One of the big reasons for coming down the Barrow this year was that we had a fantastic opportunity to link up with some other boats going to Inistioge as its the type of cruise we couldn’t do on our own. As mentioned in previous blogs below St Mullins the river is tidal so this trip had very strict timings around the tides. In summary we had to wait until close to high tide at St Mullins so there was enough water for us to cruise down river but then we had to make sure the tide had dropped enough to get under MountGarret Bridge. Once through there we passed the junction of the River Nore which heads up to Inistioge & we went to the floating jetties at New Ross. We waited here a few hours for the next high tide to ensure there was enough water to get us into Inistioge. Once there the water would drop & our flat bottomed boats would sit on the riverbank overnight until the tide came up again in the morning & then we refloated. Then we did the journey in reverse back to St Mullins. Below is the overall map.
So we bravely set off a convoy of 3 boats Monday afternoon to St Mullins. It was just 3 locks but they were tough to operate & the cut section was very overgrown.
Again there was no room to moor so we ended up 2 boats in the lock & one just outside it for the night.
We were up early the next morning for walkies before Golden Boyz set off first to pick up her wonderful crew members.
We were very lucky to have John & Billy onboard who are 2 experienced Barrow boat owners who helped us understand the tide & the timings & provided invaluable knowledge & help along the way. The Golden Boyz crew is very grateful to them both.
We proceeded down river meandering our way through spectacular scenery slowly to ensure we had enough headroom under MountGarret Bridge
Once there we had plenty of room & no concerns. You can see the dark marks on the legs of the bridge of where the water level had been,
Once through we passed the River Nore junction that led up to Inistioge & proceeded to New Ross passing the iconic Dunbrody ship that we had visited outside only a week or so ago.
Now so far the cruising had felt fine & although the water was a little more lively towards New Ross mum felt comfortable cruising & even turning 180 degrees so we could moor facing upstream. But the mooring up in the tide was a whole different ballgame! Of course just to add to the challenge we needed pumpout & we had to reverse into the mooring jetty as our pumpout access is at the stern of the boat. Under Johns expert instruction mum had to position Golden Boyz diagonally someway infront of the jetty so the tide would wash us back & the bow didn’t flip round in the tide. It was initially going so well but at the last minute the bow swung the other way & we ended up perpendicular to where we wanted to be alongside the gangway. There were many hands to help & we were pulled around into position thank Goodness. Once we had pumpout we had to move around onto another jetty which we managed somewhat more successfully & then an hour or so later we moved into another position for setting off with the tide so mum had 3 practises at mooring up.
With all the shuffling around we didn’t have much spare time at New Ross just enough for a bacon buttie & walkies.
So before long we were off again & this time we backtracked to the junction but then took a left onto the River Nore. Now there’s a lack of photos on the first section as the heavens opened with a monsoon downpour! Once it stopped & cleared we were treated to what I believe is some of the best cruising scenery in the whole of Ireland & as the sun came out it was amazing to see the steam rising off the trees.
Onwards to wound our way up to Inistioge following the route on the 2 maps below.
After a couple of hours we arrived at Inistioge in the rain again. Again some of you may remember that we visited Initsioge when family was over. I have added a photo of mum from then stood where today we moored our boats.
Once moored up safely with very loose ropes the tide went out & the boats settled on the riverbed. Unfortunately all this happened in the dark so we couldn’t take any photos.
We had a lovely evening with a little glass of champagne each celebrating our intrepid journey. Ah ok me & Cosmo just had water. A big thank you to the other 2 boats for all their help & advice & lock wheeling & rope tying & company & for letting us join them on their cruise especially with our extra special doggie mooring needs.
Now we did get some photos as Mum set her alarm for sunrise at 5.30am so she could take some photos before the tide came back in & refloated us.
It only took about an hour before we were back on water again.
Then it was time to do the journey in reverse. The other 2 boats availed of a sand jetty to stop at which was girders in the riverbank that could be tied to but as there was no access to get off there mum was worried we’d be too long there without a cockaleggie so we went onwards solo to New Ross again & then rejoined the other boats on the way back near the junction. We did a much better job of mooring up at new Ross this time as were able to just moor on the outside of a jetty. We also had a good 6 hours there so we had a nice long walkie & mum finally got chance to do a tour of the inside of Dunbrody now she was back from dry dock & open to the public again.
The original Dunbrody was built in 1845 in Quebec. She was commissioned along with 7 sister ships by ‘William Graves & Son’, a merchant family from New Ross. She was built by the expert shipwright Thomas Hamilton Oliver, an Irish emigrant from Co. Derry. The building of the ship took only six months and was supervised by her first master Captain John Baldwin, who captained her from 1845 to March 1848. Designed as a cargo vessel the Dunbrody’s main cargos where timber from Canada, cotton from the southern states of the U.S.A. and guano from Peru.
In 1845, the very year of her launch, famine struck Ireland. With the potato crop failing and food prices soaring, widespread starvation would soon force more than a million people to flee the country. So many people left, that there were not enough passenger ships to carry them all. Entrepreneurial merchants, like the Graves’, took the opportunity to fit out their cargo vessels with bunks to meet the extra demand. Between 1845 and 1851 the Dunbrody carried thousands of emigrants to North America.
In November 1996 the JFK Trust began construction of the Dunbrody Replica. Based on the design of the original, plans for the replica were drafted by the renowned naval architect Colin Mudie. A half-dozen experience shipwrights were engaged to supervise the project, headed by Michael Kennedy. With the support of FAS (the Irish National Training and Employment Authority), a workforce of apprentice shipwrights and trainee carpenters was assembled. Over the course of the five-year construction project more than 150 local people would gain hands-on experience of traditional shipbuilding skills.
We then cruised back to St Mullins & got in at dusk. Mum had booked a lock keeper for the next day so we weren’t too much of a burden on the other boats as only 2 boats fit in the locks at a time. So we were first up the lock but we couldn’t fit in at St Mullins so we cruised onwards around the corner & did a spot of wild river mooring at Bahanna woods. It was a pretty little spot but we were all too shattered by then to appreciate it. We all slept well that night.
In the morning we set off early again in the rain to meet the lock keeper as we gradually now start our journey back up the Barrow having explored it this summer.
As we now make our journey back up the Barrow revisiting our favourite walkie spots we’ll take a break from our blog until we start our next new cruising adventure. Who knows where we’ll be next year. Mum is doing a calendar club over here in winter at Whitewater Shopping centre at Newbridge so if you’re ever that way do pop by say hello & buy a calendar or two or three!!