middle of the lake for a bit, then went back to deserted Devenish East moorings (15:00) and had the scared isle to ourselves that night.

Wednesday 27th March 2013

Late departure from Devenish at 10:55. WI were fiddling about around the exit of the straight through Portora Lock (this impounds the Erne through Enniskillen, during winter time as the NI Rivers Agency drop the level of Lower Lough Erne by around  a half a metre during the winter period), so took it rather easy. Went straight through to Tully Inishmore moorings via the easterly Carrybridge route, arriving at 13:00. LA went for long dog walk in the after noon, so stayed put for the night.

Thursday 28th March 2013

Left Tully Inishmore at 09:30, stopped at Crom for lunch (12:30 to 13:40), yet again this was deserted. Took the "middle" route to the main Erne entrance channel and carried on to Belturbet, arriving at14:50. Very little flow on the Erne on the approach to Belturbet.

Friday 29th March 2013

Departed Belturbet at 09:25 ad carried on back up the Shannon -Erne Waterway, stopping above Ballyconnell Lock at 12:40 for lunch. Shoved off at 13:40 and held up at Skelan Lock No 3 for an hour as it cut out and WI had to be called out to reset. Carried on to Haughton's Shore harbour, at the top of Lake Garadice, arriving at 16:55. A couple of boats in the harbour, one actually occupied!

Saturday 30th March 2013

Left Haughton's Shore at 08:50, carried on passed Riversdale getting held up for 45 minutes at Ballinamore Lock No 6...you guessed it, it cut out! Stopped above Ballyduff Lock No 7 for lunch (12:55 to 13:30), then carried on to above Castlefore Lock No 14, where we stopped for the night.

Sunday 31st March 2013

Shoved off at 09:40 and carried on right though the Shannon and River Boyle, stopping at Lough Key Country Park moorings at 13:15 Pretty windy on Lough Key, we should have left the main new moorings and moored up on the old sheltered quay, as it was a bit up and downy all night.

Monday 1st April 2013

Departed Lough Key Country Park moorings at 08:50 and carried on through Lough Key, then River Boyle and the new canal to Boyle Harbour, as LA had not seen this before. After mooring up for only 10 minutes (no rubbish disposal) we shoved off and carried on back down the Boyle / Lough Key / Boyle, then back up the Shannon and Shannon - Erne Waterway, stopping above the first Lock No 16 for lunch, 12:55 to 13:55. Carried on to Keshcarrigan, arriving late at 19:00, due to much hire boat lock cut outs and sluices up at both ends mishaps. (Kilclare Locks 11 and 10)

Tuesday 2nd April 2013

A couple of hire boats at Keshcarrigan, so left just before them at 09:00, no problems with the rest of the locks through to Riversdale (warmer day, though breaking ice in the morning!), arriving at 13:30. NA did boaty stuff in the after noon, then went with Graham and Trish to...you guessed it...Franco's for early bird special. For 20 quid for a 3 course bloody good meal, this is excellent value.
http://www.francosrestaurant.co.uk

Wednesday 3rd April 2013

Touring around, Shannon Pot, Aurigna Mine and Drumshanbo Lock. Smyth's Ballinamore in the evening.

Thursday 4th April 2013

Seeing as it had actually been quite dry and the water level was down, we went to Marble Arch caves, for a guided boat / walk through the caves.

 


LA at the helm.
Upper Loch Erne.


Snow on the hills.
Upper Loch Erne.


Knockninny Moorings.
Upper Loch Erne.



River Erne.


Tully moorings on Inishmore Island.
River Erne.


Approaching Enniskillen.
River Erne.


Snow flurries at Enniskillen Broad Meadow moorings.
River Erne.


Cammagh Bay moorings.
Lower Loch Erne.


Wedge at speed.
Lower Loch Erne.


Snow on hills. Rowing Course moorings.
River Erne.


Sunset from Tully Inishmore moorings.
River Erne.


Private moorings on Inishmore, opposite Belle Isle.
River Erne.


Toasty warm!
 



Shannon - Erne Waterway.



Shannon - Erne Waterway.



Shannon - Erne Waterway.


Keshcarrigan Visitor Moorings.
Shannon - Erne Waterway.



Shannon - Erne Waterway.


Lisconor Lock No 12. Shades of Bosley Cloud?
Shannon - Erne Waterway.


River Shannon, approach to junction with Boyle River.
River Shannon.



Boyle Canal.


Approaching Boyle Harbour.
Boyle Canal.


Boyle Harbour.
Boyle Canal.


Squally, sleety showers....not really narrowboating weather!
Lough Key.


Clarendon (Knockvicar) Lock.
Boyle River.


Clarendon (Knockvicar) Lock.
Boyle River.


Waiting below Drumduff Lock No 14.
Shannon - Erne Waterway.


Hire boat jam at Kilclare Lower Lock No 11. They had not noticed that sluices were up at both ends (should not be possible, but a top ram was stuck due to hydraulic fluid being too viscous - not designed for use below zero degrees C!)
Shannon - Erne Waterway.


The now well christened Villager Puffin stove - just ticking over, 28 degrees C...frost out side!
 


Ice breaking.
Shannon - Erne Waterway.


Kingfisher opposite our mooring.
Riversdale Marina.


Gerry Burke's GCC "M" Barge 68M.
Riversdale Marina.


Gerry Burke's GCC "M" Barge 68M. Note number chiselled into bow plate.
Riversdale Marina.


Gerry Burke's GCC "M" Barge 68M. Loading marks chiselled into bow plate.
Riversdale Marina.


LA plus dogs at Shannon Pot, the "source" of the River Shannon.
 


LA plus dogs at Shannon Pot, the "source" of the River Shannon.
 


Lough Allen and snow on Iron Mountains from Aurigna Mine.
 


Boating in the Marble Arch caves.
 


Marble Arch caves.
 

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