Friday, May 24, 2013

Down Lough Derg

Down Lough Derg from Portumna Castle Harbour to Dromineer. It was a bit choppy so took two hours - longer than expected because we had to tack to avoid beam-on discomfort. The wind was more westerly than expected, so a long reach from Cloondavaun Bay and again from Coose. I started the cooking on the way down, just after I received an email saying there was a comment on this blog. Another Rampart 32 owner! What a thrill. The photo revealed a sister for Winter Solstice, an older but very recognizable version, kept in Wales. So hello Roland!

Nearly lost the dinner to the floor only once as Joe turned the boat to tack the other way. Dogs perked up for a minute before resuming their 'Oh God, this again', looks. They like things to be nice and calm.

We tied up against the wall for the sake of the dogs and rocked gently. There's quite a flow comes into the harbour through holes in the harbour wall, so less sheltered than it might be. The sun went in.

Next morning I was up first to take the dogs out. The wind didn't seem too bad from the beach.

But it had been an earplugs night. The aft line was creaking creaking until we could bear it no more. Unusual. It's normally the bow line or a fender that keeps us awake.

The offending rope:

So off we went, Aoife and Frankie and I, roll of plastic bags in my pocket - a new business for the plastics trade selling bags for picking up dog shit. Not very ecologically sound, but what can you do?  In Dromineer they had these signs:

Which is very necessary. They also have these (I love the contrasting pictures of the dogs):

Unlike in Counties Galway and Clare where they've taken away all the rubbish bins (except in Mountshannon) and you have to bring it home with you. Not pleasant with these little packages. I usually find somewhere dense and green like a bunch of nettles or the middle of a spreading bush to empty the contents so at least all you have is a tied up bag.

So fair play to Tipperary. 

When one dog rolls...

                      So does the other...

We moved the boat briefly into the floating pontoons to take advantage of some electricity left in one of the meters - to hoover! Yes, the new device is on board and vacuums up dog hairs beautifully. Maybe this will be the year of the clean boat (until the novelty wears off).

Then a quick sprint across to Dromaan. Nice and sheltered there. We'd planned to go there the previous night, but when we left in the car we noticed a boat which had been in Portumna at the weekend as we were having a barbecue, running its engines and filling the harbour with fumes. I made the mistake of asking would he be doing it for long...

A new form of harbour hogging:

Nothing like parking sideways on and taking up two places.

Does this count as cruelty to hounds? I noticed these blotches when taking the morning walk. Red wine?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

An easy start to the boating year

Finally coming up for air after juggling elderly parents and brochure creation for the Mountshannon Festival (now there's an image). I should give the festival its full name - Iniscealtra Festival of Arts, so you can look it up.

It's because of these two factors that Winter Solstice is still in Terryglass - this and the weather. We plan to be in Mountshannon for the festival which starts on 26 May, so are working slowly down the lake. The plan was to move the boat to Portumna last Monday with the parents on board, but the weather was like this:

'Like what?' you say. 'What's the fuss, the sun's shining?' But look at the brown water and the wet quay. Five minutes before, the spray was arching over the wall into the inner harbour as a squall passed over, and white horses were riding themselves into a frenzy.

Maybe you can see it here.

 No? Then you'll have to take my word for how wild it was.

The week before it was windy too, but not as bad as this. We were in Terryglass having made the big trip from Portumna - above the bridge, mind, not just Castle Harbour. As we waited for the 3pm opening a boat came round the bend up river, almost late for the bridge. It came behind us into Terryglass, a big Silverline hire boat, and on board were Tina and Willie who came and introduced themselves. They read this blog! So hello Tina and Willie, it was good to meet you.

We didn't move out of the harbour after that. How bad is that? This is the difference having bikes on board makes. We can get our fun cycling round the countryside. There was plenty of music too in the village - session on Friday night and dancing on Friday and Saturday. I suddenly saw the point of country music - you can jive to it. Joe had practiced this for his birthday party but hadn't done any since. We managed an approximation.

So the next stop will probably be Portumna, then a steady wend south to Mountshannon. Then who knows where we'll go for the summer.