So up came the seat in the saloon.
Aoife retreated to her bed at this stage, tail down.
Joe was ready, holding tank pipe secure in the hole in the deck. The card had been put into the slot in the pump out machine and credit taken. The readout in the little screen prompted me to press the button on the right. And away we went.
Stuff was coming out. I pressed the button for another eight minutes. Stuff was coming out. Then no stuff. Joe reckoned it was pumping water from the river now, so time to switch The Lever. There was to be a system. I'd switch the lever and Joe would tap on the window once for OK and twice for Not OK. I switched to the left. There was a wild scuttering on the window pane. I switched it back to the centre and scrambled out of the boat.
'What??! You said you'd knock once or twice.'
'I panicked. Try the other way.'
Back in the boat, switched to the left. Four knocks on the window. Back to centre. Out of the boat.
'So what this time? You said ...'
'I know! I'm not sure.'
'The noise changed. It sounds like it's really doing something.'
'OK switch it back.'
So this is the record of what we did. The centre to start, then switch to the right.
The answers to the questions turned out to be Yes, Kind Of and No. The best result ever. Hire boats having to use the pump outs is, I'd suggest, what's made the real difference.
The astonishing weather continued into Saturday. Here's Winter Solstice in Drumsna shortly after we pulled in. It was late morning. By evening the harbour was chocka. I'd say people are putting off lifting out their boats, keeping their fingers crossed it continues like this until the October weekend.
There's a curious phenomenon in some of the Leitrim harbours, especially noticeable in Drumsna. People were drawing up in cars, filling containers with water and driving off again. The Shannon, of course, is the border between counties all the way up the country, and here it divides Leitrim from Roscommon. Much of this part of Roscommon doesn't have a clean water supply - there's been a boil notice in place for the last couple of years in some areas. So people come to Leitrim for their drinking water.
Wonder what will happen when water is metered.
Perhaps at least then the glorious new body of Irish Water will sort out the Cryptosporidiosis problem in Roscommon. I suspect the put-upon residents are not holding their collective breath.