Monday 13/09/2010 Tully Inishmore - Enniskillen - Devenish - Castle Archdale 3.4 hours
Riders on the storm
The morning starts rainy. A lost slipper is floating downstream and a hire boater follows to catch him.
When we start for Enniskillen to go shopping the rain stops. After that we enjoy a break at Devenish. The wind increases as announced by the weather forecast and so we have a good ride up to Castle Archdale with wind F6 to 7. Ina and Karl-Heinz will remember the conditions last year in September when we met them there. But this time the sw-wind increases to gale force. The sea area forecast reports gale 9 for Malin Head but we are sheltered in the harbour.
Tuesday 14/09/2010 Castle Archdale - Aghinver - Lisnaskea - Clones
Autumn has arrived
The day starts stormy and heavy showers are pouring down. A couple on the Noble Chief of MHM behind us decides not to drive down to Killadeas by boat. The Lough is too rough. The hire company will pick them up here in the morning by car because they have to travel back home today.
We have a short ride around the corner and moor in the harbour of Aghinver. It's slashing down when we pack our luggage.
The weather becomes sunnier around noon and we set off by car. Our trip goes first to Lisnaskea, the second largest town of Fermanagh, which can be seen in the distance when boating on the Upper Lough Erne. The photo shows the ruins of Castle Balfour.
Then it goes further on to Clones, a small town on the disused Ulster Canal. Clones is a nice town and well known for it's lace.
The section of the Ulser Canal from the Erne to Clones will be reconstructed. 35 Million Euros are estimated for it. We know some people think that in this financial climate all money is needed for other important duties but as long as the waste of money for roads and other vanity projects is still going on why should land not be bought to rebuild a canal when the prices for land and construction are low? Other countries are wasting billions.
On the other hand there are other navigations like the River Barrow dried out by the Irish Government since European financial support has stopped.
We meet Paddy Boylan, Clones Development Society Ltd., at the Canal Stores, where we have a coffee. Beside the restored Canal Stores a public marina with 40 berths close to the town is planned.
Then we drive to the southwest along the old canal route. I have read at home in the Ulster Canal Feasibility Study. "Maintain the existing canal line at the Lacky Aqueduct by purchasing and removing the house built on the route." We search for this house and indeed it is on the old line and the aqueduct part of his garden. Will it actually be removed?
When walking over an old canal bridge we meet a farmer with his dog. He is not happy with the refund he will get for his 4 ha land as the market value is low at the moment but he is supporting the restoration.
We drive back to Aghinver. The wind is still strong. We enjoy our last evening on board.
Autumn has arrived, time to leave.
This time we spent 9 days boating and 2 days with interesting trips by car. The nature in the countryside was impressive and also the spiders felt well. Although it was wetter than last year we had also some sunny days. We have seen many kingfishers particular on the Erne. Weed, water and wind describe the underlaying conditions of our September boating on the Erne this year. Although we have stayed several times on this navigation, this time was different to the others. Every time boating is a great adventure with moments of surprise and unexpected happenings and meetings. Till next time!