Sunday, July 25, 2010

Gospel singing on the lake

I'm amazed we haven't stopped at Knockninny before. As we came around a small island and chugged towards the jetties we knew it was going to be good.

We're in a little bay with a sweet hill behind and a small hotel tucked at the bottom of it. We were glad to see a nice long jetty instead of finger pontoons - easier to get onto with only the one engine and the dinghy in tow. We tucked ourselves on the inside with our nose to the brisk wind and brought the dogs to land. Across from the public jetties is a small private marina, and there was Rose, the broad narrow boat, or small barge, or whatever class of boat it is, that we met in Mountshannon all those weeks ago. The owner was on board and we went around to say hello and see if he knew of a local mechanic who might sort out our engine problem. He did. Then he suggested we go up to the hotel and ask for Marshall who would most certainly organise it for us.

While Joe did that I went to check on the shower status. And joy! In the Ladies a large changing room and four splendid showers.

Marshall suggested that before getting a mechanic to the job Joe should give the starter motor a good hard thump and keep turning the key to free things up. The young fellow in the Yacht Club had tried the same thing but he'd only tap tap tapped. It needed a firmer hand. As I gathered my things for the shower Joe took out the hammer we use for banging in our mooring stakes on the canal. Gave the yoke a good wallop. Click click click went the turn of the key. Then the engine came to life. Brilliant.

There's a harbour dog here (the brown-eyed girl in the photo). She led the way when we went for a walk up the very quiet lane, looking back to check if we were coming. She's very overweight and very matted. Alfie from Rose told me the story this morning. Her name is Connie and she used to live on one of the islands, but her owner died and a farm up the road took her in. But she's obviously fairly neglected if very well fed. The heartstring pulling tale is that she sits on the quay waiting to be taken back to the island, but I suspect she just likes the company.

Aoife was trying to make a nest with her sleeping bag in the saloon so I threw it over her. Mmmm. This is nice she said.

Oh yes. And as I went for the shower cars started to pour into the car park - there's an amenity area here with picnic benches and mown grass, and there's a little beach too. Music was blaring from one of the cars already parked. And there was a mini-bus. Lots of children. On the side of the bus it said The Redeemed Christian Church of God, and Jesus Centre Dublin. The blaring music was all gospel. As I came from the shower block the food was being handed out. Back on the boat a while later as Joe was getting the barbecue going the Redeemed Christians gathered in the car park and sang a beautiful gospel song with leader and responses. It was completely surreal.

Spent last night on the boat across the jetty drinking wine with two lads from Dublin and Kildare. Great sunset.

Might do a bit of sailing and cycling if the weather doesn't close in too much. It's a dull day, bit of rain in the air and the mountains have disappeared, but it's warm with a light breeze.

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