Inland Waterways Ireland – Winter Boating Special (2018-2019)


Hello and welcome to the Driftwood Boat Blog.
I’m Marion. I’m Harry, this is our boat Driftwood and we’re doing a bit of Irish Boating in
the middle of November. It’s, it’s really autumn weather but it’s just glorious. It’s
lovely ye, and there’s nobody around, it’s just so peaceful, it’s beautiful. There’s
so many advantages to cruising in the middle of winter and we’ll get around to them all,
so don’t go away. So when you’re boating at this time of year
you do need an independent source of heat or you’re going to freeze to death. We’re
lucky that we have an Eberspacher diesel heater that heats the water and that heats a number
of radiators for us. It’s 12 volt and it runs off the diesel that the engines run off as
well so we’re independent, we don’t need to to have a plug in for 240 volt. And it’s really
really warm. It is. Sometimes it can be warmer than the house at home, like. It is because
a boat is only a small area, it’s not a huge area to heat up, so you don’t need a massive
amount of heat. What I would love is a little solid fuel stove but the layout …. We don’t
have any place on the boat. We don’t the lay out just doesn’t really lend its self to it.
Next boat! No we’re not getting a next boat. Do you know what? Sometimes I have to say
that autumn cruising is almost better than summer cruising because look at the beautiful
colours you have here. Isn’t that just absolutely magnificent. So Marion is at the helm here
now, We’ve to go underneath this bridge, and it’s just on a bend. And there is a bit of
a run in the river so that kind of effects the steering a small bit. It’s all very picturesque. Of course winter time means more water poring over the weirs. And more of a flow in the
river, when you’re heading down river that can make your steering a little bit soft.
A little bit less responsive. There’s something really nice about this time of year, it’s
that you just have the river to yourself. And when it comes to finding a mooring tonight?
Don’t have to worry. It won’t be a bother there’l be plenty of spots to moor up. We
have the whole place to our self’s. And our plan is to go to Haughton’s Shore. So here
we are guys it’s mid November, it’s about 12 or 13 degrees centigrade and were out boating
it’s not balmy hot but it’s not uncomfortable. And I’ve discovered a way if you’re were thinking
of going boating in Ireland and your saying to yourself, hmmm maybe the weather wouldn’t
be good, I’m after discovering a way whereby you can get much more good weather in Ireland
than you used to. And I’m going to share it with you. Here it is, all you have to do is
you lower the bar for what you consider good weather. I have set it at this point. If it’s
10 degrees centigrade or above and if it’s not raining that classes as good weather.
By setting the bar at that level I now get far more good weather than I used to get before.
And hence I’m out boating! Great. So the waterway we’re on today guys is the Shannon Erne Waterway.
This is a waterway that links the River Shannon with Lough Erne in Northern Ireland. It’s
approximately 65 Klm long, I might be out by 1 or 2 Klm or maybe even more than 1 or
2! I think it has about 16 locks in total on it. Em, there’s plenty of moorings along
the way. It starts in the town of Leitrim and it goes through the towns of Ballinamore,
Ballyconnel and then it ends up in Lough Erne in Northern Ireland. It’s made up of still
water canal, river, and of a number of lakes as well. Were about to go onto the largest
of those lakes and that is Lough Garadice. But can I just say, it’s a north south border
project. Yep. It was part of the piece process in 1994 it was rebuilt. So what they done,
which I thought was very fair, the locks start with number one in the North and finish with
number 16 in Leitrim. And the bridges start with in Leitrim with number 1 and finish in
the North. Little bit of education! Appeasement at it’s best! Well I think I’m right! You
are right, you are indeed. Harry, Harry common quick, quick there’s a big spider and I can’t
deal… What am I supposed to do! I hate spiders. Okay you take the wheel and I’ll go in and
I’ll de-spider the place. Oh my god. Ah ye, a mega spider. I’ve been sent in here because
Marion spotted this fella. Look at that, that is a beast, we could make a pet out of him.
Kill him Har. No we’ll not kill him, ah there he is, we’ll see, let nature kill him, there
he goes. Gone swimming. Feeding the fishes. They’re cutting back the trees. Oh right. And this is the beautiful Lough Garadice. Largest lake on the Shannon Erne Waterway.
It takes about 25 minutes to get from one side of it to the other. That’s actually an
island straight up here in front of us. We can pass either side of it but were going
top go to your left, or our left. The thing about going boating in the winter time or
in November is you’re likely hood of getting bad weather increased quite dramatically.
But eh, there’s a bit of a breeze here today but not a bad breeze. The lakes can be quite
exposed but in fairness no matter how bad it is you’re only really going to be 20 minutes
out here on Lough Garadice maybe 25 minutes. This particular island here is called church
Island. It’s the largest island on Lough Garadice. And as there is a clue in the title, yep there
is a church on it somewhere. There’s a small bit of a landing jetty just on the other side
of the island there. What way are we going here Harry? Were going to go straight on and
if you see up ahead you can just see a marker off the point that headland. Now unfortunately
the landing jetty on Church Island isn’t really big enough to get em, anything other than
a fishing boat or a rowing boat onto. You might be able to make out pretty much in the
center of your picture just the wooded piles the remains of that jetty. But I do want to
get onto that island one of these days. I haven’t managed to do it yet. So the sky is
looking pretty stormy. And eh I suppose, it is winter time so you cant expect to be a
whole lot better than that. But in a few moments….. I’can feel bobbin… Ye your bobbin is blowing
in the wind. We’ll be into the harbour in a few moments and we’ll be well and truly
sheltered when we get settled in for the night. It’s really nice to get away for a few days
like this. Yes it is. So if you get a chance to hire a boat in the middle of winter, and
you’re dressed right for it and you have a source of heating, be it a stove, a diesel
heater, cups of tea, a bottle of whiskey, or what ever. Something to keep the cold out
you can still have a superb time. It’s only if it’s raining, that’s the real downer. We
met a couple there ten days ago and they hired from Riversdale. That’s right. Back here in
Ballinamore. And I think she (I can’t think of her name now) Viola, & David. But they
were saying that the only place they could hire in November was Riversdale Barges. But
they have stoves on-board, we did get a look around. We wern’t allowed bring a camera on-board
but it was beautiful. There a nice sort of wide beam narrowboat. I hate that expression
wide-beam narowboat because it’s like saying a big small boat. It doesn’t make sense, it’s
a narrow barge! And this is the approach into the harbour that they call Hauting’s Shore.
And it’s a really nice spot. There’s obviously a van there, somebody doing a bit of fishing
I would guess. It’s a tight turn now to get into the harbour. Oh my god it is cold out
there. Well, that’s us safely in harbour. Sit back and relax for the evening. Guys I hope you enjoyed the video and em it just shows that boating in the winter is possible,
it’s still fun. It is fun. Actually it not bad. We have the harbour to ourselves it’s
wonderful. So guys if you enjoyed it please give it a thumbs up and YouTube will stick
up a few videos here there and everywhere. Maybe click on one of them, if you enjoyed
this one you might like to see more of our videos. Thanks for Watching. Cheerio. After
a long day on the river Mar has been busy in the galley and that is lovely Hake spuds,
mushy peas, carrots done in honey. Even candle lit! I’m ferocious romantic! Oh I’m telling
you… Fair play to you.

5 thoughts on “Inland Waterways Ireland – Winter Boating Special (2018-2019)”

  1. there's ruins of a church on church island in Garadice lough harry, i managed to tie up on the landing jetty, love haughtons shore, always stay the night there on the return trip to carrick from enniskillen.

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