21.04.2006 Lough Key / Drumman Island - Boyle - Lough Key / Drumman Island
Length of the boat trip: 1,4 hours
Bright sunshine awakes us. During the morning we defoliate our clothes. Finally we have a shirt and short trousers on. We doddle and get a nature flash. Birds twitter. Butterflies. Mos-covered immemorial trees. Humongous trees, bent and straightened up, crooked and dignified. Alone with the nature and ourselves. And: sunburn weather. Willi lends me one of his base-caps. Who expects about this mid April in Ireland?
Wearing in t-shirts we chug to Boyle. I hitchhike to the town. It worked well. In the harbour a boat of Emerald Star doesn´t come through the wide entrance and seam along the wall, ouch, they turn off frustrated.
We drive on the sunny "keyhole" back to Drumman Island.
The jetty is quite busy. Some friendly private boater pull the ropes of a Carrick Craft boat shorter that is using more space than necessary. The crew seems to be with a dinghy on Castle Island. I look doubting at the gap. Willi means: `This fits.´ Well, I go in like with a "Smart car". Right in the middle of the parking the owner get quickly out of her private boat beside my stern and shout: `Oh my Good, oh my boat!´ Dear me, a nervous granny is the last thing that I need in this moment. But I don´t get unsettled. It works! Nothing happens. We place our boat that the window at the stern has no contact with grannies bow, a foot space between them. But in the front we lay bow to bow, chain cable guide to chain cable guide.
The crew of the carrick Carft boat comes back. They are Germans, since four years they are living in Clare. We chat with them. After that they push the boat out and leave to Cootehall. Granny gets a little bottle of wine as a tranquilizer `I have spent so much money for the boat´, later she steams in a hurry away to get cheap diesel from a road side tanker. A quiet evening on Lough Key begins (an unspoiled place without hotel, golf course, tennis court and holiday cottages).
22.04.2006 Lough Key / Drumman Island - Leitrim - Keshcarrigan
Length of the boat trip: 6,3 hours
A soft sun with light overcast sky covers the landscape and produces a dream world. This should not be the last one today.
We drive with calm weather back to Leitrim. It is overcast and nearly no wind blows and at the Hartley-Bridge a host of midges falls in love with our boat. We survive and the wind increases.
An arrogant Locaboat-boater in Leitrim ignores our request to put his dinghy besides his boat: `There was room enough for another boat before you came.´ and so we moor down the bridge. Shopping, lunch and then drive the boat for filling up water on the other side of the bridge again, the "Little Rascals" gives us her mooring place. We meet again the friendly band private boater on their way back home, we had first met them during the away in Keshcarrigan.
Along, this time with rain and wind through the locks. And how should it be: I am down in the last lock of Kilclare and the lock gates don´t move. Willi goes back to the former lock. This one doesn´t work with this card ditto. We try all of our smartcards. Nothing happens. Willi pushes the button to call the ranger. Nothing happens. I try to call the ranger with my handy but down in the lock between the walls it is difficult to get a connection. The ranger has no mailbox, I only hear: "The number you are calling is not available." Cheers! The lock has no ladder. Willi pull up his handy with a line. He tries all numbers he can find. Nobody can be reached. Finally I call Liz, the "gute Seele" of ABC. She is very helpful and calls the ranger in Enniskillen. However, he mobilize the local ranger and after 90 minutes down in the lock he arrives, resets the electronics and I am released. He is absolutely doing a cool job. Three times he asks us if we had pushed the emergency stop. No, we haven´t. We will never know what really has happened. Anyway the ranger doesn´t believe us and our handling, he has only confidence in the correct working of his lock electronic. So are they, the friendly people of Waterways Ireland. Always providing the service for their clients. Only he has forgotten to bring a pizza along.
It is going along to Keshcarrigen. It is good that I only need to warm up the yesterday cooked garlic hen "United Nations". Though it needs time till then because we are busy with viewing a boat which tries to moor skilful crosswise between the jetties and the chat after that. Latenight-dinner with live-music made on the barge beside us, meanwhile the nice crew of the boat on the other side shuttle between washing machine, dryer and boat.
23.04.2006 Keshcarrigan - Haughton Shore
Length of the boat trip: 5,1 hours
A brilliant blue sky let me get up on 8 o´clock. Our neighbours are resting longer because of the long trip yesterday, Naan Island till Keshcarrigan (What a hop! It's sheer lunacy! We have needed about 12 hours on our journey for this.) We enjoy the bright morning. Willi walks to the shop in the village to buy a new smartcard for the laundry. But the new owners asks: `Smartcard? What is that?´ We ring up the ranger. He comes twenty minutes later with a new card and wants to know, if we are satisfied with Angela Merkel.
We talk with the crew of the neighbour boat. But when I start to play a CD next door the engine warms up. Goodbye, have fun with a lot of driving!
We relax in the sunny morning. Two washing machines and dryer run. We have a long breakfast on the fly.
With sun and only some clouds we chug to Ballinamore. It is calm and mild. Before the locks we land only with the stern and I put off by myself. We drive slowly and with pleasure. We meet no other boat. We chug so slowly that we meet two anglers twice which have changed the angling place with their car. Willi holds out the scoop net which he normally sometimes uses to land fish to the golf player at Ballinamore.
Lough Garadice welcomes us glassy with magic doubled shores. The wake absorbs the reflection of the clouds on the water surface.
We moor as a lonely boat in Haughton Shore. Only a small fishing boat arrives and a ribboat used by the Civil Defense is put out of the water on a trailer, after that we are alone with the sunset. Monkfish with creme-sauce fills our hungry stomachs.