Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dinghy full of water

Festival session in Shortt's Bar, Feakle

We went to Winter Solstice today for the first time in a week apart from a quick spin-by at the weekend. It was the Feakle Traditional Music Festival and we've been on festival time, playing tunes every night in sessions, going to bed at three (or four or five) and getting up very late. Today was wild with wind and rain, and we'd had mad torrential weather on Tuesday, so we were worried about the dinghy in Mountshannon Harbour. She was surely full of water. So we wanted to take her out and bring her home.

We needed life jackets, and a boat hook, all of which were on Winter Solstice, so we called at Scarriff to pick them up. And there was a letter! In the cockpit. People read my blog! Thank you Andrew and Helen, crew of Woodpecker. And yes, we'll definitely be back on lovely Lough Erne again.

The dinghy was indeed full of water, but still afloat. Joe set about baling

Baling out
while I had a look about. The lake was very high. Another boat here that needs baling:

The swimming area in Mountshannon
We pulled the dinghy round all the moored boats on the council jetty where we'd tied her temporarily, me with the painter and Joe with the boathook. Then I had to let go and Joe was on his own. I thought I'd lost him at one point. He was pushing straight into the roaring gale, had had to let go with the boathook and the wind caught him. He and the little blue boat were on their way to the Yacht Club's floating moorings. But no! He managed to haul out an oar and regain control. Here she is with her mast unstepped (destepped?):

Waiting for the trailer
And out she comes:

Ready for home
We had a mooch about the harbour before we left and spotted this:

Hein Goodewind
An old timber cruiser from the Norfolk Broads. The owners came back from the shop as we were leaving and we were able to have the typical timber boat owners' chat. Leaks (where, not if). Painting (also varnishing). Winter covers (importance of). The question everyone asks (with or without sharp intake of breath); 'needs a lot of work does she?'

This boat is a lot older than ours. It seems there were four of them imported into Ireland at the same time. This is probably the only one still in regular use - or, indeed, still in one piece, although there may be another being worked on in Shannon Harbour. Maybe we'll go and have a look. Hoping to go off for a jaunt this weekend. If this wretched (but also exhilarating) wind ever dies down so we can get up the lake.

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