On the River Barrow April 2011

On the water


Log book

Ireland April / May 2011 part 1



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The lifting bridge above Levitstown Lock is usually down. We arrive there at the same time as Joe, whom we informed of our ongoing. I wait a couple of minutes while he lifts the bridge.

Levitstown lifting bridgeLevitstown lifting bridge









He has told us about a sunken boat above the lock and we drive slowly around it close to a tree at the opposite bank while Joe is walking to the lock and soon he has opened the gates.

Levitstown sunken boatLevitstown Lock









While sluicing us through, he tells me that people are fishing on the jetty below where we want to moor. “Do they have the right to block the jetty?” I ask him. Joe walks to them and tells them that a boat will arrive soon. We drive out of the lock after thanking the lockkeeper for his friendly help. The young people at the jetty still have their rods and a keep net in the water but I approach slowly but definitely. They look angry and remove the fishing gear at the last moment. Willi moors the boat. “Sorry for that, but we had a long drive today.” I tell them. One girl shouts: “Can’t you go down to Mageney Bridge; it’s just 3 miles downstream!” I reply: “I’m too tired to go further on.” The two small wooden jetties above the lock are destroyed and blocked by the sunken boat. They are upset. There are some metres below the boat left at the jetty and they also have more than 3 miles down to Mageney for fishing but none of them are fishing during the following hour they stay beside our boat.

Levitstown LockLevitstown Lock









When they leave with their car they leave all their rubbish beside and on the jetty. Later I collect a bag of litter, mostly cans. I ask Willi to bring it to the lock with the hope that the lockkeeper will bring it to the refuse collection. Half an hour later a man comes along with his dogs. “Hello, did you collect the litter?” “Yes, I hope that the lockkeeper will dispose the waste.” “I will do that.” We have a chat and Vivian Cummings, who is living in the rebuilt lockkeeper's house beside, is shaking his head on the uneducated behaviour of the young people. He tells me that yesterday there was also a party at the jetty. I had collected the result of that too. Vivian walks his dogs after telling me that if we need something we should come to his house. Later he comes back with my litter bag and asks us to take a photograph of it together with us. The Kildare Nationalist newspaper published an article about our litter collection on the 19th of April with the headline: “Germans bale us out again!” and the photo.

Levitstown LockLevitstown lockkeeper house









A small fishing boat arrives and goes through the lock. What traffic!

Fishing boatFinnery









Levitstown millLevitstown mill












The evening is quiet and we relax at this beautiful place below the old mill on our stern deck. Bats are hunting in the last day light.

Oak Park (Carlow) Max 19.9°C Min 7.4°C Rainfall 0

5 locks, 1 lifting bridge, 18.1 km, 5 hours 8 minutes



Monday 11/04/2011 Levitstown - Clogrennan - Milford

Motto of the day: The lovely Barrow and a surprise meeting

What a lovely sunny morning! Haven’t I said that yesterday? Another sunny day starts. A kingfisher flies upstream in the morning light. It’s a bit cooler than yesterday but it doesn’t really matter.

Levitstown LockLevitstown mill









We start around 10. I try to call the next lockkeeper, William O’Neill, but he is not available at the moment. He was informed by me yesterday about our arrival in his area and called back some minutes later.

We follow the soft windings of the Barrow downstream; it is not really wide in this part.

Barrow below Levitstownarrow below Levitstown








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