On the River Barrow April 2011

On the water


Log book

Ireland April / May 2011 part 1



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At high tide we walk to St. Mullins and have a look at the steamer hole and some old ruins.

St. Mullins steamer holeSt. Mullins steamer hole









St. MullinsSt. Mullins monastic settlement









Later back on the boat we pack our luggage. We will return tomorrow to Vicarstown by taxi. If you ever need a taxi in the Carlow area I can recommend Erin Taxi.

Oak Park (Carlow) Max 15.0°C Min 8.5°C Rainfall 0.4 mm (Must have been a local shower in Carlow)

2 locks, 4.3 km, 2 hours 20 minutes


Thanks to all the very friendly lockkeepers who worked the locks for us! Without their help we would have run out of water and could have never disposed of our waste!

Thanks to Barrowline for their help and the well maintained narrowboat! The safety equipment is exceptional. The boat is fitted with three alarms: a gas alarm, a fire alarm and a carbon monoxide alarm. None of the boats we had ever hired on Shannon and Erne had even one alarm!

The River Barrow is an ideal mixture of boating adventure with a special thrill and relaxing in beautiful scenery and landscapes. The beauty of the Barrow Navigation is totally underestimated! And our reservations about a narrowboat were unfounded. We felt well and truly at home on ‘Finnery’.


What have we missed?

Ah yes, to visit the villages and towns along the waterway. But that is a side of this waterway we are not primarily interested in. We love more to enjoy the nature and the silence away from busy streets, shops and pubs.

We had also not enough time for walking through the forests and on the hills.

We have also missed the beautiful stretch from St. Mullins to New Ross and the other two of the three sisters. Hire boats are not allowed to go on tidal waters below St. Mullins.

We also missed doing some kayaking.

We missed ducks. We only met one pair. The people in the Barrow area must love shooting them.


All in all we could do the trip five times more and we will discover more every time. We are surprised about the beauty of the whole Navigation and the varied landscape. It’s not only the southern part with the valley character which is great. Also the other parts have great scenery and nice shores and settings.



We spent nearly 23 hours with boating on the Barrow and drove 79.4km (GPS data) in six days.

Max speed: 10km

Lifting bridges, which had to be lifted by lockkeepers: 2

Locks: 25, 17 managed by lockkeepers, 1 by Ronny and 7 by Willi

We met five moving boats, one of them grounded.

Longest cut: Levitstown

Oldest bridge: Leighlinbridge (one of the oldest stone bridges in Europe)

Deepest single lock on the Barrow Navigation: Bagenalstown 3.26 m (ok, the deepest on the whole trip was No. 26 on the Barrow Line with 3.43 m)

Deepest and narrowest lock (double): Ballykennan 3.40 m

Oldest weir: Slyguff

Oldest lock: Carriglead


What did I forget to mention?

We met Richard beside the motorway on the warm and sunny day when we arrived. He helped us very much and had picked up our two boxes with boating equipment and brought them to the meeting point. Thanks again!

I also forgot to mention the many cuckoos, we heard as well as the pheasants; the fishes, we saw jumping; the fragrance of spring and the many butterflies along the river.

Butterfly mating








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