Friday, June 8, 2012

What happens late at night in Mountshannon

Meelick Bay, Lough Derg
We went cycling from Mountshannon last weekend between events at the Iniscealtra Arts Festival, scooting down all the small roads to the lake between Mountshannon and Whitegate. We ended up looking over Meelick Bay. It's years since I've been there. We used to know someone who lived in a gorgeous stone house on the lake shore, but it was owned by her brother and he decided to sell.

Just to prove we really do cycle places, a rare photo of myself with new short hair cut.

On Friday night we were coming home late after a play, then tunes in the session at the hotel, then conversation on the street outside Keane's. Half two when we got to Winter Solstice.

'There's someone about to launch a boat,' said Joe.


I peered through the cockpit window. He was right. There were several people milling about, all in their late teens or early twenties. Had the look of students about them, men and women who did a lot of outdoor stuff. The boat they were launching was a sailing boat, say 20, 22 foot. We poured a whiskey and settled down to see what came next.

Lots of speculation. Were they late arriving and some of them had to sleep on the boat, so had no choice but to launch? Maybe they had a couple of tents too. But there was such a purposeful air about them as if they'd planned to set out a three in the morning just before dawn.

A dinghy went into the water after the sailing boat. Lots of too-ing and fro-ing with rucksacks and supplies. Definitely not late but very very early. A kayak waited at the top of the slip. Someone parked the launching car and trailer out of the way.

Four or five of them carried the kayak down the slip and into the water, then everybody got on board either the dinghy or the sailing boat. Someone started the outboard on the dinghy. It sputtered out. Adjustments and it came to life. A line was attached from dinghy to sailing boat, another from sailing boat to kayak and they snaked slowly towards us, moored as we were on the outer edge of the harbour where they would have to pass us by.

They got in a tangle, the sailing boat jackknifing and the kayak taking its own route.

Eventually they straightened out and came past.

'Where are you going at this time of night?' said Joe.

'To the islands,' they replied.

Looking out at Mountshannon Harbour
View from the boat, Mountshannon Harbour

We have a new 'bimini' keeping the rain out of the forecabin. Talk about efficient. We met Giles Byford and Jill Parkinson on Hawthorn in Mountshannon on Monday evening to show them what we wanted, went back on Tuesday afternoon to bring the boat to Scarriff and it was fitted. A very tidy job too. Here's a comparison:



And from the inside giving plenty of light:

In the forecabin

We took the boat the short way to Scarriff with the idea of doing some work on her closer to home.  Joe went down to check on her yesterday evening. There was ferocious rain forecast, and it had already been raining all day.  The new canopy was keeping our beds dry, but Joe covered them with plastic just in case.

I suspect it's a good thing he did. Last night around half nine the rain increased intensity. Just before dark, our small river burst its banks. Water was pouring over the flat bridge, the entrance and exit to our house. We couldn't see the new little bridge Joe built a couple of months ago - was it still there or washed away? The whole lower garden had become a river.

But this morning the little bridge was still there. Just.

After the flood
We'll have to see how much water got into the boat.

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