Donnerstag 01.05.2008 Davy´s Island -
Length of boat trip: 2,3 hours
Motto of the day: Relaxing
This day is not released to the public. Suffice it to say that it was wonderful.
Freitag 02.05.2008 - Tom´s Island - Aghinver Boat Company
Length of boat trip: 2,6 hours
Motto of the day: Our last day
Brilliant blue sky welcomes us. Only a few clouds arrive during the morning.
Reluctantly we drive for the last refuelling to ABC and put into the jetty at Tom's Island, where we spend the afternoon packing our things and cleaning up the boat. In between, we relax and enjoy the view between the islands to the lake. In the evening we berth the boat in Aghinver´s port. Here our trip of four weeks comes to its end.
What else’s to report?
Approximately for 100 hours in all, we have driven the boat.
The weather showed us all its moods with many beautiful rainbows, which we had missed in April 2007. And it was the first time in Ireland that we had snow on the boat and on the mountains!
The weather report summarizes this April as follows: It was cooler, but drier than average, with normal sunshine duration. We have got every season in these four weeks.
The water level on the Erne was already very low. How will it be in summer, if not in the next few months no excessive rain falls?
Three Jetties were renewed or rebuilt at the Erne: Carrickreagh, Crevinishaughty North and Geaglum. The latter we regard as turned out very well.
The new Waterways Ireland headquarter in Enniskillen is nearly finished.
Of course, there are also some worrying developments along these beautiful, natural waterways, which we want to mention.
First of all, in winter 2007/2008 extensive tree cuttings works had been carried out. Some serve the maintenance of the navigation, while others are irresponsible damage to natural habitats, for example, where the kingfisher lives and nests.
Some of the measures designed for the locks are understandably in the interests of creating park attractions. However, to give all the locks the charm of flowerbeds, manicured lawns and street lighting, means decreasing atmospheric moorings for those boaters, who prefer wilder nature.
A threatening and worrying development are the many planned projects to extract large amounts of drinking water from the Shannon. The largest of these plans, initiated in the Inner Lakes, is to supply a large quantity of water to Dublin.
Fishing brought a few impressive fish to the surface, but overall our experience shows that we catch fewer and fewer, and smaller and smaller pike. For in as much, it is hard to see why the latest call by the Irish Anglers Organizations for an exclusive catch-and-release law for pike is not quickly implemented.
The perchs, however, are enjoying a growth boom in the lakes; fish experts see it as an effect of the spread of zebra mussel. Although busy spawning, this perch, much to our surprise, could not resist the bait.
In addition to the midges, kingfishers, herons, swans and ducks of different types, we have shared nature with donkeys, dogs, calves, lambs, horses, wagtails, great crested grebes, seagulls, black coots, moorhens, wild geese, foxes, owls, hoopoes, bats, , swallows and many, often not visible, but audible, larger and smaller creatures. For the first time we have seen a corncrake at the Shannon!
Fewer boats than usual were on the water this time. Maybe it was the cool April or the impending recession of the Celtic Tiger which holds off boating. It was, in any case, significantly quieter than usual in recent years around this time and there were also fewer hired boats underway.
We have enjoyed the privilege of the calm atmosphere and tranquillity on the rivers, lakes and moorings very much. Landscapes were bathed in varied lights, old and new culture accompanied us. This time we have not only looked to the water, but also in the width and height of the ice-shaped ridges and landscape, with its old and new evidences of human settlement. A number of things we have newly discovered and so have changed our point of view. All this has made this trip an unique experience.