Thursday, July 23, 2015

Going North to the Erne

This was taken at Ballyconnell before the rains started in earnest. That's real clover on the top. The cockpit is green too, but I don't think it's real grass. A dotey little boat.

And then things started to look like this:

I was outside for the next lock. I got absolutely drenched. It was too windy for an umbrella and I hadn't taken the precaution of the Drizabone ankle-length coat and Tilley hat.

We made it to Houghton's Shore on Garadice Lough in windy weather, quite late. It was full. Ended up tying against a Freeman that had nobody on board. Wind and rain all night, but in the morning it was better. We became lurkers, waiting for someone to leave so we could take their space. In the end they all went at once so we had a choice. Here we are against the wall.

The Waterways Ireland vessel Inishendra was busy at work. It came and parked on the slip while they had a cup of tea (I assume), then out to plant a new marker.

And finally to Belturbet, getting there mid-afternoon. It lashed for the rest of the day and most of the night. We played tunes, read, took the dog out struggling with umbrellas (she wasn't impressed) and finally went to bed. It was still raining.

But in the morning it stopped and things began to look up. There were fisherman floating around outside the boat in blow-up armchairs.

Then Crom Castle in sunshine, and Tirraroe, a name I always remember as Tiramasu. This is where we met the harbour dog again - a very matted but sweet sheepdog that divides its time between Knockninny and Tirraroe.

The reason we stopped here was because we needed to cycle to Derrylin for emergency butter. Hillier than we thought.

And Enniskillen and the ducks on the jetty. This one was trying to get in the boat.

At the moment we're at the Lough Erne Yacht Club (WiFi!). We'd planned a trip out to Lusty Beg on the Broad Loch, but it's too windy, and the small dog is very wobbly on her legs these days. She'd probably be in bits if we tried for it.

The RNLI went out as I was walking Aoife this morning. Someone had gone onto rocks near Lusty Beg. They were off again, but the RIB went out anyway to check they were OK. Not clear if it was wind or a wrong turn that put them on the rocks.

Anyway, we'll head back to Enniskillen where the Happy Days Beckett festival has just started. Beckett was a pupil at Portora Schoool between 1920 and 1923 (boaters know Portora for the sluice and lock on the way from Enniskillen to Lower Lough Erne). We've had a bit of sunshine this morning. Maybe it'll warm up a bit too.

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