Tuesday, 25 July 2017

3 locks from home

Going to let the pics do most of my talking on the Drumshambo to Ballynamore cruise.  We had perfect weather and it could not be prettier. Lovely Leitrim,.

Great lock crew!

Almost at the top of the flight.

This section just lovely

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

And a very productive hour it was!

We said goodbye to Lough Key in glorious sunshine. Such a great spot. Especially good early morning and in the evening! 

A great cruise up to Battlebridge and the furst of the 3 UK style lock that take you to Lough Allen. All operated by lockies. 

Always a few gongoozlers (boat admirers) here. Busy at the moment as there is a festival of music this week in Drumshambo. We already knew the moorings there were full but we planned to stop before we got there. 

A cruiser already going up and a small barge to come down. Eva, our Lockkeeper, phone ahead so the next lock would be ready for the cruiser. We thought we might just make it before LLH (Lockkeeper Lunch Hour). 

The cruiser decided to stop after coming out of the lock to offer advice to some gongoozling prospective boat owners. 

Of course, he then pulled out in front of us as we came out so that he could keep 'his' lock. Hmmm ..we weren't so sure.

 Arriving at said lock at 1259 gates open....in he goes. We moor on lock landing. We spend the next hour having lunch, walking LJ, taking on water, doing laundry, having showers, washing LJ.  They spend same  hour sitting on boat waiting for Lockkeeper to return from lunch!

Resupplied ar Drumshambo. Enough for us not to have to worry about weather on Lough Allen Nd now are here. There were five of us earlier but looks as if not enough on the lough to keep them overnight. Weather forecast is pretty dreadful but moorings on way back are in very short supply.

Naturally, we don't mind not sharing!

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Happy Birthday QISMA

Seven years today since the launch of  QISMA.  I wish I could tell you how many miles and,locks she's done since then ...but I can't. Despite what appears to me to be a compulsive recording if useless information!  She's travelled a fair few though! 

She seems to like her current cruising area.... Good news for us as so do we. 

Saturday, 8 July 2017

300,170 ... just slipped on by!

Thanks to everyone for the blog notching up 300,170! And I even met a blog follower today! Anjela, who has been following since we were cruising in England and Wales. The 300,000 just cruised by me.

The last few days have seen us in Ballyleague/Lanesborough...with predictable weather.

 At Kilglass where our neighbour kindly shared fresh mackerel with us....well me really . Caught early that morning and it showed. It was delicious.

The sunset last night

And dawn...0415 this morning. I did go back to bed.


Now happily in Drumsna. Such a pretty village. Feels as if it has a French influence in the architecture. 

Busy as you'd expec. Weekend and sunshine. A QISMA size mooring was available when we arrived at lunchtime. 

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Not pushing ourselves!

50 minutes to one of our favourite spots ever on any waterway. Last time we were here about 80 people were camping. This time just us and some lovely local visitors. Margaret and Cormack...was lovely to welcome you onboard!

Sunday, 2 July 2017


with winds of 50kph or higher forecast for the end of the week we didn't want to hang round in Athlone. So, with ourselves comfortably outside of another fab pizza from Pizzeria il Basilico, we headed up to the very top corner of Lough Ree, to Portrunny. A few walkers and visitors to the swim,park, two boats and a rather angry swan was the tally for the rest of the week. 

As we approached, with all the lough to manoeuvre in, this hire boat chose to cross right in front of us. Their waves turning to less friendly gesticulations as they went by. 

Photos of storms never turn out well. They don't do justice to the waves.  So I'm offering the post storm views. 

The swan was such a nuisance. Attacking LJ each time we walked down the pontoon. I'm retaliating by not posting a photo! 


This little chap had quite a few of pals. There for the small flying insects attracted by the heat from our log burner. Yes, I know it's July!

So a very lazy few days which we really needed. We seem to have been on the go almost constantly since we set off. 

Monday, 26 June 2017

Do NOT repel boarder's

We set off from Meelick where we had a rest day! Lots of activity on the water as there was a sailing race going from Lough Ree to Lough Derg. Then on our own last night. Stopped at Bannagher for fuel  and delighted to find Colin, our mooring owner, visiting the office. So a bit of a catch up.

We had a good run up to Clonmacnoise arriving just as the drizzle started. We had just tied up when there was a flurry of activity on the jetty and we were accosted. Was there any possibility we would take a long distance swimmer the 600m up river to where he came out of the water on his last swim. Only one answer. Jump onboard!

The 600m was actually 3k but who cared. We were delighted to help. And, the QISMA size mooring was still empty when we got back. Next step was to keep an eye out for him coming past so we could send on some photographs.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

In deep water

Friday night was our last night on the Grand Canal. The Alan, as we are calling him, helped us down three locks towards Shannon Harbour and provided a newspaper!  

Through Shannon Harbour at lunchtime and back on to the River Shannon. Despite what we are calling the Barrow Line incident we will be back on the Grand. 7 boats moving in 12 days. The delights of  Tullamore and great service from all but one water patroller! 

We had hoped to moor at Banagher but just too busy so we went on to Meelick, which we love. With a bit of shuffling by the boats moored there we were on in a perfect QISMA sized space.

This is the reason Bannagher was so popular yesterday.... the race moored there last night with accompanying flotilla.

 And once they passed through, the kayaks took over!

Now 1450 on Sunday. Just us and one unaccompanied boat left on the mooring.  No doubt we will have company from Lough Derg later.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Boat ahoy!!

We have made good progress back down the Grand Canal on our way to the River Shannon. Helped into Tullamore yesterday by the cheerful and helpful Leo. We like Tullamore. A lot. Bustling town with great shopping. 

The weed cutters are out in force and it's making a big difference. We are veterans of the Middle Levels. If anyone reading is familiar with the weed there....this is hardly worth mentioning. Well OK, that IS a slight exaggeration but it really doesn't compare. 

Our only excitement of today has been our Dog Overboard drill. Only it wasn't a drill. We all very lucky. Alistair was just driving into a full lock. I was already ashore. The bank was suitably angled that LJ could stand up and I could help him out once he swam there. Not sure how it happened or if he realised it wasn't just an extra swimming opportunity. 

Oh..and we saw a boat! That makes 7 in our 12 day trip.