Saturday, June 15, 2013

Banagher - at a bulkhead

                                     Just grazing by the river

We arrived at LeBoat around 10:00, dropped off our luggage and went in search of a supermarket. Much to our surprise, we actually found one, SuperVal. It's a chain in Ireland and it's as good as the average supermarket in the states. One thing we're always happy to find in our travels to faraway places is a store for provisioning.  So, fully stocked we headed out. As I eased the canal boat out of the slip and started the right angle turn for the river, one of the LeBoat staff came running out waving a piece of paper - seems like he neglected part of the paperwork and wanted us to initial something so I stopped the boat, causing it to drift sideways in the channel. As we drifted around in the narrow channel, fending off, we finally got underway and successfully avoided other boats and the shore on the way to the River Shannon whew!

                           Just like the ICW, tie off and the water rises

The area by the River Shannon is very pastoral. Of course, it's as green as green can be and there's horses, cattle, goats, sheep grazing by the side of the river.  The channel is well marked so there's no problem with navigation. We have no depth sounder, no wind indicator, no VHF but we do have a telephone provided by the company to call back in case of trouble. 

                              Notice all the fenders, they stay on all the time

As in our trip to France, there are locks to negotiate as you go upstream. The locks were just like the ones on the ICW, no problem. We did find that our shallow draft powerboat is much more susceptible to wind than the sailboats we're used to handling. We became cross-ways to the current as we slowed down for a boat in front of us going into the lock. These boats are like bumper cars. There are fenders that are permanently attached all around the boat. You can't go wrong. About the only thing you can do wrong is ground the boat. If you do, then there's a 100 euro fee to get pulled off. SeaTow doesn't operate over here!

                  Typical town in Ireland, this one is Banagher

We moored against a bulkhead in Banagher which was provided by the town at no charge, first come, first served. At least that much is free. The town is typical of many in Ireland with narrow streets and buildings forming a wall next to the street. We're off tomorrow heading north again to see a monastery by the river.