Friday 27/04/2012 Lough Ballykeeran - Athlone - Clonmacnois
Length of boat trip: 3 hours
Motto of the day: Hire boating unplugged
A bright blue sky welcomes us in the morning.
We have an enjoyable drive to Athlone.
After some shopping we lock down before 1 pm. A swan is nesting on the Three Counties Pile. Again we pass surveying workers. Curlews cross the river.
We reach Clonmacnois and moor. It is quiet although some hire boats are moored here, 'til an Emerald Star Line boat arrives. First they try to moor between two boats outside at the jetty in a “big” gap. Then they decide to moor inside at the last finger with wind blowing to the shore. And predictably they go aground. They try to drive forwards and dig a channel to the shore.
Eventually they drive out backwards. Then they decide to moor between us and a Locaboat. At first it goes right till the man in the dinghy drives between the cruiser and the jetty. He and the dinghy nearly get squashed. The man at the helm of the cruiser has to drive backwards and the wind drifts them close to the Locaboat and to avoid a collision, he drives backwards and backwards till the boat is grounded again.
Finally they manage to bring the ropes to the cleats and to moor. They celebrate their success loud and visible for all. What an awkward stunt!