Monday 16/04/2012 Battlebridge - Lough Key Forest Park
Length of boat trip: 2.25 hours
Motto of the day: Back on Lough Key
The morning is overcast with a few showers. The wind direction has changed to SW and the weather forecast sounds not good for today. That was the reason why we decided yesterday to leave the beautiful Lough Allen. The forecast has predicted a rapid pressure fall with gale force winds arriving in the evening tonight.
We drive downstream on the Shannon and then upstream on the Boyle River. Not much has changed since our last visit in 2008, despite increasing "rust" on ambitious constructions, the restaurant which is closed and offered for sale and jetties which fall into disrepair.
We pass the golf course and will do so over the next days three more times but we don't see a golfer playing.
The nature and the beauty of this waterway have luckily survived ... despite below Clarendon Lock.
We arrive at Lough Key Forest Park and moor behind 'De Iron Lung' with the bow to the southern shore. A few hire boats are at the jetty and also some privately owned boats but after the weekend without crew. One boat has a bow fender which is fixed too high, so that the southerly wind pushes the boat against the jetty. We discuss the situation and the gale prediction. At last I decide to think Irish and to adjust an additional line of ours to the bow fender and to lower it. I hope that the owners of “Éalú” don’t resent us for taking action to avoid damage to the boat.
I fall early asleep but awake again around 1 am when the wind is howling and gusty rain beats on the boat. The storm peaks.
Knock Airport Max 8.9°C Min 3.5°C Rainfall 12.8 mm Sun hours 0 (We had some minutes) Wind SW F3, at times in the night F5-6 with gust of F7, decreasing to F3 later
Tuesday 17/04/2012 Lough Key Forest Park - Carrick-on-Shannon - Drummans Island - Lough Key Forest Park
Length of boat trip: 4.6 hours
Motto of the day: The journey is the destination
Blue sky and a few clouds greet us in the morning. The storm is over. Swans are flying over the lake and defend their territories. Short showers are accompanied by rainbows. We drive to the northeast end of the lake in brilliant sunshine in an F4 with gust of F5. Willi measures 30.8 km/h when I got a phone call with the information that Galway has still gale force winds.
We drive down the Boyle River to Carrick-on-Shannon.
After refilling diesel and some shopping we boat slowly back to Lough Key accompanied by some rain showers.
Back on Lough Key we moor at Drummans Island. Later in the evening the wind changes from SW to SE and so we also decide to change our mooring to the Lough Key Forest Park Jetty.
Knock Airport Max 7.8°C Min 3.4°C Rainfall 6.4 mm Sun hours 4.2 (mainly in the morning) Wind SW F4, at times in the night F5-6 with gust of F7, decreasing to F3 later