We were entertained while we waited in the Harbour by several boats which rather resembled little fat grubs. These were Wilderness Narrowboats visiting from England. Here's one of them:
You might notice the lack of rain. I've jumped forward here to Drumsna where Beehive came in having left the pack behind for a little while. These extraordinary boats fit on purpose-built trailers. This crowd from the Wilderness Boat Owners Club had taken the ferry to Dublin, launched their boats and travelled the Royal Canal to Richmond Harbour along with members of the Royal Canal Amenity Group (RCAG).
The entertainment was several Wilderness boats practicing for that evening's parade around the harbour. The boats were to be lit up, and there was choreography planned. However, things were not going according to plan. A brisk wind had got up and was interfering with proceedings, but they were adapting their boat dance with great enthusiasm.
I'd love to have seen the final event, but we were to meet Joe in Dromod and needed to make a move. Crew at their places (Erin fore, Ryan aft) we let slip the ropes and made way. Into the lock they sat outside in the rain as we went down, and Ryan stayed there as we wound along the grey Camlin River and popped out onto the Shannon where they both had a go at the controls. Not bad for a first attempt.
Here's the two intrepid crew in Rooskey Lock:
|Erin at the bow|
|I asked Ryan to look noble so he did rather splendidly|
Relief when the weather cleared that evening. Joe arrived in Dromod with the camper van which was to provide extra berths. The clouds cleared, the sun shone, and we all smiled.
Next morning to Carnadoe for lunch. Joe brought the van while crew and I took Winter Solstice. Erin was already fishing by the time Joe arrived having brought her fishing pole with her. As I'm sure many will know, fishing pole is American for fishing rod, for both our friends were from New York City and State.
And then there was the swimming. This was Erin's idea, and into her togs she got as we swung at anchor. Down the steps, let go, scream, up the steps. I abandoned any small idea I might have had of joining her.
But then we did have wetsuits on board.
If Erin wore one too maybe it wouldn't seem so much like cheating.
Still took me ages to lower myself in.
Ryan, meanwhile, was back at the fishing:
Re the wetsuit thing. The next day Erin was talking to a woman who had been swimming every day for the last couple of weeks. The water was the coldest it had been, she said. Due to all the rain. We felt less nesh for our wetsuitness.
And back to Carnadoe for barbecue! In sunshine! Oh joy! Apologies for the exclamation marks, but it was an exclamatory event after the mizzle drizzle lashing rain of the day before.
Carnadoe is such a sweet spot for a barbecue. And I'd had visions of the van parked down by the quay, all nice and cosy. Hadn't reckoned on the very narrow entrance with stout stone pillars and shiny red gates. The van wouldn't fit through either forwards or backwards, so it was up on the wide verge of the very quiet road. What a tolerant crew to put up with this.
But who would want to move from a place like this: