Monday, June 2, 2014

Trouble with calculations

This probably looks like a considerable river, a waterway that will easily take a boat such as Winter Solstice. To an extent it was, in spite of the overhanging branches we scraped past, scattering leaves across the deck and putting the fear of god into the bicycles strapped to the pulpit at the bow.

We were making our way down this channel into a small marina designed for fishing boats. We'd been offered free berthage here if the boat would fit.

We got as far as this, thinking 'we could cut back some branches, it's doable'.

That's the channel we came up, right ahead. If you were to turn to the left you'd see this:

Nice isn't it? Looks very possible. However, it wasn't clear of boats when we came in. Actually, we knew that as we'd driven down to check. Tied against the jetty right where we needed to turn was this yoke:

So we went aground, pulled ourselves free, moved the rib, went aground, pulled ourselves free and finally reversed all the way down the long channel back to the Scarriff River where we'd began. We're wondering whether to try the second channel - for there are two ways in - that you see ahead of you in this pic. A bigger area to turn, and maybe deeper ....

So we need to be more careful, plan a little, use measuring devices. For we nearly got into trouble again last night. We were in Rossmore halfway up Lough Derg, a quiet spot but somewhat exposed when the wind gets up, which it did. Winter Solstice was tied up against Knocknagow, a very steady big steel boat, and was bucking around a bit. It was suggested that we might pull around the corner where the slip enters the water.

 We'd be sheltered here, on that wall you can see. Joe went to have a look. 'I'd say there's enough depth,' he said. We donned lifejackets, started the engines, discussed how to rope her round.

'But wait!' said our friend, Skipper of Knocknagow. 'Are you sure of this? Have you made calculations?' If we'd had him with us on the Scarriff River we would never have got into trouble. The tape measure appeared, we put in a pole to check the depth, worked out whether there was space.

We took off our lifejackets, turned off the engines, pulled up the ball fenders to stop them banging. I cooked dinner braced against the bathroom door.

The wind died before we went to sleep. Next morning Joe took the boat to Portumna while I took the car. Here he is pulling out:

Will we learn to calculate before we go? Probably not.

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