It’s hard to believe how much the world has changed in the last week or two since we last wrote our blog with all our exciting plans for cruising in 2020. Coming to Ireland has been a dream of ours for a couple of years now with plans to cruise the entire waterways taking our time to visit local attractions & hiring a car along the way, joining up with other boaters for rallies & events. Now due to the rapid advance of Coronavirus we’re pretty much confined to the boat only allowed out for necessary journeys & shopping. Pubs & schools have been closed for over a week now & we rarely see another person. Who could ever have envisaged this? We dreamt of sitting in pubs singing along to traditional Irish songs. However on certain counts we’re lucky we’re a good excuse for us all to get some fresh air as we have to have walkies, we can moor up fairly remotely so although mum in the high risk category due to her asthma due to our lack of contact with anyone hopefully we’ve a much lower risk of catching the virus. Well actually dogs can’t catch it but we’re looking out for mum of course. Mum works remotely anyway so although we are losing some customers some are stepping up their online activity. So who knows what will be happening by our next blog but for now we’ll fill you in on our curtailed adventures.
We enjoyed our stay on the front at Robertstown but mum had her eye on a private jetty just through the next bridge which had a smaller partly fenced in area & was away from the main road. So off we set a short ten minute cruise. But then we hit a snag one we think we’ll hit often. It was so shallow we couldn’t get so near on the mooring
Now we were very brave & managed to jump the huge gap today get on & off. We were doing well but then mum came up with this ludicrous scheme of it being a good place for us to have plank lessons. Now I can tell you I Think this was totally unnecessary & I was quite happy doing a kamikaze leap but mum wouldn’t be deterred.
Anyway of course clever clogs Cosmo got it straightaway. I was not impressed & kept still leaping the gap which was now more difficult as there were 2 flipping planks in the way. Eventually I did get back onboard partially using the plank just for one millisecond. However at night everything changed. When we came to go out in the dark you couldn’t even see where the bank was so I confidently strutted on & off using the plank confidently watched by a flabbergasted mum. Honestly I don’t know what all the fuss was about!
After a couple of days in our marooned in the middle of the canal mum rang up Waterways Ireland & arranged for the lovely lock keeper Allan to help us through the lock. We’d walked forwards & sussed out a mooring spot at the next but one little village of Allenwood as Lowtown was looking full. Once through the lock we moored on the pumpout & waterpoint but we couldn’t get the pumpout to work with the card though we did manage to get water. Luckily Waterways Ireland managed to find an override switch on the pumpout control panel so we got a free pumpout bonus! Mum also met a couple of boaters & chatted to then while we did a lot of barking!
Once we were all sorted we set off again it was a truly beautiful day. The canal is quite wide straight & shallow. Apparently it gets pretty much overgrown with reeds in summer so best time to be doing it now.
Waterways Ireland had advised mum if she went past the mooring bollards at Allenwood & through the next bridge there was a jetty with a small park area. Well it was a fantastic recommendation as it is perfect for us & we even got into the bank so no planks needed. We could sit out on sunny days as virtually no one ever walked past the boat.
Well we loved it here. Mum found the village about 30mins walk away had a garage with a spar & a butchers so we were able to stay a week. The village also had a pub but that has now closed & the spar has social distancing markers taped to the floor.
We walked forwards & found the remains of an old swing bridge that was once used for transporting turf by rail. Oh & we met a couple of friends too.
We’re finding it hard to tear ourselves away from this mooring but soon we’ll need to move for water & diesel. We really have no plan anymore & are taking life one day at a time. With evenings like in this photo below it’s not hard to see why.